Finally, we have here proof positive that Hart KNEW that the Americans did NOT "supply" the Constitutionalists with artillery, because he wrote IN HIS OWN HAND, "for YEARS [meaning the company's relationship was with the Federal Army] we had nearly the whole delivery for the Arsenal Nacional in this port...the delivery we have made during the last MONTHS [i.e. predating the American invasion since this was dated May 28, 1914] have not been paid up to date...we are of the opinion that the greatest part of these goods are still existing in the warehouse...", meaning that the SEARCH, not the PAYMENT, for these goods was the intent of the letter.
Ochoa opens his report by saying: "In fulfillment of your respectable order, that it pleased you to give me referring to clarifications being made with respect to the report given by Sr. C. I. McReldonlds [sic] about the errors found in Cobertizo Num 1 upon undergoing inspection; respectfully permit me to inform you point by point about what exists in my opinion:"
U.S. National Archives Record Group 94, Entry 25, File number 2149991, Box 7478.
More to the point, why would the Americans invest weeks preparing for a final inventory only to render all their efforts void on the last day with a flood of deliveries? The mere suggestion is a non sequitur.
Here, Ochoa addresses Arms and Ammunition, saying "Effectively it was found in disorder [with] all the markings mixed up, but on one hand the previously mentioned Mr. Hoffman says that he was ordered to take care of this merchandise scrupulously and that as it is a lot and the locale is small, for this reason he was worried about having it secure even if it was mixed up. On the other hand, at times he wanted to correct this defect but he ran up against not having people available to fix it and this was the reason why this department appeared like it did without correction. But as I was facilitated with the necessary people this merchandise is separated by brands and these [are facing] to the front and in this way it is ready so that in 10 minutes the recount can be done."
Thus, we have mention of the disorder of arms and ammunition in the warehouse and the need for men to put it into order, not because the arrival of ships bringing in large quantities of war materiel from the United States had created a mess, however. Rather, the merchandise had never been organized after being moved to Cobertiza 1 for safekeeping. Moreover, the retaking of inventory in 10 minutes does not indicate a large amount of merchandise.
Here is where Ochoa offers his excuse, saying: "Mr. Hoffman is an employee dedicated to his work and honesty; it should not be doubted for a moment that the mistakes that have been attributed to him arose from bad subalterns who were supplied to him and as an honest man he supposed the workers to be of similar ideals, who took charge of things and did it poorly and hence arose all the problems. Besides, Cobertizo Num 1 is not just the first in order but also in the movement that goes on inside it, as demonstrated by the sole fact that in these last three days it witnessed four steamships being unloaded at the site."
U.S. National Archives, Record Group 141, Entry 19, Box 22.
Here we have definitive proof that the Americans did not pay the German Duering Company for "supplying" the Constitutionalists with artillery. Rather, the Duering Company had presented a claim for its property in the National Arsenal (Hart claimed not to know that the Military Government had established a Board of Claims for firms that had lost merchandise during the American invasion) that had gone missing as a result of the American invasion of the port. Most of the property was subsequently found and the small portion of the claim that remained was discharged by giving the company unclaimed property that approximated the value of the still missing merchandise. To say that "Duering demanded $19,751 from the U.S. government because it had turned over the state-of-the-art guns to the Constitutionalists" (Hart, Revolutionary Mexico, p. 300) is a gross misrepresentation of the facts as disclosed below. Moreover, the Duering Company claim, which was presented in May 1914, would have been for merchandise held in warehouses by the Federal Army--not the Constitutionalists--at the time of the invasion. Dates matter. Context matters.
Moreover, if the customs warehouses were all aflutter with activity on November 23 while the Americans were departing, as Hart states, then what is to be made of this document dated November 23 from the customs administrator to the military governor claiming that the service was "now practically abandoned"? (See #4 Below)
Professor John Mason Hart alleges that the Constitutionalists "had been in Veracruz for two months. They had worked alongside the Americans in charge of the arms buildup before the formal order to evacuate the city was given." "On 23 November the warehouseman at cobertizo 1 summed up a new level of intensity in the stockpiling of arms during those last few days in Veracruz when he wrote the captain of the port regarding arriving and uninventoried material: 'Need men in order to put armaments in order. Four steamships have unloaded here at this warehouse in the last three days creating mass confusion.'"
See John Mason Hart, Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1997), pp. 298-301, 427 (end note 52).
The problem with these statements is that they are false. No one denies that there was a tremendous amount of war materiel on hand in Veracruz between what the Federals had had in their numerous warehouses and forts and what was frozen in Customs after the American invasion of the port, but there was no American-led "buildup," or "stockpiling" for, or "supplying" of, the Constitutionalists.
Indeed, Professor Hart has been asked on numerous occasions (the first time on December 8, 2010, and most recently on July 28, 2019) for copies of the document cited in end note 52—truly the linchpin of his so-called “Veracruz thesis”—and I, Joe Lee Janssens, even went so far as to meet the professor at his house to go through his files, and yet Hart has failed to produce the document. Therefore, I can only conclude that the document cited by Hart does not exist, although the language attributed to warehouseman Ygnacio C. Moncada does resemble a November 18, 1914 report issued by 6th Officer Fernando Ochoa.
Ergo, we have the same reference to four ships arriving in three days to cobertizo 1 (obviously an unusual occurrence), but it was written by Fernando Ochoa, not Ygnacio Moncada (who was the head of cobertizo 2), and it was dated November 18, not November 23, and it is a report responding to an inspection made before the taking of inventory, not a hasty appeal to the "captain of the port" for men to help put the armaments in order--which had already been done by November 23.
Ochoa begins addressing the errors according to the steamship that brought the merchandise, which was how the warehouse was arranged. There are six pages in Ochoa's report...
U.S. National Archives, Record Group 141, Entry 12, File 236.