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Hernando Cromwell

Assemblyman Hernando Cromwell.

Hernando Cromwell was a leading member of the Mexican Assembly in 1920 who owed his election to funding from Kramer Associates. Although Sobel does not specifically say so, it is likely that Cromwell was a member of the United Mexican Party.

In the 1920 Mexican elections, Cromwell pledged to retain Negro slavery, and this stand on the issue, along with backing from K.A., ensured his election. However, when K.A. President Douglas Benedict reached a deal with Mexican President Emiliano Calles to support a Manumission Act, Cromwell changed his stance on the issue, and became the Act's leading backer in the Assembly.

When the Act was introduced in the Assembly on 13 May 1920, Assemblyman Pedro Fuentes of Chiapas spoke out against the measure. Fuentes called the act "legal theft," recited the history of slavery in the United States of Mexico, then pointed at Cromwell and shouted, "We know who is behind you in this. It is Kramer Associates, more particularly Douglas Benedict. Kramer gold put you where you are, and Kramer gold is buying manumission for the administration. You were elected on a pledge to retain slavery, and now you have conveniently changed your mind. I challenge you to tell us why you have so acted." Cromwell simply smiled and shrugged his shoulders, and proceeded to hold a voice vote on the Act, which passed.

Sobel makes no further mention of Cromwell after passage of the Manumission Act, and he may have been one of the seventeen Assemblymen who were forced to resign over the next year due to pressure from constituents.


Sobel's source for Hernando Cromwell's role in the Manumission Act is Dwight Hermon's Starkism in Mexico: The Public Career of Pedro Fuentes (New York, 1955).

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