Morrow, Dwight Whitney (1873–1931)

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Morrow, Dwight Whitney (1873–1931)

Dwight Whitney Morrow (b. 11 January 1873; d. 5 October 1931), U.S. ambassador to Mexico (1927–1930). Morrow was born in Huntington, West Virginia, and was educated at Amherst College and Columbia University Law School. A Wall Street banker with international experience, he dealt with the troubled relations between Mexico and the United States. He cultivated a positive image for himself in Mexico and for Mexico in the United States as he hosted humorist Will Rogers and aviator Charles Lindbergh at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City. He also had a close working relationship with Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles, who continued as a powerful influence after his term ended in 1928.

Morrow quickly arranged a temporary settlement of the dispute concerning privately owned oil properties. U.S. oil companies feared confiscation under the Constitution of 1917, but Morrow and Calles devised a compromise in which private concessions remained secure indefinitely if the holders had taken positive acts to exploit the oil before 1917.

Morrow believed that the conflict between the government and the Catholic Church could cause widening chaos. Its most disruptive aspect was the bloody Cristero Rebellion in rural areas of Jalisco and surrounding states. Morrow struggled with complex negotiations involving the papacy, Catholics in the United States, the Mexican government, and the Catholic hierarchy and lay leaders in Mexico before aiding in a settlement in 1929.

In spite of his calming diplomatic influence, Morrow ended his tenure amid controversy. He had advised a slowing of land reform and an increase in the payment of the nation's foreign debt. When the Mexican government discussed these policies (although not entirely because of Morrow), his critics accused him of unwarranted meddling in Mexico's internal affairs.

See alsoCristero Rebellion .


L. Ethan Ellis, "Dwight Morrow and the Church-State Controversy in Mexico," in Hispanic American Historical Review 38 (1958): 482-505.

Harold Nicholson, Dwight Morrow (1935).

Stanley Robert Ross, "Dwight Morrow and the Mexican Revolution," in Hispanic American Historical Review 38 (1958): 506-528.

Ronald Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century (1980), esp. pp. 235-244.

Additional Bibliography

Cárdenas N., Joaquín. Morrow, Calles, y el PRI: Chiapas y las elecciones del '94. México, D.F.: Editorial Pac, 1995.

Collado, María del Carmen. Dwight W. Morrow: Reencuentro y revolución en las relaciones entre México y Estados Unidos, 1927–1930. México: Instituto de Investigaciones Dr. José María Luis Mora, 2005.

                                 John A. Britton

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