After arriving in Washington the Lincoln family soon formed a close relationship with 24-year-old Mexican Ambassador Matias Romero, who even escorted Mary Lincoln on her frequent shopping trips. The military and financial demands of the Civil War prevented Lincoln from giving the Juarez government direct assistance, but he did permit them to raise funds in the United States.
When France intervened in Mexico, Lincoln refused to recognize the regime of Maximilian and instead maintained diplomatic relations with Juarez’s government. In this March 1863, Lincoln appoints J.H Mansfield as head of the American consulate in Tabasco, a region split between Juarez supporters and French collaborators. Upon his arrival in Tabasco, Mansfield demonstrated his support for Juarez by publicly burning a French Foreign Legion redshirt. This rather undiplomatic act raised the ire of a local warlord who imprisoned Mansfield in an overcrowded public jail for four months.