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Universities (at least in the US) tend to give those out to famous people as favors for lecturing there. As such, having an "honorary" degree doesn't really mean a whole lot. There wouldn't be much incentive for making up a false story about somebody receiving one. It appears he did a speaking tour of the US in 1911, and did speak at several universities, ...
In an article on the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, PBS offers the following estimate: At the time of the treaty, approximately 80,000 Mexicans lived in the ceded territory, which comprised only about 4 percent of Mexico’s population. PBS
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