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Auction 12: The Zamorano 80 Collection of Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lots 37, 37A & 37B

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Item 37. Governor Alvarado’s copy of Figueroa’s Manifiesto, printed by Augustín Juan Vicente Zamorano, California’s first printer—“The first book printed in California [and] the most important publication produced during the period of the Mexican press” (Streeter).


37. FIGUEROA, José (1792-1835). Manifiesto á la República Mejicana que hace el General de Brigada José Figueroa, Comandante General y Gefe Político de la Alta California, sobre su conducta y de los Señores D. José María de Híjar y D. José María Padrés, como Directores de Colonización en 1834 y 1835. Monterey: Imprenta del C. Agustín V. Zamorano, 1835. [4] 183 [1] pp. (last two leaves supplied in barely detectable expert facsimile on old paper). 16mo, original plain brown paper wrappers, sewn. Rare original wrappers rubbed, a few leaves dog-eared, occasional light staining and marginal browning, but overall a fine copy (thus described by John Howell–Books, who sold this copy to Mr. Volkmann from the Howell California Catalogue 50, item 260). Preserved in a chemise and half red morocco slipcase. A well-pedigreed copy as to provenance: The Castro–[Peralta?]–Alvarado–Alemany–Harold Holmes–Jennie Crocker Henderson-Warren R. Howell copy. An important association copy of an exceedingly rare and important book, with several contemporary ink notations on front blank preliminaries, indicating that this copy was the property of Juan B. Alvarado, twelfth governor of California (1836-1842; see Hart, Companion to California, p. 11). Upper wrapper signed by Monsignor Alemany (1814-1888, who arrived in San Francisco in 1850 and served as the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Upper and Lower California; see Hart, Companion to California, p. 8). Other ink notes include Guadalupe Peralta (Bancroft, Pioneer Register, p. 281) and Rafael Guadalupe Peralta (both members of the prominent early Bay Area Californio Peralta family; see Hart, Companion to California, p. 325); Carlos Castro (Bancroft, Pioneer Register, p. 90) and other Castro family members (see Hart, Companion to California, p. 72). Laid in is a handwritten note referring to the 1920 Holmes Sale where this copy brought $1,500 and a Xerox copy of Harold C. Holmes’s comments on this copy.
First edition of “the first book printed in California [and] the most important publication produced during the period of the Mexican press” (Streeter Sale 2475, illustrated at p. 1772). Cowan I, p. 86. Cowan II, p. 210. Cowan, Spanish Press, p. 13. Doheny Sale 223. Fahey 8 & pp. 21-23: “Largest and most important book printed by the Mexican press in California.... The printing of the Manifiesto was a great accomplishment for the Zamorano printer. This book represented the highest achievement of the Mexican press of California, and it demonstrated, for that era, a noteworthy manifestation of human endeavor.” Graff 1319. Greenwood 9 ( title illustrated as frontispiece). Harding, “Census of California Spanish Imprints” 8; Zamorano, p. 202. Howell 50, California 260 (this copy, illustrated at p. 235); Anniversary Catalogue 43: “Figueroa’s Manifiesto was the first major book to be printed in California, preceded only by the sixteen-page Reglamento (1834) and a half-dozen or so broadsides and ephemera sheets. The publication of this work was a significant accomplishment of Zamorano’s newly established Monterey press, and it was certainly the most important book printed in Alta California prior to the American conquest. It was printed on a Ramage press in Small Pica type obtained from the Boston Type and Stereotype Foundry, and was brought to Monterey by Figueroa in January, 1833. Zamorano had arrived in California in 1825 as secretary to the governor, José María Echeandía, later becoming commander of the presidio at Monterey.... All of the Zamorano imprints are extremely rare, and are highly prized by collectors and students of early printing, as well as those interested in the Spanish-Mexican period of California history.” Howes F122. Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 37. Libros Californianos (Bliss list), p. 17. Norris 1024 (commenting in 1948): “It is possible that this will be the only copy offered for sale for some time.” Zamorano 80 #37. For more on printer Agustín Juan Vicente Zamorano, consult: Diccionario Porrúa; Harding, Zamorano; and Hart, Companion to California. ($30,000-50,000)


Item 37A. First edition in English of Figueroa’s Manifiesto.

37A. FIGUEROA, José. The Manifesto, Which the General of Brigade, Don José Figueroa, Commandant-General and Political Chief of U. California, Makes to the Mexican Republic, in Regard to His Conduct and That of the Snrs. D. José María de Híjars [sic] and D. José María Padrés, As Directors of the Colonization in 1833 and 1834.... San Francisco: San Francisco Herald Office, 1855. 104 [1, dedication] pp. 8vo, original gilt-lettered brown calf. Binding rubbed, covers and spine reattached, two small voids to spine, back free endpaper absent, small puncture through upper cover and to p. 88 (in blank margin, not affecting text). Ink ownership stamps of St. Rose’s Convent, San Francisco, on title and several text leaves. Front pastedown with bookplates of Winfield J. Davis (a Zamorano 80 author; see Item 28 herein) and Allen Knight. This book was for many decades considered a real rarity, but in the 1960s, a small stash of copies was discovered in a convent, whereupon the book was readily available through John Howell–Books, the Eberstadts, Jenkins Company, and other dealers. However, in recent years, copies on the open market have diminished, and the title is once again scarce.
First edition in English. Cowan I, p. 86. Cowan II, p. 210. Graff 1320. Greenwood 562. Howell 50, California 82. Streeter Sale 2784 (illustrated at p. 1959). ($700-1,400)


37B. FIGUEROA, José. Manifesto to the Mexican Republic...Translated, with an Introduction and Notes by C. Alan Hutchinson. Berkeley, Los Angeles & London: University of California Press, [1978]. [10] 156 pp., including facsimile of the original. 4to, original brown cloth. Light shelf wear, generally fine, in fine d.j.
Scholarly edition, with introduction, notes, bibliography, and index. ($20-40)


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Printing was established in the Californias by Agustín Juan Vicente Zamorano (1798-1842), a native of San Agustín, Florida. As a lieutenant of engineers, he had accompanied governor José María Echeandía to the province in 1825, and was appointed commandant of the presidio of Monterey in 1831. In 1834, a printing press that Zamorano had ordered from Boston reached Monterey and the first imprints, regulations, and decrees appeared in the same year. Zamorano continued printing until 1836, and from 1839 to 1840 he served as commandant at the presidio of Loreto. He returned to Alta California as inspector of the province and died shortly after his arrival at San Diego in 1842.
Anti-clericalism among liberal Mexican republicans grew rapidly during the same period, resulting in proposals in 1825 for the secularization of missions into diocesan parish churches and the distribution of their temporalities (farming and grazing lands), a decree for the expulsion of Spaniards in 1828, and serious consideration of the confiscation of Church property as a means of resolving the increasing difficulties of servicing the national debt. On August 17, 1833, President Valentín Gómez Farías decreed the secularization of all missions throughout the Republic (those of Baja California were excepted the following year) and thus opened vast lands in Alta California to private acquisition. In the same year José Figueroa replaced Echeandía and appointed Agustín Zamorano as his secretary, the latter printing a decree of provisional regulations for secularization on August 9, 1834.
Russia, availing herself of the chaos brought by the Napoleonic invasion of Spain and the Mexican Wars of Independence, had established Fort Ross to the north of San Francisco in 1812, and Figueroa also began development of a plan for the establishment of a more northerly presidio to secure Mexican territory to 42° north latitude, ordering Ensign Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo to explore and report on Ross and Bodega. In the interim in Mexico City, a project to establish colonists in California presented by José María Padrés and José María Híjar received the support Gómez Farías, who appointed Híjar governor of Alta California and issued decrees on November 26, 1833 to assure the colonization of mission temporalities. In September 1834 some 250 colonists of the Híjar-Padrés enterprise reached San Diego and continued to Monterey and San Francisco Solano de Sonoma. But during the summer, Antonio López de Santa Anna had returned to the presidency and revoked the appointment of Híjar; that order arrived in Monterey by special courier prior to the arrival of Padrés and Híjar.
A conflict of authority with Figueroa ensued, and in October the latter limited the jurisdiction of Híjar and Padrés to directors of colonization. Further, Figueroa, supported by the provincial legislature, agreed to comply with colonization orders but prohibited occupation of mission lands, interference with Indian land holdings, and the use of Indian labor. Híjar attempted to override this decision, to no avail, and Padrés and Híjar were instructed to take their colonists to San Francisco Solano and leave once they were settled. Meanwhile, Padrés was accused of plotting against the local government and instigating a minor revolt in Los Angeles. In March 1835, Figueroa ordered Vallejo to detain Híjar, Padrés, and others and expel them from Alta California, and in May they sailed from Monterey. The following month, Vallejo was charged with the establishment of a garrison and pueblo at Sonoma.
On September 4, Figueroa issued his Manifiesto, explaining and justifying his actions against Híjar and Padrés, stating that there were not adequate local funds to support federal colonization plans, and arguing for the local administration of land distribution and control of temporalities. Ironically, the author did not live to see his lengthy document in print for it was in press at the time of Figueroa’s death on September 29.
The first book-length imprint produced in the Californias, the Manifiesto was translated into English and published in San Francisco in 1855 and Oakland in 1952. A definitive scholarly edition in English and Spanish, with translation, introduction, and annotations by C. Alan Hutchinson, was published by the University of California Press in 1978.

—W. Michael Mathes




Item 37. Figuero’s Manifiesto defending his administration’s colonization scheme for secularized mission lands.


Item 37. Printer’s note from “the largest and most important book printed by the Mexican press in California” (Fahey).


Item 37. Governor Alvarado’s copy of Figueroa’s Manifiesto, printed by Augustín Juan Vicente Zamorano, California’s first printer—“The first book printed in California [and] the most important publication produced during the period of the Mexican press” (Streeter).



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