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AUCTION 21

October 26, 2007

The Republic of the Rio Grande

The Republic of the Rio Grande was conceived by Federalist Antonio Canales Rosillo (1802-1852), who, as governor of Tamaulipas, raised a force of Texans, Indians, Mexican deserters, adventurers, and others to invade Mexico in a purported attempt to restore Federalism according to the 1824 Mexican Constitution. Although an enemy of Centralist Santa-Anna, Canales was a mercurial man whose motives may have ranged from true patriotism, to the desire to loot and raid, to the wish to become President of his own separate country, the Republic of the Rio Grande.

After initial military successes, Canales joined with others of like mind to proclaim the Republic of the Rio Grande, a vast new country that included parts of Texas, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, New Mexico, Nuevo León, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, and Durango, and of which Canales was made military chief after its formation in January 1840. Canales was defeated decisively in March 1840, forcing the government to flee into Texas, thereby giving Texas two simultaneous, separate governments within its borders, both of which Mexico considered illegal.

224. [REPUBLIC OF THE RIO GRANDE]. VILLA DE GUERRERO. COMANDANCIA MILITAR (Lieutenant Manuel Menchaca). Noticia Extraordinaria.... El 21 del corriente al ponerse el Sol recibí el oficio superior de V. S. de 18 del mismo.... [Report of August 24, 1839, from Menchaca to Canalizo reporting victories over the Federalists.] [Dated and signed at end]: Monterrey, August 28, 1839, Francisco Margáin. [Colophon]: Monterrey:=1839.--Imprenta del Gobierno, á cargo del C. Froylan de Mier. Broadside in two columns (31.5 x 21.9 cm), laid paper, watermarked Bento Picardo. Creased where formerly folded, otherwise fine.

            First edition. Harper 12:152. Streeter 949 (locating only his own copy, now at Yale): “This is an account of rather minor engagements along the Rio Grande in August, 1839, between the revolting Federalists and a small body of government troops under Lt. Manuel Menchaca in which the latter was successful. Menchaca points out the need for reinforcements if the trade with the Texans is to be cut off. This is the trade with the Mexican states along the Rio Grande which President Lamar of Texas, in a proclamation dated February 21, 1839...had directed should be encouraged.... Villa Guerrero is the present Ciudad Guerrero, a town a little south of the Rio Grande about seventy miles southeast of Laredo.” Streeter, The Only Located Copies of 140 Texas Pamphlets and Broadsides 119. ($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,175.00

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Auction 21 Abstracts

225. [REPUBLIC OF THE RIO GRANDE]. NUEVO LEÓN. SECRETARIA DE GOBIERNO (Francisco Margáin). El Sr. General en Gefe de la División del Norte con nota de 26 del corriente.... Informado por varios conductos de que muchos individuos andan errantes.... [Promulgates Canalizo decree of August 25, 1839, granting clemency to Federalists after their defeat]. [Dated and signed in print at end]: Monterrey, August 29, 1839, Francisco Margúin. [Monterrey: Froylan de Mier, 1839.] Broadside, laid paper (31 x 21.5 cm), watermarked PF. Creased where formerly folded, otherwise fine.

            First edition. Not in Streeter. The victorious Canalizo grants amnesty to anyone who will renounce the Federalist cause and swear allegiance to the central government within ten days. The same terms are extended to towns that have rebelled. The Federalists, under General Lemus, had been defeated by Pavón on the 18th at Loma-Alta. This is an attempt to further undermine the Federalists, who were allied with sympathetic Texans. ($750-1,500)

Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $881.25

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Auction 21 Abstracts

226. [REPUBLIC OF THE RIO GRANDE]. GUTIÉRREZ DE LARA, José Bernardo [Maximiliano]. Alcance al Seminario Político del jueves 31 de octubre de 1839. Sr. D. Antonio Zapata.... Va à hacer un año que estalló la revolución apellidando sistema federal en estos infelices Departamentos engañados por los agentes revolucionarios.... [Letter from Gutiérrez de Lara at Guerrero to Zapata urging him to cease rebelling against the federal government]. [Dated and signed at end]: Mier, October 24, 1839, E. López. [Monterrey: Froylan de Mier, 1839.] Broadside in two columns, wove paper (30.5 x 21 cm). Creased where formerly folded, otherwise fine.

            First edition. Streeter 941.2 (locating only the Yale copy). “A long and emotional appeal in which Gutiérrez tells Zapata that his former friends now hate and despise him for associating with the Texans; that even if they succeed in setting up an independent state in the north it will be taken over by the Texas [sic], and that none of the Mexicans in Texas who supported the revolution have achieved positions of leadership. Zapata ignored this appeal and was later captured and executed by the Centralists.”

            Gutiérrez de Lara (1774-1841) participated in many important events leading to the liberation of both Texas and Mexico. During the Mexican War of Independence, he materially assisted the rebels by visiting the United States, where he met with U.S. Secretary of State James Monroe and other influential leaders. He gave his name to the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition and served on both Mina’s and Long’s expeditions. He was eventually elected governor of Tamaulipas, which post he resigned in 1825. As this publication shows, he remained an influential Mexican voice in the Borderlands.  Handbook of Texas Online: José Bernardo Maximiliano Gutiérrez de Lara.

            Recipient Antonio Zapata of Guerrero (ca. 1810-1840) was a wealthy rancher and military leader who led raids against Lipan and Comanche raiders, who called him “Sombrero de Manteca” because he used a hair tonic that made his hair shiny. Zapata’s properties were looted during the Texas Revolution, resulting in some $70,000 in losses. A big gun in the Republic of Rio Grande, Zapata fought many engagements as a cavalry officer and has been compared to Stonewall Jackson for his military skills. In his capacity as military commandant of the Republic of Rio Grande, he led his unit in many of the most important battles against the Centralists. Captured on a foraging expedition, he refused to renounce his allegiance to the Republic of Rio Grande and was executed, after which his head was displayed on a pole at Guerrero. Handbook of Texas Online: Antonio Zapata. ($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,175.00

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Auction 21 Abstracts

227. [REPUBLIC OF THE RIO GRANDE]. NUEVO LEÓN. SECRETARIA DE GOBIERNO. Secretaria de gobierno del departamento de Nuevo León. Circular. No cabe ya duda en que los ingratos y desnaturalizados Canales y Zapata.... [Order that localities form one company of infantry and one of cavalry.] [Dated and signed at end]: Monterrey, November 4, 1839, Jesús de González, with his ink paraf. [Monterrey: Froylan de Mier, 1839.] Broadside, laid paper (31.2 x 21 cm), watermarked PF. Creased where formerly folded and one small loss touching a few letters at centerfold, otherwise fine. Addressed in contemporary ink manuscript to the prefect of Linares; blanks accomplished in ink manuscript.

            First edition. Streeter 946.2 (locating two copies, Yale and University of Texas at Arlington). “Circular letter to district prefects informing them that the Federalist leaders Canales and Zapata have allied themselves with the Texans and Indians, and ordering the enlistment of an infantry company and a cavalry troop in each district.”  Linares is ordered to raise seventy infantry and fifty cavalry. ($600-1,200)

Sold. Hammer: $600.00; Price Realized: $705.00

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Auction 21 Abstracts

228. [REPUBLIC OF THE RIO GRANDE]. NUEVO LEÓN. GOBERNADOR. (José de Jesús D. y Prieto). El Gobernador constitucional del departamento de Nuevo León à sus habitantes. Conciudadanos: El mal imponderable de la guerra amenaza de cerca á nuestros pueblos.... [Denounces the Federalist revolution in the strongest terms and urges citizens to remain loyal to the central government]. [Dated and signed at end]: Monterrey, November 9, 1839, José de Jesús D. y Prieto. [Monterrey: Froylan de Mier, 1839.] Broadside, laid paper (31.2 x 21.5 cm), watermarked with Strasburg lily. Creased where formerly folded, one small, light stain, otherwise fine.

            First edition. Streeter 946.1 (locating only the Yale copy). “Prieto says that the Federalists have called in Texans and Indians to aid their rebellion and warns that unless the citizens rally behind the government their property will be seized by ragged adventurers and naked savages.” Streeter’s description, however, hardly conveys the violent denunciation present in this address: “¿Que podrémos esperar de los aventureros tejanos y de las tribus bárbaras que nada tienen de comun con nosotros, y son por otra parte nuestros naturales enemigos?” ($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,175.00

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Auction 21 Abstracts


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