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AUCTION 22

 

An Adopted Texan’s Translation of The Other Side



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390.     [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR]. [ALCÁRAZ, Ramón, Manuel Payno, Guillermo Prieto, et al. (editors)]. RAMSEY, Alfred C. The Other Side: or, Notes for the History of the War between Mexico and the United States. Written in Mexico. Translated from the Spanish, and Edited, with Notes, by Albert C. Ramsey, Colonel of the Eleventh United States Infantry during the War with Mexico. With Portraits of Distiguished Officers, Plans of Battles, Tables of Forces, &c., &c., &c. New York: John Wiley, 161 Broadway, and 13 Paternoster Row, London, 1850. [i-v] vi-xv [1], [1] 2-458 pp., 10 lithograph portraits, 14 folded lithograph maps and plans, original tissue guards. 8vo (20 x 13 cm), original brown blind-stamped cloth, title gilt lettered on spine. Light shelf wear, light to moderate foxing to text, maps and plans browned, overall a very good copy of a book difficult to find complete and in good condition with original binding.

Maps:

Plan of the City of Matamoros 1846 [below neat line] Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton St. Neat line to neat line: 20 x 24.5 cm.

Plan of the Country to the North East of the City of Matamoros. 1846 [below neat line] Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton St. Neat line to neat line: 20 x 27.7 cm.

Plan of the Battle of Palo Alto 8th of May 1846 [below neat line] Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton Street. Neat line to neat line: 20 x 28 cm. Battle fought on Texas soil.

Plan of the Positions Which the Mexican Troops Occupied in the Action with the Americans on the 9th of May 1846 in the Resaca De Guerrero [below neat line] Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton St. Neat line to neat line: 18.5 x 27 cm. Battle of Resaca de la Palma, fought on Texas soil.

Plan of the City of Monterey in the State of New Leon September 1846 [below neat line] Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton Street. Neat line to neat line: 16.3 x 25 cm.

Plan of the City of Tampico 1846 [below neat line] Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton Street. Neat line to neat line: 16 x 26.5 cm.

Buena Vista Outline of the Battle on the 22d and 23d of February, 1847, in the Angostura [below neat line] Ackerman lithr 120 Fulton St. N.Y. Neat line to neat line: 17 x 24.5 cm.

Plan of the Battle of the Sacramento. Drawn by General D. Pedro G. Conde. [below neat line] Ackerman lithr 120 Fulton St. N.Y. Neat line to neat line: 23.5 x 22.7 cm.

Outline of the Siege of Vera Cruz by the Troops of the United States 1847 Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton Street. Neat line to neat line: 17.5 x 29.7 cm.

Outline of positions at Cerro Gordo in the action on the 18th of April, 1847. Ackerman lithr 120 Fulton St. N.Y. Neat line to neat line: 21.5 x 30 cm.

Plan of the Entrenchments of El Peñon del Marquez 1847. Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton Street. Neat line to neat line: 17.5 x 29.2 cm.

Contreras. Battle field of Padierna, 19th of August, 1847. Ackerman lithr 120 Fulton St. N.Y. Neat line to neat line: 21 x 27.7 cm.

Plan of Churubusco 1847. Ackerman lith 120 Fulton Street. Neat line to neat line: 18.6 x 26.9 cm.

Plan of the Points Attacked by the American Army on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of September, 1847. Neat line to neat line: 18.5 x 22 cm. Ackerman’s lith 120 Fulton St.

Portraits:

All captions are below image.

El Escmo Sr. Gal. De Division D. Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna. Presidente de la Republica Mexicana. Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

General Arista Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

General Ampudia. Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

Ayudante General Micheltorena. Cuartel maestre en la Angoslura [sic]. Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

Gral. Vasquez. Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

General Valencia Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

Lic. Coutu Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

General Leon Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

El Cne. Lucan Balderas Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

Dn. Luis de la Rosa Ackerman’s lith. 120 Fulton St. N.Y.

     First edition in English, with translator Ramsey’s added notes (see preceding item, Item 389, for first edition). Ron Tyler, in his preliminary survey on nineteenth-century Texas lithographs, cites the portraits of Santa-Anna, Arista, and Ampudia. Anderson Sale 1686 (10 plates, 13 folding maps): “The Mexican side of the causes leading to, and campaigns in, the War. The account of the operations in California, as differing so vastly from American reports, is of especial interest.” Cambridge History of American Literature, pp. 166-167: “A counterview of the Mexican War…a useful corrective to the chauvinistic versions of the American versions of the War.” Connor & Faulk 142. Garrett & Goodwin, Mexican-American War, pp. 3-4. Haferkorn, p. 8. Howes A105 (24 “maps and plans”). Howes Catalogue 44:5 (10 plates, 13 maps). Howes Catalogue 57 (14 maps, 8 portraits). Howes Catalogue 63 (14 maps, 8 portraits). Kurutz & Mathes, The Forgotten War, p. 119 (9 portraits, 14 plans): “Alcáraz and other authors roundly condemned the United States for stealing Texas and starting the war. Pages 405-414 cover the conflict in Alta California. In printing this translation, the publisher hoped ‘to give that nation [Mexico] a fair hearing.’” Larned 2008. Raines, p. 170. Sabin 57845 (9 portraits, 14 plans); 67723 (10 portraits, 14 maps and plans). Tutorow 3254.

     Some bibliographical confusion seems to surround the exact division of maps and plates that should be present, with some copies having eleven portraits and thirteen maps, but others apparently with a different ratio. Sources seem to agree, however, that there should be a total of twenty-four portraits and maps, as in the present copy. Several Mexican portraits have been substituted for those of U.S. figures that appeared in the first edition. The battle plans are the same, although they have been newly drawn and text and captions mostly in English.

     This is a straightforward, professional translation of the Mexican first edition (see Item 389 herein). In his “Preface”, Ramsey states that he admires the Mexican authors, who have done justice to a painful subject, although not without the expected prejudices and biases. Nevertheless, he states, “As an important addition to history, and that especially of the United States, its claims to notice are too numerous to be neglected, or passed in silence…. This book is believed to be the first Mexican historical production which has been deemed worthy of translation into the English language; and its excellence will insure for its authors a high celebrity as men of taste, learning, and practical discrimination.”

     Despite Ramsey’s statement in the title that he has added notes, they are few and far between, as he comments. In one instance, however, he does correct the original authors (p. 440), where he also gives a story he heard in Mexico that General Urrea was really a U.S. citizen named Urey. Another note (p. 424) in the chapter on “Residence of the Americans in Mexico” is interesting for the iconography of the Mexican-American War. Ramsey states that U.S. paintings and engravings illustrating the U.S. Army during occupation are in error, showing officers and soldiers in full uniform, whereas they actually wore light blue jackets and cloth fatigue caps.

     Ramsey (1813-1869) was a Pennsylvania native who served variously as an attorney and newspaper editor before joining the Army at the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, where he served as an infantry colonel. After the war, he remained in Mexico, where he apparently met the authors of this work and actually did the work of translation. He attempted to set up a mail service route but the scheme failed in 1857. He spent part of his time in Texas, where he had bought land, but went back north when the Civil War broke out, although his wife and daughter remained behind in loyalty to the Confederacy.

     The first three words of Ramsey’s title have become iconic in discussions of the Mexican-American War.

($300-600)

Sold. Hammer: $325.00; Price Realized: $390.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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