— Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2013 —
The Enduring History of Borderland Troubles between Mexico & the U.S.
Basic Borderlands Book, With Three Rare & Important Maps
44. [BORDERLANDS]. MEXICO. COMISIÓN PESQUISIDORA DE LA FRONTERA DEL NORTE (Emilio Velasco, Ignacio Galindo, Antonio García Carrillo & Agustín Siliceo). Two reports, each having separate title and pagination, plus appendix following second report: [First report] Informe de la Comision Pesquisidora de la Frontera del Norte al Ejecutivo de la Union en cumplimiento del Artículo 3o. de la ley de 30 de setiembre de 1872. Monterey, mayo 15 de 1873. Mexico: Imprenta de Díaz de León y White, Calle de Lerdo número 2, 1874. [1-3] 4-124 pp.; [Second report] Informe de la Comision Pesquisidora de la Frontera del Norte al Ejecutivo de la Union sobre depredaciones de los indios y otros males que sufre la frontera mexicana. Mexico: Imprenta de Díaz de León y White, Calle de Lerdo número 2, 1874. [2, title], A-G [1, errata], -167 [1, blank] pp., 3 lithograph folded maps with original outline or shading color (list below); [Appendix to second report] Apéndice al Informe de la Comision Pesquisidora de la Frontera del Norte que contiene estados de las incursions de los indios, varios documentos sobre sus depredaciones, y muchas otras constancias del mad estado de las relaciones entre las fronteras de México y los Estados-Unidos. [1, title], i-xlii leaves, xliii-lxiv pp. Folio (31.3 x 21.7 cm), contemporary half brown sheep over brown marbled boards, spine with gilt lettering, ruling, and ornamentation. Binding rubbed, edges bumped and worn. Small repair to title at lower blank margin, maps with a few splits or repairs (no losses). Overall a very good, complete copy. Yale duplicate with their engraved bookplate on upper cover. Very rare.
List of Maps
 A Map of the Indian Territory Northern Texas and New Mexico Showing the [G]reat Western Prairies by Josiah Gregg [below neat line at left]Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1844 by Sidney E. Morse and Samuel Breese in the Clerks Office of the Southern District of New York [text below neat line and copyright notice] Nota.—Comprende este Mapa la parte Norte, Nordeste y Noroeste de Texas. Habiendo sido formado cuando Texas pertencia á México, demuestra hoy que las residencias de los indios desde 1848 han sido en los Estados Unidos, y antes de esa época se fijaban unas veces en aquella república, y otras en la de México, pero siempre á la márgen izquierda del Rio Grande. Neat line to neat line: 30.5 x 38 cm (two sections of map extend beyond neat line, Council Bluff and Zuni, Moqui, and Navajo tribes west of Acoma); overall sheet size: 41 x 41.5 cm. Original maize shading of border. Symbols for towns, villages, ranches, forts, trading posts, camps, springs, ruins, etc. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 482 (citing Gregg’s 1844 original: “A cartographic landmark”). This rare Mexican edition has an added legend in Spanish. The continued use of Gregg’s map three decades after its first appearance confirms its reliability. Small tear at juncture with book block (no loss), otherwise very fine.
 [At lower left of map proper] Copiado del Mapa de S Mc. L. Staples, en 1828; del Mapa de Nigra de San Martin en cuanto á las distancias respectivas, y de la Carta general de la República Mexicana de García Cubas; y segun los informes fidedignos de personas que conoscen el terreno, especialmente la parte mas al Norte á la derecha del Rio Bravo.... Dibujado y extractado de los documeutos [sic] y datos dichos, por F. L. Mier.—Monterey, Diciembre de 1873 [text below neat line at left] Nota.—Indica este Mapa los principales puntos de pasaje de los indios en el Rio Grande, para venir desde los Estados Unidos à hostilizar á México. Señala con exactitud las montañas, los valles que forman, y sus gargantas, para denistrar la conveniencia de la ocupacion de determinados puntos por destacamentos militares, que dificultarian las incursions. Neat line to neat line: 39.2 x 25.6 cm; overall sheet size: 44.8 x 30.4 cm. Original shading of borders between the U.S. and northern Mexican borderland states, Rio Grande shown from east of Camargo to Big Bend, paths of Indian routes shown in red. M.J. Martínez created the second map, which delineates the routes of raiding parties in the Coahuila and Nuevo León region. Martínez chose his cartographical sources well, relying on a landmark Mexico map by Antonio García Cubas (the father of scientific geography in Mexico) and a little known manuscript map by Stephen McLellan Staples, “Surveyor General of Chihuahua.” (See Streeter 726, 735 & 1120A.) Staples (1800–1832) graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine, and was active in the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the 1820s. Streeter owned Staples’ manuscript map (“A Map of Northern Part of Mexico including Exeter and Wilson’s Grant...by S. McL. Staples, A. M. Surveyor General of Chihuahua”). Staples received a concession from the state of Chihuahua in 1828 to navigate the Rio Grande by steam- or horse-powered vessels. Short tear (no loss) at juncture with book block, else very fine.
 Mapa del Rio Grande desde su desembocadura en el golfo hasta San Vicente, Presidio Antíguo. Mandado formar por el primer miembro de la Comisión Pesquisidora de la Frontera del Norte, conforme á las noticias recojidas en el Expediente 4o., Señalándose los ranchos que hay por ambas orillas del Rio Grande, y los pueblos que la Comisión ha visitado anotándose éstos con la línea roja...Monterey Diciembre 173 M.J. Martinez [table below title at top right]: Notas, Ranchos mexicanos | Ranchos americanos. Neat line to neat line: 81 x 72 cm; overall sheet size: 85 x 75 cm. Original outline shading with routes shown in red. This superb large-scale folded map delineates the Rio Grande from its mouth to the Big Bend region, with portions of Texas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas. Exceedingly rare and among the most important maps for Texas and borderlands history in the nineteenth century. The incredible detail includes Mexican and American ranches along the Rio Grande, states, towns, villages, rivers, mountains, roads, forts, lakes, and landmarks. M.J. Martínez, a Mexican topographical engineer, created this map and gives credit to little-known Italian engineer Santiago Nigra de San Martín, who created the first separate map of Yucatan (see Antochiw, Historia Cartográfica de la Península de Yucatán, pp. 292-293). See also a short article on Nigra de San Martín in Dicc. Porrúa. Day, Maps of Texas, p. 87. 15 cm tear at juncture with book block (no losses), a few other clean splits, overall very fine, much better than usually found due to the cheap wood-pulp paper on which the map is printed.
First edition, followed by various Mexican editions (1875 and 1877) and translations into English published in New York (1875) and Washington (1876). One of the most important borderlands reports, which has been compared to the Pichardo treatise for its importance to borderlands history. The Mexican editions are far rarer than those published in English. This book is bibliographically complex—for a number of related works see: Adams, Guns 1108 (citing only the first section of 124 pages of present work). Adams, Herd 558 (New York, 1875, English language edition), 1130 (citing only the first section of 124 pages of present work) & 2264 (repeat of his entry 558). Eberstadt, Texas 162:774 (citing the Mexican edition of 1877, no maps). Graff 2765 (citing New York, 1875 edition). Howes I32 (various editions: Mexican edition of 1875 and 1877, neither calling for maps, plus New York 1875 edition); I33 (citing 1874 Mexican edition, 124 pages with one map, plus 1877 Mexican edition edition, no mention of any map or maps) & T143 (U.S. government report, Washington, 1876). Palau 119576 (Mexico, 1874; similar collation to present copy, but calls for only two maps); 119577 (appears to be same as his 119576 entry, without collation). Reese, Six Score 108 (citing the 1876 U.S. government report): “Important report dealing with cattle theft along the Mexican border. The testimony contains much on rustling problems and on cattle in south Texas generally.” Tate, The Indians of Texas 2469. The English-language editions do not contain all of the material found in this Mexican edition. The present 1874 edition is the earliest listed in OCLC. The complete Mexican text of this cornerstone report has never been printed in English, and a scholarly study, detailed bibliography, and full translation are long overdue. The first report provides a general history of lawlessness in the borderlands, while the primary focus of the second report is depredations by Native Americans. The appendix contains chronological charts outlining depredations in Nuevo Leon and Coahuila, followed by various reports, such as “Copia de la entrevista de los Comisionados y los indios Kickapoos residentes en Santa Rosa.”
The chronic social and political unrest that existed along the Mexican northern borderlands had long been a source of controversy between Mexico and the United States. Charges were traded back and forth that Texans dressed as Native Americans were plundering Mexican settlements and that raiders from Mexico were stealing large numbers of cattle from Texas ranches. These problems grew so severe that they resulted in official accusations exchanged between the two governments. In one case, for example, the United States government made claims against Mexico for nearly 150,000 head of rustled cattle. On the other hand, Mexico accused the United States of failing to control its Native American population and perhaps of even encouraging them to raid into Mexico. The sad fate of the village of Mier, for example, which was raided by Native Americans twenty times in just a short while, is laid firmly at the feet of the United States because they will not control their own Native American populations. Such cases are multiplied here. On a darker, more conspiratorial note, the Mexican commission implies that these situations are encouraged by United States citizens who still harbor hopes of conquering Mexico itself. Ironically, the problems covered here were eventually resolved by the gradual spread of law and order in Texas itself, which reduced cattle rustling, and by the eventual conquering by the United States of its own Native American population.
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