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ONE OF THE FIFTY TEXAS RARITIES
THE APOSTLE OF TEXAS
104. ESPINOSA, Isidro Felix de. El Peregrino
Septentrional Atlante: Delineado en la Exemplarissima Vida
del Venerable Padre F. Antonio Margil de Jesús.
Mexico: Joseph Bernardo de Hogal, 1737.  456  pp.,
title printed in red and black within typographical border,
copper-engraved plate of Margil preaching to Native
Americans, text engraving of St. Anthony of Padua,
occasional engraved text ornamentation. Small 4to, full
modern crimson morocco, spine gilt lettered, raised bands,
black calf doublures with ornate gold-tooled borders, gilt
dentelles, a.e.g. Trifling wear to right margin of engraved
plate (expertly restored, not affecting image and barely
touching only one small spot on the line border). Corners
slightly bumped. A beautiful copy, with brief contemporary
ink note on title. Preserved in red slipcase.
First edition, the preferred variant with the titlepage printed in red and black. There are two settings of the titlepage, the priority of which has not been determined. The present copy has Sto. Officio on line 10, and Impressa con Licencia on line 5 from the bottom. Pages 426-27 are uncensored (unlike most copies) by the Inquisition (because of references to the apocalyptic cherub Uriel). Another edition of this work was printed in Spain in 1742. This Mexican edition is preferredin addition to being the first edition and an American imprint, the Mexican edition was created by master printer Hogal, considered to be the Ibarra of Mexico. Basic Texas Books 59A: "This is the life of the man known as 'the Apostle of Texas,' written by a friend who accompanied him in his travels.... Margil and Espinosa were involved in the founding of several missions in Texas in the early eighteenth century, and Margil is credited with the conversion of Texas Indians." Fifty Texas Rarities 5. Graff 1260. Harper XIV:338: "One of the most important books ever issued for the study of Southwestern history." Howes E84. Jones 444. Leclerc 1129. Library of Congress, Texas Centennial Exhibition 40. Medina 3461. Palau 82703. Raines, p. 78. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 102. Tate (The Indians of Texas: An Annotated Research Bibliography) does not cite the original edition of this work, but in a reference to a modern printing of one of Espinosa's reports, Tate comments: "Describes in great detail numerous cultural and material aspects of the Tejas people who resided in the vicinity of present Nacogdoches. An absolutely essential primary source for researchers."
Pingenot: Rare and important account by a leading participant in the founding of the first mission settlements in East Texas. Padres Antonio Margil and Isidro Felix de Espinosa, the author, accompanied the Domingo Ramón expedition in 1716 from Presidio de San Juan Bautista on the Rio Grande to establish a mission base in East Texas. Margils labors not only resulted in the first permanent civil settlement of Texas but vitiated possible French encroachment into Spanish Territory. Of equal importance for a collection on Guatemala, where Margil is known as the Apostle of Guatemala. "Arguably the most famous missionary to serve in Texas, Antonio Margil de Jesús remains under consideration for sainthood by the Vatican" (The Handbook of Texas Online (Antonio Margil de Jesús; Isidro Felix de Espinosa).