[HISTORIES]. FROST, John. Pictorial History of Mexico and the Mexican War: Comprising an Account of the Ancient Aztec Empire, the Conquest by Cortes, Mexico under the Spaniards, the Mexican Revolution, the Republic, the Texan War, and the Recent War with the United States.... Embellished with Five Hundred Engravings, from Designs of W. Croome and other Distinguishing Artists. Philadelphia: Published by Thomas, Cowperthwait and Co., for James A. Bill, 1850. [i-iii] iv-xii,  14-640 pp., frontispiece (Landing of the Troops at Vera Cruz. Image area: 31.7 x 46.7 cm; overall sheet size: 34.5 x 48.6 cm. Creased where formerly folded, irregularly trimmed; matted and separate from book), six chromolithographs, most with original tissue guards, all with hand-applied highlights and gilt. 8vo (23.2 x 16cm), full modern black leather with gilt-lettered spine label and “Anthony T. Lovette” gilt on the upper cover. Several pages with moderate stains, light waterstaining to outer margins of first 162 pages. Frontispiece and plates very fine. Faint ink stamp of Mexico City bookbinder Castilleja on front flyleaf.
Third edition (first edition 1848). Garrett & Goodwin, p 24. LC, An Album of American Battle Art, pp. 135-136 & plate 62. Tutorow 4377. Sandweiss notes that the chromolithographs are among the earliest to appear in an American book (pp. 33-35 & 266-267). Sandweiss also comments that the folded frontispiece did not stand up well to manipulation.
An omnibus history of Mexico written to satisfy public “anxiety to learn something of the whole antecedent history of the sister republic” (p. iii). The Mexican-American War takes up the bulk of the book, covering pp. 178-640. Frost states that his sources are “official authorities chiefly; the dispatches of the general officers, and the reports of their subordinates being considered the most reliable sources of information; although the author has had opportunity of considerable personal intercourse with officers of rank who have taken an active and conspicuous part in the contest” (p. iv). One interesting detail of the Texas campaign is the transcribing in full of an address by Ampudia to the “English and Irish” in the U.S. Army seeking to encourage desertions (pp. 196-199). Frost snorts, “This produced little effect” (p. 199). The title-page woodcut probably depicts a stylized view of Ringgold’s death.
Sold. Hammer: $200.00; Price Realized: $245.00.