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Texas, California, the Southwest U.S., Mexico & the Borderlands:
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Lot 76

“La pérdida de Tejas acarrearia inevitablemente la del Nuevo-México y de las Californias”

76. TORNEL [Y MENDÍVIL], José María. Tejas y los Estados Unidos de América, en sus relaciones con la República Mexicana. Mexico: Impreso por Ignacio Cumplido, calle de los Rebeldes N. 2, 1837. 98 pp. 8vo, printed tan wrappers (upper wrapper in excellent sympathetic facsimile, lower wrapper original). Tiny void on title (no loss), text with mild to moderate browning, overall a very good copy. Copies in wrappers are the exception.

     First edition of Tornel’s domino theory regarding Texas.Eberstadt, Texas 162:841. Fifty Texas Rarities 18. Graff 4167. Howell, California 50:233: “An important analysis of Mexican-Texan relations. The former Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States from Mexico, General Tornel was at the time this pamphlet was written Secretary of War and Marine. He details all land grants up to 1837, and reports on the American attempts at revolution in California, as well as their various schemes for colonizing Mexican territories.” Howes T302 (“b”). Palau 334525. Rader 3145. Ramos, Bibliografía de la Historia de México 4329. Sabin 96208. Streeter 932: “This is a hasty review of the history of Texas to after San Jacinto, written with considerable venom by Tornel, while he was Secretary of War and Marine."

     A man reputed to be more like Santa Anna than even the dictator himself, Tornel (1789-1853) was not one to be taken in by events or blinded by rose-colored glasses. He clearly saw that the United States would in all probability, under whatever pretext, attempt to take not only Texas but also other Mexican territories, including California and New Mexico. He believed so deeply that Anglos should be kept from Mexican possessions that at one point in the early 1830s he even stopped issuing permits for new colonists in Texas, a move overturned by others obviously less insightful about possible outcomes. Written after the defeat at San Jacinto, this work, although reviewing with some impartiality the Texas grants and their progress, urges in the strongest terms that the war be continued, stating that the loss of Texas would merely set in train the disastrous series of events so correctly predicted here: “La pérdida de Tejas acarrearia inevitablemente la del Nuevo-México y de las Californias; y poco á poco se iria menoscabando nuestro territorio, hasta quedar reducidos á una espresion insignificante” (p. 90). ($2,500-5,000)

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