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81. [MASONRY]. Bound collection of nine Mexican imprints on Masonry, two chromolithographs, and a broadside printed in Puebla de los Angeles and Mexico City, 1875-1879. (See short title list below.) 12mo and 8vo, bound in contemporary dark green Mexican sheep over black and grey mottled boards, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering. Also bound in with the volume are three related excerpts on Masonry from other unidentified works (not listed below). Condition very good to fine except for occasional light to moderate worming in lower gutters (costing a few letters and words) in two of the imprints.

Short title list & brief collations:

Jurisdiccion de la República Mexicana Rit. Es. Ant. y Acep. Constituciones Generales.... Mexico, 1878. 122 pp.

Reglamento Interior de la Resp. Log. “Gran Famiolia” Num. Diez y Ocho.... Puebla, 1878. 14 pp.

Reglamento Interior de la R. Gr. Log. de Est. al Or. de 17 de Setiembre de 1878. N.p., n.d. 8 pp.

Liturgia del ler. Gr. (Rito Esc. Ant. y Acep.)...Mandada observar por el Sup. Cons. de Mexico.... Mexico: Imprenta de Jens y Zaplain, 1878. 44 pp.

Liturgia de Comp. Mas....Mandada observar por el Sup. Cons. de Mexico.... Mexico: Imprenta del Gobierno, en Palacio, 1878. 34 pp.

Liturgia del 3er. Gr. Ceremonial de Llog. y Ggr. Llog. sancionada y mandada observar por el Sup. Cons. de Mexico.... Mexico, 1879. 76 [2] pp.

Liturgia del Grado 13o Precedida del extracto de los Ggr. 4o. al 13o. inclusive por el Sob. Gr. Consistorio de Mexico.... Mexico, 1879. 30 pp.

Prontuario de los Ggr. 14o. al 17o. inclusive para uso de...Mexico.... Mexico, 1879. 51 pp.

Liturgia del grado 18o. del R.A.A.E. 15o. de los capitulares....en la República Mexicana. Mexico, 1875. 22 pp.

     Mexican Masonry has long had a reputation for involvement in political and religious intrigue, including some Texas-Mexico lore such as Sam Houston’s sparing Santa-Anna’s life after the Mexican leader’s defeat and capture at San Jacinto. All such lore aside, Masonry has exerted influence in Mexico since its earliest documented introduction in 1791, when French retainers of the Viceroy organized the first lodge and the local parish priest tipped off the Inquisition, resulting in French chef Laussel’s sentence of three years imprisonment in Africa as heretic and Freemason. During the struggle for Mexican independence from Spain, the Masonic lodge, shrouded as it was in mystery and confidentiality, offered the perfect privacy for political fomentation (Masonic lore suggests that Father Hidalgo was a Mason). Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, tried unsuccessfully to buy Texas from Mexico, but managed to introduce York Rite Masonry into Mexico, possibly as an avenue to extend U.S. influence in Mexico. He was assisted by Lorenzo de Zavala, noted Texas patriot and one time Vice-President of the Republic of Texas.

     Fast-forwarding past the history of Masonry in Mexico, the present works focus on the rules and rites of late nineteenth-century Masons in Mexico. Although unsigned, from the library of General Juan N. Méndez (1820-1894), who fought in most of Mexico’s late nineteenth-century wars, including both the U.S. and French invasions and twice served as governor of Puebla. It was probably assembled by him in this eclectic fashion for his own personal use. Of special interest are two large, highly unusual chromolithographs by L. A. Eschaury at the end of the volume: [1] El Gran Geroglífico de la Naturaleza (sheet size: 49.2 x 64 cm); [2] Biblioteca Masonica Universal. Piedra Angular llamada impropiamente Piedra Cúbica de Punta (sheet size: 47.2 x 64 cm). A large folio broadside at end gives a list of Masons at the Puebla lodge founded on May 20, 1869. ($150-300)

Sold. Hammer: $150.00; Price Realized: $176.25

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