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U.S. Army Newspaper Published in Mexico during the Occupation
Extra Prints Bound In

83. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR]. AMERICAN STAR, DAILY AMERICAN STAR & THE NORTH AMERICAN. 57 issues of three newspapers published in Mexico City in 1847 during the U. S. occupation of the capital at the end of the Mexican-American War. Text in English and Spanish, each issue being 4 pages (2 leaves) in four columns. Included in the volume are several lithographs (see below for detailed listing). Folio, contemporary three-quarter leather and marbled paper. The deteriorated contemporary binding has been removed but retained. Newspapers and other materials are now separate and individually preserved. Some of the newspapers and all the prints have been conserved by washing them when necessary, removing them from old backings, and making paper repairs. The entire collection is preserved in a custom one-half leather over marbled paper case with spine title in gilt lettering. Printed library label of City Library Association, Springfield, Massachusetts, on front pastedown. The institution was contacted and deaccession was authorized.

     First editions. Charno, Latin American Newspapers in United States Libraries, pp. 325-326 (American Star and Daily American Star), pp. 386-387 (The North American). Garrett & Goodwin, The Mexican-American War, p. 510 (Daily American Star).

Detailed contents as follow (in good to very good condition unless otherwise noted; some issues with light foxing)

American Star (Mexico City: Peoples & Barnard):

Vol. 1 No. 7 Oct. 5, 1847. Preserved and supported with tissue backing.

Daily American Star (Mexico City: Peoples & Barnard):

Vol. 1 No. 11 Oct. 13.

Vol. 1 No. 13 Oct. 15.    Edge paper repair affecting text. Vol. 1 No. 14 Oct. 16.

Vol. 1 No. 15 Oct. 17.    One page with crease and repair.

Vol. 1 No. 16 Oct. 19.

Vol. 1 No. 17 Oct. 20.

Vol. 1 No. 18 Oct. 21.

Vol. 1 No. 19 Oct. 22.    Some spotting.

Vol. 1 No. 20 Oct. 23.

Vol. 1 No. 21 Oct. 24.

Vol. 1 No. 22 Oct. 26.

Vol. 1 No. 23 Oct. 27.

Vol. 1 No. 24 Oct. 28.

Vol. 1 No. 25 Oct. 29.

Vol. 1 No. 26 Oct. 30.

Vol. 1 No. 28 Nov. 2.

Vol. 1 No. 30 Nov. 4.     Creased.

Vol. 1 No. 31 Nov. 5.

Vol. 1 No. 32 Nov. 6.

Vol. 1 No. 33 Nov. 7.

Vol. 1 No. 34 Nov. 9.

Vol. 1 No. 35 Nov. 10.

Vol. 1 No. 36 Nov. 11.    Small crease and tear.

Vol. 1 No. 37 Nov. 12.    Small hole.

Vol. 1 No. 38 Nov. 13.

Vol. 1 No. 39 Nov. 14.

Vol. 1 No. 40 Nov. 16.

Vol. 1 No. 41 Nov. 17.

Vol. 1 No. 42 Nov. 18.

Vol. 1 No. 44 Nov. 20.

Vol. 1 No. 45 Nov. 21.

Vol. 1 No. 46 Nov. 23.

Vol. 1 No. 47 Nov. 24.    Two-inch tear to one page

Vol. 1 No. 48 Nov. 25.

Vol. 1 No. 49 Nov. 26.

Vol. 1 No. 50 Nov. 27.

Vol. 1 No. 51 Nov. 28.

Vol. 1 No. 52 Nov. 30.

Vol. 1 No. 53 Dec. 1.

Vol. 1 No. 54 Dec. 2.

Vol. 1 No. 55 Dec. 3.

Vol. 1 No. 56 Dec. 4.     Two-inch tear to one page

Vol. 1 No. 57 Dec. 5.

Vol. 1 No. 58 Dec. 7.

Vol. 1 No. 59 Dec. 8.

The North American (Mexico City: W. C. Tobey):

Vol. 1 No. 8 Oct. 26.

Vol. 1 No. 10 Nov. 3.     Hole in blank margin.

Vol. 1 No. 11 Nov. 5.

Vol. 1 No. 13 Nov. 12.

Vol. 1 No. 14 Nov. 16.

Vol. 1 No. 15 Nov. 19.

Vol. 1 No. 16 Nov. 23.

Vol. 1 No. 17 Nov. 26.    Capt. Kimball in contemporary ink.

Vol. 1 No. 18 Nov. 30.

Vol. 1 No. 19 Dec. 3.

Vol. 1 No. 20 Dec. 7.     Tear & Kimball’s name in ink.

Additional materials as follow:

[ANONYMOUS]. Original unsigned charcoal sketch. Sheet size 32.7 x 48.4 cm. Lightly foxed, edges with slight chipping, small water stain in upper left corner.

[NEBEL, Carlos]. Interior De Mexico [below image] Ch. Nebel del. | Imp. par Benard. | Arnout lith. Lithograph with original color. Neat line to neat line: 23.3 x 34.3 cm. Minor wrinkling, closed 11-cm tear on left side affecting image, some light marginal foxing. Imágenes de México, pp. 630-631. From an edition of Nebel’s celebrated color plate book on Mexico (first came out in Paris, 1836, with various versions, some plagiarized, following). Plaza of Mexico with cathedral at left, coaches, riders, muleteer with team kicking up dust, carriers, and walkers, mountains in background.

[NEBEL, Carlos]. La Mantilla. Traje por la mañana. [below image] C. Nebel delt. | Lith. de Lemercier r. de Seine S. G. N. No. 55 | E. Lasalle Lith. Lithograph with original color. Neat line to neat line: 27.4 x 37.4 cm. Small closed tear in upper right just into image area, minor marginal spotting. Imágenes de México, pp. 636-637. Another plate from Nebel, this one a costume group in street scene with well-dressed threesome (man wearing cloak and hat, two women in fancy black dresses and mantillas), woman in balcony above, two peasants in humble attire sitting on street curb, cathedral in background.

[NEBEL, Carlos (after)]. Poblanas [lower right below image] Lit calle de la Palma no. 4. Uncolored lithograph. Neat line to neat line: 26.7 x 37.4 cm. Light foxing, light water stain in lower right blank corner. Cf. Imágenes de México, pp. 644-645. Plagiarized issue. Costume group set in doorway with three pretty ladies decked out in China poblana attire, smoking cigarettes, and one holding a big Mexican spur; man to left in fancy vaquero garb and spurs, saddle on ground at right. Perhaps this is the most enduring image of Nebel’s images of Mexico, quickly copied by George W. Kendall and a host of other print recyclers.

[NEBEL, Carlos (after)]. Arrieros. Uncolored lithograph Neat line to neat line: 28.6 x 39.5 cm. 10.5 cm closed tear into lower image area, light staining and small water stain at upper right just into image. Cf. Imágenes de México, pp. 664-665. This view appeared in a plagiarized version of Nebel’s work, with the same title. Imágenes de México, pp. 766-767. Costume group of three muleteers valiantly struggling to get a heavily loaded mule in action.

Vista de Chapultepec y el Molino Del Rey. Tomada en la Casa de Mata View of Chapultepec and Molino del Rey. From Casa de Mata. [upper right above image] Propiedad del Editor J. Rabouin [lower right in image] H. Mendez [upper left above image] Frente de la Profesa No. 7 [lower left below image] Lit. de R. C. de Tacuba, no. 14. Uncolored lithograph. Neat line to neat line: 22.2 x 35.7 cm. Marginal wear and chipping, some spotting at lower left not affecting image. Eyewitness to War 142 (illustrated on p. 320). Kurutz & Mathes, The Forgotten War, pp. 85-86: “This print by José Severo Rocha was probably produced for sale as a souvenir to occupying forces and was closely copied by Nathaniel Currier in New York in the same year.” Mexican lithographs of this type done during the war are uncommon, and this one is well done, far superior to the Currier knock-off. The lithographer was José Severo Rocha. Mathes, Mexico on Stone, pp. 17: “While the lithography shops of the Academia de San Carlos languished, a firm established by two Frenchmen, José Severo Rocha and Carlos Fournier, began the production of lithographs for public sale. At their shop...Rocha y Fournier (R y F) drew and printed the lithographs used to illustrate Mariano Fernández de Echeverría y Veytia’s three-volume Historia Antigua de México...thus initiating the practice of providing numerous plates to enhance an extensive text”; 55 (cited in bibliography); 65 (Rocha y Fornier).

Battle of Contreras. Mexico. August 19 and 20, 1847. Batalla de Contreras. Mexico Agosto. dias 19 al 20 de 1847. [signed lower right in stone] J. Heredia [along bottom below image] Imp. Lit de R.C. de Tacuba No. 14. | Luis Meunier, almacen de la Profesa 3a. C Sn. Francisco no. 5. Image area: 25.5 x 37.5 cm. Light foxing. Eyewitness to War 133: “Of the few existing prints of the battle of Contreras...this lithograph is one of the more intriguing. Its combined English and Spanish title suggests it was intended for sale to U. S. soldiers during the occupation.” Here José Severo Rocha works with J. Herédia (sometimes H. C.). Dr. Mathes comments on the fine quality of Herédia’s work (p. 24, Mexico on Stone) and notes his collaboration with Iriarte on the magnificent 1842 edition of El Ingenioso Hidalgo don Quijote e la Mancha.

Catedral De Mejico [along bottom below image] Luis Meunier Almacen de la Profesa 3a. Calle de Sn. Francisco no. 5 | Lit. de R. C. Tacuba no. 11. Uncolored lithograph. Image area: 28.9 x 38 cm. Some foxing, upper and lower blank margins chipped, the latter strengthened. The work of José Severo Rocha (see above).

View of Chapultepec taken from the South East. Showing the attack on the castle made by the Divisions of Genls. Quitman &. Shields. | Vista del Ataque al Castillo de Chapultepec por las Divisiones de los Generales Quitman y Shields. [along bottom below image] Luis Meunier Almacen de la Profesa 3a. Calle de Sn. Francisco no. 5 | Lit. de R. C. Tacuba no. 11. Uncolored lithograph. Image area: 25 x 37 cm. Some foxing, left and upper blank margins chipped, the latter reinforced closing two short tears. By José Severo Rocha. Imágenes de México, pp. 566-567. Kurutz and Mathes, p. 85: “It was probably created for sale as a souvenir to occupation forces.” Not in Eyewitness to War, Garrett, or Tyler.

Colegio Militar de Chapultepec. The Military College of Chapultepec. [along bottom below image] Lit. de M. Murguia en el Portal del Aguila de Oro, en Mexico. | Propriedad del Editor. [along top] Recuerdo de Mexico. Uncolored lithograph. Neat line to neat line: 25.4 x 38.4 cm. Moderately foxed, two of the blank margins chipped, upper part with repairs, light wrinkling at top. Not in Eyewitness to War, but cf. 154, wherein it is suggested that this view was originally by Pietro Gualdi. The Murguía firm was prolific and long-lived in nineteenth-century Mexico. Mathes, Mexico on Stone, p. 64 (Murguía)

La Alameda De Mexico [along bottom] Lit. de M. Murguia en el Portal del Aguila de Oro. | Propriedad del Editor. Uncolored lithograph. Neat line to neat line: 24.4 x 35.7 cm. Light foxing.

[GUALDI, Pietro]. Explicacion de la la. Vista Del Panorama De Mexico. Image area: 33 x 51.7 cm. Key at bottom in four columns. Creased vertically where formerly folded, split along fold (no losses), blank margins chipped, small tear at right barely into image area. Professionally repaired and backed. Imágenes de México, pp. 1024-1025. This is the first of a series of three outline views that originally appeared in his Monumentos de Méjico (1841). Mathes, Mexico on Stone, pp. 21: “A milestone in Mexican lithography was reached in 1841 with the publication of Monumentos de México...printed by Lara and lithographed by Massé and Decaen, with illustrations by Pedro Gualdi”; 55 (cited in bibliography); p. 64 (Massé y Decaen).

Mr. W. E. Burton as Dr. Ollapod in the Comedy of “The Poor Gentleman.” [lower left below image] “Painted by H. Inman”; [lower right below image] “Engraved by J. Sartain.” Steel engraving. Image area 10. x 8.8 cm. Fair.

Five pages of clipped and mounted newspaper articles, one from the Daily American Star Vol. 1, May 11, 1848 (including material on the apparent original owner of this volume, Capt. A. E. Kimball; most of the articles concern Vermonter Colonel Thomas P. Pierce, one of the chief organizers and leaders of the New Hampshire troops).

     The Daily American Star (started out as the American Star), was published in both Jalapa and Puebla as the U. S. Army advanced towards Mexico City itself. The paper ran from September 20, 1847 to May 30, 1848. The North American ran from September 29, 1847 to March 31, 1848. The final defeat of Mexican force occurred on September 14, 1847, and shortly afterwards Scott entered Mexico City.

     In many ways, these U. S. newspapers were just one more insult against the Mexican populace and its feelings. Printed on captured presses, the newspapers spouted the glories of U. S. occupation and often printed items that reinforced the hopelessness of the Mexican cause. The October 16 issue of the Daily American Star noted, for example, that a new, large U. S. flag had now been procured to fly over the National Palace, replacing the worn one that had been carried into the many battles Scott fought. The issue of October 26 announces the display of a new oil painting by James Walker depicting the storming of Chapultepec, which painting the editors hope will be reduced to lithography in New Orleans since it “would make an acceptable visitor in every family.” (See Tyler pp. 45-48 for a discussion of this famous painting and Peters, America on Stone, pp. 353-354, for the famous Sarony & Major lithograph based on it. The account here of the painting’s origin seems completely unknown.) The November 10 issue has an article on the futility and inappropriateness of Mexican women’s tender concerns for the San Patricios, whom the paper dismisses as “toad-spotted traitors who were taken in arms against their country.” The November 28 issue has a long essay denigrating Mexico, which opens, “Mexico is as false in pretending to be independent from Spain as she is in almost everything else”; the essay goes downhill from there. The North American ran a series of articles denigrating Santa-Anna (October 26 et seq). This newspaper went so far as to pursue a propaganda campaign favoring annexation of all of Mexico by the United States.

     Despite the sometimes onerous tone of the newspapers, they are vital for insights into the U. S. occupation of Mexico and into the daily business of running a captured city and country. Each issue contains numerous articles containing news and developments from elsewhere in Mexico and the world beyond intended for the consumption and information of not only Americans in Mexico City but also of the inhabitants. The North American, for example, in its November 5 issue remarks on the Texas Rangers that are with the army marching from Vera Cruz to Puebla. Stating that they live up to their name, the paper remarks that if they fall in with Mexican guerillas, the results are likely to be sanguinary “as the practice of taking prisoners appears to be entirely unknown to them.” Numerous army orders and other regulations governing daily life are also printed, although in one case soldiers are reminded that it is illegal to have some dispatches and information published without permission (The North American, November 16).

     The newspapers also give interesting insights into the everyday life of average Mexican citizens and their conquerers. Various ads document the intrusion into Mexican life of those associated with the army and the U. S. way of life. Numerous Anglos announce the opening of restaurants, livery stables, theaters, medical practices, and all other sorts of businesses, many of them intended to draw the dollars of the occupying Americans. Ads for such Mexican enterprises are almost totally absent. Such ads are reminders that the military conquest of Mexico also developed into an economic assault, as well.

     Finally, one is struck by how truly dangerous and violent a place occupied Mexico was. Some of the articles and information could have originated from today’s Baghdad and Iraq. Present are numerous reports of Mexicans killing each other and of Mexicans killing U. S. soldiers, whose bodies are found lying in the streets. The October 16 issue of the Daily American Star, for example, reports the murder of Sergeant Sutliffe and an unknown number of privates on the same night. In a sentiment reminiscent of occupying armies everywhere, the editors futilely hope, “An example will ere long be made of some of these assassins, that will be a warning for the rest.” Several issues of the paper print extensive, detailed casualty lists for U. S. troops (e.g., November 9), reminders of how costly the campaign had been. Reports of Mexican casualties are, of course, non-existent.

     The overall U. S. boosterism of these papers is somewhat belied by the included lithographs. Although they generally show images of U. S. battle victories, some of them seem to have been produced by profiteering Mexican publishers who made them specifically to sell to their occupiers, as the captions in two languages suggest. (It is difficult to believe that average Mexican citizens would be interested in immortalizing these defeats by hanging the images of them on the walls of their homes.) Despite the presence of the military scenes, however, it is also clear that the collector of these scenes found Mexican life seductive and charming, as is alluded to in many of the newspaper articles. Included, for example, are the famous lithographs showing the “Poblanas” and “La Mantilla,” both redolent with the exotic nature of Mexican women, who no doubt filled with wonder the country boys who made up the bulk of the U. S. army.

     Extensive runs of any of these newspapers are extremely rare. Charno reports that most libraries, except for Yale and the Library of Congress, hold only scattered issues or microfilms of either paper. The collection here is unusual in that it is supplemented by lithographs that were probably purchased in Mexico City by the original owner, Captain Kimball, who seems to have been there at the time of occupation. Newspaper clippings in the volume refer to a Captain E. A. Kimball of Company D, New Hampshire, of the New England Regiment. The Company was light infantry. He was one of the heroes of Churubusco and Chapultepec and was given a citation for the former battle for "gallant and meritorious conduct" and promoted to Major. (That probably explains all the Chapultepec prints in the album.) Supposedly Bravo surrendered to him at Chapultepec. One of the news articles identifies him (erroneously) as being from Vermont, but may in fact refer to Edgar Allison Kimball, a Vermonter who was also in the Mexican-American War. ($15,000-$20,000)

Sold. Hammer: $18,000.00; Price Realized: $21,150.00

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