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Santa-Anna’s Propaganda Broadside in English
Enticing U.S. Troops to Desert

“The Mexican Nation only look upon you as some deceived foreigners”

131. [MEXICAN AMERICAN WAR]. MEXICO (Republic). PRESIDENT. LÓPEZ DE SANTA-ANNA, Antonio. The President of the Mexican Republic to the troops engaged in the Army of the United States of America. [Text commences] The circumstances of war have brought you to the beautiful valley of Mexico; in the midst of a wealthy and fertile country. The American governement [sic] engaged you to fight against a country from which you have received no harm.... In the name of the Nation I represent, and whose authority I exercise, I offer you a reward, if deserting the American standard you present yourselves like friends to a nation that offer [sic] you rich fields and large tracts of land.... [Signed at end] General Quarters in the Peñon August the 15th 1847. Antonio Lopez de Santa-Anna. Broadside (24.5 x 16.3 cm), wove paper. Except for small area of damage in upper blank margin, very fine.

     First printing of an extraordinary and ephemeral Santa-Anna propaganda broadside in English. Garrett & Goodwin, The Mexican-American War, p. 479. Howell 52-231. Kurutz & Mathes, The Forgotten War. 78 (illustrated on p. 77). Not in Graff, Howes, Palau, etc. Santa-Anna appeals to U.S. troops to desert and join the Mexican cause, stating that “the Mexican Nation only look upon you as some deceived foreigners and hereby stretch out to you a friendly hand [and] offer to you the felicity and fertility of their territory.” U.S. soldiers are invited to apply directly to Santa-Anna.

     A rare survival of a Mexican propaganda piece intended to induce U. S. troops to desert to the Mexican cause, a campaign that had started as the forces faced each other across the Rio Grande at the start of the war. Blandishments here heaped on potential deserters include offers of land and wealth, freedom from slavery, and a peaceful, bucolic life with few wants or cares. Amazingly, such propaganda had its effect. Enough U.S. soldiers deserted to form their own unit, known as the San Patricio Battalion, several hundred men strong. They fought fiercely at the Battle of Churubusco, which occurred only four days after this broadside was issued. In the end, most of the San Patricios were hanged after capture by the U.S. military, although some were punished otherwise; a few were pardoned. Some remained in Mexico after the war and were used by the Mexican government in military service before being completely dissolved in 1848. The executions of the San Patricios inflamed the Mexican populace. ($1,500-3,000)

Sold. Hammer: $2,000.00; Price Realized: $2,350.00

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