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Probably the First Known Announcement of the Capture of the Mier Expedition

141. [MIER EXPEDITION]. NUEVO LEÓN (Mexican State). GOBERNADOR (José María de Ortega). José María de Ortega, Gobernador y Comandante General del Departamento de Nuevo Leon, á los habitantes del mismo.... Conciudadanos: una horda de ochocientos vandidos tejanos tuvo la audacia de acometer a nuestras fronteras posesionandose de Laredo y Ciudad Guerrero.... la batalla memorable decidada por nuestra parte el 26 del presente en la Villa de Mier.... [Announcement that the Texans who invaded Mier have been defeated and captured]. [Dated and signed in print at end] José María de Ortega | Monterey Enero 1o. de 1843. Broadside on laid paper, 31 x 21.5 cm. Very good.

     First edition. Streeter 997.2 (locating only the Yale copy). “The Mier expedition, the last of the raiding expeditions from Texas into the area south of the Nueces River during the days of the Republic of Texas, was the most disastrous of the expeditions from Texas into Mexico” (Handbook of Texas Online: Mier Expedition). After capturing Laredo and Guerrero, Texas commander Alexander Somervell decided that it was safer to retreat back into Texas than to remain in northern Mexico, a decision that provoked the majority of his command to ignore the order and to proceed on into Mexico in search of plunder. Electing William S. Fisher as their leader, the force proceeded to capture Mier.

     After a ruse detained the Texans, they subsequently decided to take the town by force this time. Mexican general Pedro de Ampudia was able after a long day of hard fighting to force the Texans to capitulate on December 26, 1842, which event is gleefully announced here. The subsequent treatment of the captured force has been controversial ever since. The most famous subsequent event was the Black Bean Episode that resulted in the execution of seventeen men. Several Texans eventually managed to escape and others were released. In September, 1844, the remaining Texans were released from Perote Prison on Santa-Anna’s orders. The text here is remarkable for the venom it heaps on Texas and the Texans. This is the earliest such announcement listed by Streeter and may be the first made in Mexico concerning the capture. Because Monterrey was the state capital, news of the Mier action would have been dispatched there first, where it obviously arrived just a few days after the Texans' surrender and was rushed into print.

    Ortega (1793-1871), a professional soldier and politician, was one of Santa Anna's officers at the Battle of the Alamo and oversaw its destruction when Santa-Anna ordered it abandoned. He later fought against the U.S. in the Mexican-American War.

     Handbook of Texas Online: Pedro de Ampudia; Black Bean Episode; William S. Fisher; Mier Expedition; Somervell Expedition. ($1,500-3,000)

Sold. Hammer: $7,000.00; Price Realized: $8,225.00

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