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October 26, 2007

Bangs’ Last Imprint in Coahuila
Regarding Natural History, Mining & Maps

14. [BANGS, Samuel (printer)]. MEXICO (Republic). Circular letter (May 7, 1830). [Circular letter asking cooperation in collecting natural history specimens to form a national collection and to create a new map of Mexico, with instructions for collecting specimens]. [At top] Gobierno Supremo del Estado Libre de Coahuila y Tejas. [text commences] El Ecsmo Sr. Ministro de Estado y de Relaciones, con fecha 7 de Mayo procsimo pasado me dice lo que sigue.... “Ecsmo Sr.--Penetrado el Ecsmo. Sr. Vice-Presidente de la ventajas que traera a la Nación el poseer una colección general de los planos de las minas.... [Dated and signed in type at end] Leona Vicario 3 de Julio de 1830. José María Viesca | Santiago del Valle, with their parafs. [Saltillo: Samuel Bangs, 1830]. [6] pp. Folio (31.6 x 21.8 cm) printed on laid watermarked paper. Directed in contemporary ink manuscript to the alcalde of Capellanía. Creased where formerly folded, small triangular piece wanting from left blank margin, otherwise very good.

            Coahuilatecan edition of a federal decree. Jenkins, Printer in Three Republics 371: “This is the last known imprint of Bangs in Coahuila.” Not in Spell. The final five pages are headed Instrucción. Para colectar y preparar objetos de Historia Natural, formada por orden del Supremo Gobierno. In the first document, Vice-President Alemán laments the poor state of physical knowledge about the country and urges those who are in a position to do so to cooperate in collecting specimens of natural history. He is especially concerned with mineral products and the output of mines. He also requests that persons who have any maps, of any state and of any type, send him copies of them, since the entire republic is not correctly mapped and they are needed to assist with that effort. Finally, he asks for samples of local crafts and industrial objects so that they may be sent to the capital to form part of a more extensive collection there.

            The second and longer part of this circular letter is a list of the types of objects that are of interest and instructions for collecting them. Desired are plants of all types, including wild and domestic kinds; animals, including reptiles; and minerals, all specimens of which should be carefully wrapped to prevent damage and should have their origins indicated. Curiously, at the end of the document the indolent and oppressive former Spanish government is blamed for the dismal state of knowledge concerning Mexico itself. ($600-1,200)

Sold. Hammer: $600.00; Price Realized: $705.00

Auction 21 Abstracts

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