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October 26, 2007

Early Bangs Imprint signed by a Texas Governor

10. [BANGS, Samuel (printer)]. SPAIN. LAWS (April 15, 1820). [Decree putting back in force previous decrees and regulations]. [At top] D Joaquín de Arredondo Mioño, Pelegrín, Bravo de Hoyos y Venero, Caballero de la Orden de Calatrava.... [text commences] Por el Ministerio de la Governación de Ultramar se me ha dirijdo la Real Orden del tenor siguiente.... Los Decretos que las Cortes generales y extraordinarias, y tambien ordinarias.... [dated and signed in print at end] Dado en Monterrey a 17 de Octobre de 1820. Joaquín de Arredondo (with his ink paraph). [Monterrey, 1820]. Folio (31.5 x 21.3 cm). Broadside printed on laid watermarked paper. Creased where formerly folded, two edges lightly browned and wrinkled, otherwise very good. Signed in full in ink by Rafael Gonzáles, who signs for lack of a secretary

            Monterrey edition of a Spanish decree. Jenkins, Printer in Three Republics 21. Spell 28. This decree is a very early imprint by Samuel Bangs, first printer west of the Louisiana Purchase in Texas, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and Coahuila. This imprint is an early example of printing in Nuevo León. It bears the ink paraph of Joaquín de Arredondo, to whom Bangs owed his life. In 1816 and 1817, Bangs joined the Mina expedition and created the first Texas imprints when still a teenager. Mina and most of his party were captured and executed. When Royalist general Arredondo found Bangs and his little printing press, he made Bangs his personal captive. Sent to Monterrey in chains, Bangs languished in prison and worked on a chain gang cobbling streets for three years. In 1820, Arredondo remembered the young man and the press and released him to print decrees like this one.

            This decree by newly re-established King Ferdinand VII states that all former decrees and regulations are again in force. This publication promulgates the order in the borderland states of Coahuila, Texas, Nuevo León, and Nuevo Santander. The decree is signed by Rafael Gonzáles (1789-1857), a Tejano born in San Fernando de Béxar, who was governor of Coahuila y Tejas during 1824-1826. The Texas town of Gonzáles is named for him. Barely a year after this reassertion of royal authority, the Mexican independence movement, of which Gonzáles was a prominent member, broke out. ($1,200-2,400)

Sold. Hammer: $2,400.00; Price Realized: $2,820.00

Auction 21 Abstracts

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