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October 26, 2007

A Vehement Attack on Santa-Anna
¡O Existir con Honor, O no Existir!

184. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR]. VALENCIA, Gabriel. [Caption title] Gabriel Valencia á sus conciudadanos [text commences] MEXICANOS. Triste es en lugar de darse los pormenores de una victoria espléndida y completa para las armas mexicanas.... [At end] Zacatecas: Reimpreso por Aniceto Villagrana, 1847. [Zacatecas, 1847]. 4 pp., printed in double column, woodcut above imprint on p. 4 of a Mexican eagle. Folio (32 x 20.7 cm). Creased where formerly folded and old stab hole in left blank margin (not affecting text), light soiling at edges, a few tiny losses in upper blank margins, but overall very good. Rare.

            Reprint of a ten-page 8vo pamphlet first published at Toluca in August 22, 1847. We find no bibliographical references to the present folio edition, which augments the original pamphlet by reprinting an article from a Mexican newspaper containing a statement from the Estandarte de los Chinacates on the proposed armistice. For the ten-page pamphlet, see: Kurutz & Mathes, The Forgotten War, p. 79; Garrett & Goodwin, The Mexican-American War, p. 166; Harper 12:348. Yale has the ten-page pamphlet along with the present reprint, as well as versions appearing at the same year in Morelia and Oaxaca.

            Valencia gives an account of the battle of Contreras and his role in it. The detailed description of the unfolding battle makes it clear that Valencia believed he could defeat the U.S. Army, except that Santa-Anna refused to reinforce him, an action some believe was motivated by jealousy. He remarks that on the 20th his position became untenable and he was forced to retreat. The excerpt from the newspaper denounces the armistice and Santa-Anna along with all the Mexican generals who have for years lived on the public treasury and the blood of their brothers. This text was frequently republished by Santa-Anna’s detractors.

            Valencia (1799-1848), a professional military officer in the Mexican Army, fought in Texas in 1836, administered the California Pious Fund, and later fought in the Mexican-American War. He was very much a part of the political and military intrigues of his day and had an on-again-off-again relationship with Santa-Anna. At one point he was president of Mexico for exactly three days between Herrera and Paredes. ($250-500)

Sold. Hammer: $425.00; Price Realized: $499.38

Auction 21 Abstracts

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