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October 26, 2007

“Passed in the flush of the victory at the Alamo” -Streeter

195. MEXICO (Republic). LAWS (April 14, 1836). [Decree of the Congreso general, approved by José Justo Corro, President ad interim, and promulgated the same day by José Maria Tornel, composed of five articles regarding Texian prisoners and seven articles for its implementation]. [At top] Secretaría de Guerra y Marina. Sección Central. Mesa 1a. [text commences] El Exmo. Sr. Presidente interino de la República Mexicana se ha servido dirigirme el decreto que sigue... Art. Io. “A los prisioneros hechos en la guerra de Tejas á la fecha de la publicacion de este decreto, que hubieren incurrido en la pena capital segun las leyes, se indulta de ella, aunque hayan sido aprehendidos con las armas en la mano... [dated and signed in type at end] México 14 de Abril de 1836. Tornel. [Mexico City, 1836]. Folio (30.5 x 21.2 cm), 2 pp. with integral blank printed on laid watermarked paper. Creased where formerly folded, otherwise fine.

            First edition. Eberstadt, Texas 162:839. Palau 331173 (150 pesos Porrúa 1949). Streeter 876 (locating only his own copy, now at Yale, yet there was a copy in the Streeter sale): “Passed in the flush of the victory at the Alamo.” Streeter, The Only Located Copies of One Hundred Forty Texas Pamphlets and Broadsides 88. Streeter Sale 347. The first five articles are as follows: (1) prisoners taken in the Texas war at the time of the publication of this decree who are under sentence of death are commuted from it, even if they were taken with arms in hand; (2) the same commutation is applied to those who voluntarily place themselves under control of the Government subject to its terms; (3) the exceptions from this pardon, in all cases, are the principal leaders of the revolution—those who have formed the so called General Council of Texas, those who have intrusively served as governor and vice-governor, those who have been captured commanding any land or sea armed force, and those who have committed a murder in cold blood. (4) Capital punishment shall be commuted to perpetual exile from the Republic for colonists who entered under the law of 6 April, 1830. Others may elect the same punishment, or that of confinement for ten years in places in the interior designated by the Government, which must be at least sixty leagues from the coasts and border areas. (5) Those colonists who migrated legally and elect confinement in the interior of the Republic under the previous article may have their time reduced relative to their greater or lesser participation in the war, but not to less than four years.

            The seven articles of implementation are: (1) the time set for the surrender of insurgent colonists is fifteen days, but may be extended by the President Commanding General of the Army (Santa-Anna); (2) the determination of the time and place for the embarkation of those to be exiled is to be made by the Commanding General; (3) the place or places of confinement for those who elect to remain in the Republic will be determined by the government after consultation with the Commanding General; (4) a reduction in time of confinement of legal colonists will be subject to the opinion of the Commanding General; (5) the President Commanding General of the Army may delegate authority to division commanders if so desired; (6) the President Commanding General will issue a document to those pardoned that confirms the commutation conceded and ordering that descriptive identification be taken of those exiled so that they can be recognized in the event that they return to the Republic; (7) if exiles who return are identified, it will be considered an aggravation of their crime and will be judged according to the law.

            Events at the field of San Jacinto a week later would obviate the necessity for such a decree. ($1,500-3,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,762.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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