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October 26, 2007

Texas Ephemera
Official Mexican News on Texas 1836-1840

243. [TEXAS WAR]. Diario del Gobierno de la República Mexicana. Mexico City: Imprenta del Águila, José Ximeno & I[gnacio Cumplido], 1836-1840. Five issues of four pages each and two supplements (three and four columns), most containing materials about Texas. Folio (approximately 41.5 x 31.4 cm), with wood-engraved masthead (two variants of the Mexican eagle). All creased where formerly folded and lightly browned, otherwise good. Issues and contents are as follows:

(1) Vol. VI, No. 518 (29 September 1836), pp. 113-116. Contains:

--Under “Parte no oficial,” a reprint of an August 5, 1836, New Orleans editorial denouncing the Texas blockade of Matamoros and a second undated editorial on the same subject from the same source. Another article concerns the growth of the Texas Army.

--Under “Departamento de Oajaca,” a September 18, 1836, announcement that General Gabriel Valencia has departed for Texas with 6,000 troops to suppress the rebellion.

(2) Vol. X, No. 1064 (29 March 1838), pp. 349-352. Contains:

--A March 9, 1838, address from Matamoros by Vicente Filisola and his officers to their troops and the populace of the Borderlands urging the former toward sacrifice, heroism, and steadfastness, and the latter toward patience and patriotism in light of assaults on them launched by “las feroces hordas de los bárbaros y de las inmorales gabillas de los voluntarios de Tejas.”

            “This address, evidently occasioned by the growth of Federalist sentiments and the activities of Federalist volunteers from Texas, who are characterized as ‘bandits and pirates,’ pays tribute to the government troops for their endurance of privations without complaints and calls on them and the people generally to support the Central Government” (Streeter 937, citing separate publication).

(3) Vol. XV, No. 1687 (December 11, 1839), pp. [285]-288. Contains:

--Under “Cámara de diputados,” text of a proposed December 7, 1839, law establishing several methods to raise funds for pacifying Texas. Not in Streeter.

--December 9, 1839, decree by J. N. Almonte (Handbook of Texas Online: Juan Nepomuceno Almonte) declaring that all people who act or write in favor of Texas adventurers or of dismembering the Republic are traitors. Not in Streeter.

--Under “Departamento de Tamaulipas,” a furious, anonymous address dated Tampico, November 27, 1839, denouncing the Texans, the Federalists (e. g., Canales), and their sympathizers, who, the author says, want to dismember northern Mexico. Relates to the Republic of the Rio Grande.

--Under “Departamento de Veracruz,” news items taken from various sources, reporting such things as deaths in Galveston, the high price of goods in Houston, and the escape of Lemus (a false report). One tongue-in-cheek remark concerns customs collections: “La misma Gaceta de Galveston contiene un extenso artículo sobre fraudes y pecadillos en la aduana, por lo que parece que el gobierno tejano no es mas afortunado que el nuestro en hallar servientes integros.”

--Although it does not fall under the heading of Texana, an interesting, unsigned essay urges the value of smallpox inoculation and denounces those who do not vaccinate their children.

(4) Vol. XVI, No. 1725 (January 19, 1840), pp. [73]-76. Contains:

--Long article about the activities of the military statistical commission, which is proposing a new, large-scale map of Mexico. Among the extensive cartographic resources listed is an original Austin map of Texas. This is apparently the genesis of the large manuscript map of Mexico executed by Pedro García Conde that now hangs in the SMGE in Mexico City. (See Jackson, Shooting the Sun II, pp. 543 (Entry #88) & Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 462).

(5) Vol. XVI, No. 1801 (April 5, 1840), pp. [377]-380.

--Under “Secretaria de la Cámara de Diputados, text of a proposed April 1, 1840, law to raise funds to continue the Texas war by imposing a progressive tax. Not in Streeter.

(6) Supplement, June 21, 1840.

--Report from the Banco Nacional about the Mexican tobacco industry.

(7) Supplement, January 31, 1841.

--Report by Surgeon Manuel de Jesús Febles on a private arbitration he performed to resolve a financial dispute.

The 1838 issue was printed by José Ximeno, and the remainder are by noted Mexican lithographer and printer Ignacio Cumplido, whose elaborate masthead (with Mexican eagle with rattlesnake, volcano, view of Mexico City, fruits, flowers, etc.) is far superior to his predecessor’s simple eagle with two banners and rays.

            Charno, Latin American Newspapers (pp. 332-333). The Diario, the official periodical of the Mexican government, was established on February 10, 1835, and ran until late 1847. Individual issues are rarely found on the market, and even larger research libraries have only scattered issues.

            These newspapers preserve many events that were never printed or recorded anywhere else. ($500-1,000)

Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $587.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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