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Classic Borderlands Report—Basic Texas Book & Wagner-Camp

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39.     BERLANDIER, [Jean] Louis & Rafael Chovel. Diario de viage de la Comisión de Límites que pusó el gobierno de la República, bajo la dirección del Exmo. Sr. General de División D. Manuel de Mier y Terán. Lo escribieron por su órden los individuos de la misma Comisión D. Luis Berlandier y D. Rafael Chovel. Mexico: Tipografía de Juan R. Navarro, Calle de Chiquis Número 6, 1850. [1-7] 8-298 [1, index], [1, blank] pp. 8vo (22 x 15.7 cm), contemporary tan Mexican sheep over boards covered with brown pebble paper, spine stamped in gilt and blind, black leather spine label with title in gilt, raised bands, brown and blue mottled endpapers. Boards rubbed, shelf worn, corners bumped; lower hinge slightly cracked (but holding strong); mild to moderate foxing to text, light marginal waterstaining; p. 235 has small piece missing from lower blank margin. Wanting the portrait of Mier y Terán found in some copies. Several effaced Biblioteca del Cabildo Metropolitano de México library stamps and an old printed paper shelf list label on front pastedown.

     First edition. Basic Texas Books 14: “A few copies are known with a frontispiece…the best scientific study of Texas during the colonial period…. He was observant, careful, and intelligent, and he left us a record that is unmatched for his era in Texas.” Bibliotheca Mejicana 505. Eberstadt, Texas 162:66. Graff 278: “Both Howes and Raines call for two maps which are not in the present copy. Copies with two maps have not been found and it is doubtful that they were issued.” Howell 50, California 19 (lacking portrait). Howes B379. Palau 27991. Plains & Rockies IV:178a. Raines, p. 24. Sabin 12892 & 48885. Streeter 781n: “Under the leadership of Terán the expedition left Mexico City on November 10, 1827, and with various interruptions journeyed quite extensively in Texas.”

     Berlandier was part of the commission sent out by the Mexican government in 1827 to explore the boundaries of Texas. The exploration was to establish the boundary between the United States and Mexico in accordance with the Adams-Onís treaty. He spent nearly three years in the southwestern wilderness, much of that time in Texas. This book collects his day-by-day journal and reports, which provided the most detailed description of Texas available at the time.

     Berlandier (ca. 1805-1851) was born in Switzerland and came to Mexico in 1826 to conduct botanical explorations. He joined the Boundary Commission in 1827 and collected specimens in and around Laredo, San Antonio, Gonzales, and San Felipe. After recuperating from an illness in Matamoros, he returned to San Antonio and explored the area around the San Saba River. He continued to make further collecting trips to Texas. During the Mexican-American War he was in charge of the hospitals in Matamoros and served as an interpreter. He drowned in the San Fernando River near Matamoros (Handbook of Texas Online: Jean Louis Berlandier).


Sold. Hammer: $1,700.00; Price Realized: $2,040.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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