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Texas Borderland Troubles, as Usual


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70.     [BORDERLANDS]. UNITED STATES. CONGRESS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS. Testimony Taken…in Relation to the Texas Border Troubles. Washington: HMD 64, 1878. [2], [1] 2-312, [2] pp., 2 folding lithograph maps: [1] untitled large-scale map of the Texas-Mexico border, with tracks of wagon road, route of Shafter, Keys, Young, et al. shown in red, neat line to neat line: 42 x 60 cm; overall sheet size: 46.5 x 64.5 cm; [2] Extract from Carte du Mexique Dresseé au Depôt de la Guerre, par Mr. Niox…Paris 1873, topographical shading in terracotta, neat line to neat line: 37.5 x 60.2 cm; overall sheet size: 41.7 x 62.5 cm. 8vo (22.7 x 14.7 cm), unbound, as issued (new protective plain wrappers). A few tears and chips to first leaf neatly mended and the two excellent, little-known maps of the Texas-Mexico Borderlands neatly repaired at folds. Very fine copy. Eberstadt pencil code on title page.

     First edition. Tate, The Indians of Texas: An Annotated Research Bibliography 2491: “An essential source of detailed reports and sworn testimony for Indian and bandit attacks in South Texas since the 1850s and the Mexican government’s failure to take action against these raiders. The report is also useful in providing information on attempts to find historical precedents for pursuing ‘renegade Indians’ across international boundaries.” Not in Adams or Howes.

     This scarce and important Borderlands report documents the ongoing troubles that plagued the Rio Grande region for decades, as numerous fingers were pointed back and forth in a futile attempt to assign blame. One map shows U.S. efforts to suppress border raids, even including raids into Mexico itself. In response to objections raised by Mexico, the committee convened to investigate border problems. The report is replete with detailed testimony on the border: Native American tribes; problems of ranchers and settlers in the region; cattle rustlers and bandits; statistics and history of military presence; salt war; Texas Rangers; Black troops; copious history and statistics on the cattle trade, etc. Those testifying include military officials (Sherman, Sheridan, Ord, Shafter, et al.), ranchers, customs officials, merchants, the U.S. Consul at Matamoros, and others. Diplomatic correspondence, translations of reports from Mexican newspapers, and related material document the Mexican perspective. Testimony by Lt. Col. William Shafter and Lieut. Bullis includes accounts of their expeditions into northern Mexico in pursuit of Native Americans who had been marauding the Texas frontier.

     A 21-page Appendix includes articles in English from Mexican newspapers as well as reports by Mexican officials showing their concerns over U.S. military intrusions into their territory. Texas Ranger Captain Lee McNelly’s fight at Las Cuevas is also included in the committee’s report. The report documents both the U.S. and Mexican perspectives.


Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $600.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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