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First Complete Translation into English of Mexican Laws re Texas

Kimball’s Laws & Decrees—Printed in Houston in 1839

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136.     COAHUILA Y TEJAS (Mexican state). LAWS. Laws and Decrees of the State of Coahuila and Texas, in Spanish and English. To Which is Added the Constitution of Said State: Also: The Colonization Law of the State of Tamaulipas, and Naturalization Law of the General Congress. By Order of the Secretary of State. Translated by J.P. Kimball, M.D. [section title] Leyes y decretos del estado de Coahuila y Texas. Houston: Telegraph Power Press, 1839. [1-3] 4-353 (in duplicate), [1, blank], [1]-6, [1] [1]-4 [1], [2] pp., text in Spanish and English on facing pages. 12mo (20.5 x 14.2 cm), contemporary full Texas sheep, spine with red and black gilt lettered labels (including ownership of R.E. Corry), raised bands. Spine reattached to text block, spine extremities with minor chipping, corners bumped, moderate shelf wear. Title page chipped at upper right blank margin (no loss of text). Interior with light to moderate foxing with some leaves heavily browned because of quality of paper in Texas at that time. A few leaves moderately waterstained at fore-edge. A good copy of a book often found in miserable condition and rebound. With nineteenth-century owner R.E. Corry’s pencil signature on lower pastedown. R.E. Corry, who died in 1889 at Livingston, Texas, was a Confederate Army veteran and lawyer.

     First edition (compiled bilingual edition of 41 decrees of the Constituent Congress, 1824-1827, and 325 decrees of the Constitutional Congress, 1827-1835, the first complete translation into English of the Mexican laws relating to Texas). Very valuable for historical research, the Laws and Decrees contain over four hundred individual decrees, many of which are of the greatest rarity in their first printings in Spanish, and a number of which are absolutely unobtainable except in Kimball. American Imprints (1839) 55012. Eberstadt, Texas 162:461: “An indispensable collection.” Howes C503. LC, Texas Centennial Celebration 73. Raines, p. 228. Sabin 39405 & 94948. Streeter 310: “Issued in two parts, in plain paper wrappers. The first part ends with p. 149 of the Spanish text and the text of the second part begins with p. 149 of the English text…. A number of decrees, such as rules of various bodies and the charters of various towns referred to as ‘Municipal Ordinances,’ are entered only by title. The first printings of a number of the decrees of Coahuila and Texas are of considerable rarity and those of particular importance, such as the first charters of some of the Texas cities and decrees given in Kimball only by title, are entered under the years 1824-1839.”

     This volume was essential for the practice of law in the Republic of Texas. Special strengths of importance are colonization, immigration, and land law. The book is also a cornerstone Republic of Texas imprint.


Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $900.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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