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Best Account of the Alamo & Texas Revolution by a Mexican Participant

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186.     FILISOLA, Vicente. Memorias para la historia de la guerra de Tejas, por el General de División D. Vicente Filisola, actual Presidente del Supremo Tribunal de la Guerra y Marina de la República. Publicación del siglo diez y nueve. Mexico: Imprenta de Ignacio Cumplido, Calle de los Rebeldes, número 2, 1849. Vol. I: [1-3] 4-256, 267-511 [1, blank], [2, himno] (text complete); Vol. II: [1-3] 4-267 [1, blank] pp. Bound with this work at conclusion of Vol. II: Refutación en la parte histórica del artículo de fondo publicado en el núm. 305 de periódico titulado: El Universal, el 16 del pasado septiembre; por una Comisión de la Junta Cívica de México. Mexico: Imprenta de Ignacio Cumplido, Ca. de los Rebeldes, núm. 2, 1849. [2], [1-3] 4-32 pp. Two works in 2 vols., 8vo (22 x 15 cm), contemporary green, brown, and tan tree sheep, covers gilt-ruled, original red leather gilt-decorated and lettered spine labels, spine extra gilt, original red, green, and brown marbled endpapers, gilt-decorated. Vol. I professionally re-backed, preserving original spine. Except for very minor light scattered foxing to text, a superb set in a handsome Mexican binding.

     First edition of the Cumplido edition of Filisola’s memoirs (Rafael published an edition in Mexico in 1848 and 1849). The Cumplido edition provides the best coverage of the Battle of the Alamo and the 1836 campaign. Basic Texas Books 62: “The best account by a Mexican contemporary of the American conquest of Texas. Eugene C. Barker called it ‘the only comprehensive history of the colonization of Texas and the Texas Revolution from the Mexican point of view’…. The Rafael and Cumplido editions each stand on their own as separate works but complement each other so much that both are necessary to have a complete account.” Eberstadt, Texas 162:236. Howes F126. Jones 1199. Palau 91612. Rader 1381. Raines, p. 82. Sabin 24324. Streeter 853n: “Filisola, in two quite different works…gives, especially in the Cumplido work, a much fuller account of the Texas campaign in 1836 and of the attempts of a Texas campaign in 1837…. The Cumplido imprint reports in detail upon the military operations from the taking of the Alamo in March 1836, to about August 1, 1837. The account for the period from the taking of the Alamo to shortly after the Battle of San Jacinto is much fuller than in…the Raphael imprint…. What Filisola calls the second campaign against Texas began in October, 1836, and is covered in the remaining pages, 397-511, of Volume I and the 267 pages of Volume II. This work printed by Cumplido is largely made up of army orders issued during the period…. One of the most important sources on Texas from the 1820s through 1837…enriched with scores of original documents and military orders unavailable elsewhere.” The second title reprints some documents from the Mexican Revolutionary period as part of a local controversy. Sabin 52332 (calling for a table and portrait, not present here); also listed at 68791.

     Filisola (1789-1850) was a native of Italy who had participated in many battles of the Napoleonic wars. He came to Mexico in 1811, where he rapidly rose in the Mexican military because of his friendship with Iturbide. He received a colonization grant in Texas in 1831. In November 1835, he was appointed second in command to Santa-Anna on the Mexican campaign to crush the rebellious Texans. For more on Filisola, see Valentine J. Belfiglio, The Italian Experience in Texas (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983) and Handbook of Texas Online: Vicente Filisola.

     W. Michael Mathes sums up Filisola succinctly: “Filisola was a straight arrow in a time of many crooked ones. His memorias are, to me, about the best early Texana item from an historical viewpoint.”


Sold. Hammer: $2,000.00; Price Realized: $2,400.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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