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“Yo Solo”

Galveston’s Namesake Comes to the Aid of the Colonists during the American Revolution



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204.     GÁLVEZ, Bernardo de. Diario de las operaciones de la expedición contra la Plaza de Panzacola concluida por las armas de S.M. Católica, baxo las órdenes del Mariscal de Campo D. Bernardo de Gálvez [caption title]. N.p., n.d. [Madrid or Mexico, 1781]. Signed and dated in print on p. 34: “Panzacola 12 de Mayo de 1781, Bernardo de Gálvez.” 1-45 [3] pp. 4to (20.5 x 15 cm), early twentieth century smooth brown calf over marbled boards, spine gilt lettered. Light shelf wear, else fine.

     First edition. The place of printing has been conjectured to be Mexico, Madrid, or Havana. Medina (México 7195) suggests Mexico. Harper XIV:568: “The only printed book to appear under the name of this outstanding historical figure.” Howes P59. Leclerc, Bibliotheca Americana…Deux Amériques (1878-1881): “Pièce curieuse et peu connue.” Palau 96980. Sabin 19949 & 26475. Winsor VI, p. 739.

     Streeter Sale 1191:

Gálvez tells of his expedition against the British at Pensacola after Spain had entered the War of the Revolution as our ally. The account begins with the narrative of his first expedition from Havana in November, 1780, which was scattered by storms. Undaunted, Gálvez organized another expedition in February, 1781. The admiral of the Spanish fleet, not being subject to Gálvez, refused to cross the bar at Pensacola under the guns of the British fort, alleging that certain destruction would result. Gálvez shamed him into compliance by running the gauntlet in his own brig, the Galveztown. The British finally surrendered on May 9, 1781, and in commemoration Gálvez was made Count de Gálvez and Viscount de Galveztown; his arms were emblazoned with the brig Galveztown and his new motto, “Yo Solo.” This capture of Pensacola was not only one of the most glorious events of the Revolution, but it also in effect broke the British hold on West Florida and made it likely that Spain would be given Florida at the Peace of 1783.

     Gálvez (1746-1786) was one of the major figures in Texas and Borderlands history. His several and signal victories against the common British enemy and the supplies he ensured for Washington’s troops contributed greatly to the colonists’ ultimate victory. After the war he was appointed Viceroy of New Spain. While viceroy, Gálvez ordered José de Evia’s survey of the Gulf Coast (see Item 303 herein). See Handbook of Texas Online: Bernardo de Gálvez.


Sold. Hammer: $4,000.00; Price Realized: $4,800.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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