The Constitution Texas Fought for at the Alamo

Too Little Too Late

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455. [MEXICO (Republic). CONSTITUTION, 1824]. Constitucion Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, Sancionada por el Congreso General Constituyente, el 4. de Octubre de 1824. Imprenta del Supremo Gobierno de los Estados unidos mexicanos, en Palacio. [Mexico, 1824]. [4], [i] ii-xviii, 1-62, [4], [i] ii-iii [1, blank], [2], 1-12 pp., 1 plate (untitled copperplate engraving by Torreblanca depicting the Mexican eagle on a cactus with each Mexican state shown, including Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, and Coahuila y Tejas). 12mo (14 x 9.5 cm), original maize wrappers (wants upper wrapper; text complete), original stitching. Title page lightly waterstained and wanting lower blank corners, next leaf holed at lower right blank margin, several leaves wrinkled at corners, minor scattered staining; plate with small hole in lower right blank margin and wanting upper right blank corner. Overall, a good copy of a fragile item. Preserved in a dark blue cloth clamshell case, spine gilt lettered.

            First public edition, preceded by privately printed edition for distribution to government members (see Graff 2766). Graff 2767. Howes E197 (“anr. ed.”). Sabin 48379. Streeter Sale 211 (quarter leather, much worn; illustrated Vol. I, p. 165; collation matches TWS copy except his copy lacks the two leaves between the first and second part, preceding Acta, and has a quite different engraving). The final section is Acta Constitutiva de la federación Mexicana. First constitution of Mexico as a sovereign state; first Mexican constitution to include the Southwest; and important for Texas history. According to the Texas Declaration of Independence and popular Texas mythology, this was the constitution the Texans fought for at the Alamo since it did not recognize the centralized, dictatorial government favored by Santa-Anna, but rather embodied decentralized government, freedom of the press, and a bicameral legislature. One flaw in this Constitution, however, was that Texas was part of Coahuila. This arrangement eventually led to considerable dissatisfaction when many Texans pressed for Texas to be a state in its own right, a move that the central government resisted until December 30, 1836, when it finally passed a law separating the two jurisdictions. By then, of course, it was too little, too late.

            For more on Mexican engraver Torreblanca, see: Mathes, La Ilustración en México colonial, p. 139: “Fine, delicate line exemplified the work of José Mariano Torreblanca.” Romero de Terreros, Grabados y grabadores in la Nueva España, pp. 543-544 (Torreblanca).


Sold. Hammer: $850.00; Price Realized: $1,041.25.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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