“Tejas es nuestro”

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467. NEGRETE, Pedro Celestino. Autograph letter signed, in Spanish, to José Antonio Andrade. Lagos [de Moreno, Jalisco], January 22, 1822, and January 25, 1822. 4 pp. on a bifolium of laid paper, 4to (21.5 x 15.3 cm). Creased where formerly folded, otherwise very fine. Accompanied by a full English translation.

     In this rambling, intense letter, Negrete rails to his friend about numerous problems confronting Mexico. Turning first to the visit to California with three ships of Chilean admiral Thomas Cochrane, Negrete denounces the admiral and wishes he would return for another visit so he could teach him a hard lesson by cracking his head. He further laments the relative disorder that swirls about the Mexican province—Indian problems, restless troops who are unpaid, lack of a proper civil authority. Turning to Texas, he avers that the Adams-Onís boundary is correct and that Mexico is firmly seized of Texas (“Tejas es nuestro y una de las 4 Prov. de Oriente”), especially now that the Sabine boundary is fixed a long way from the settled part of Texas.

     Slipping into Cuban affairs, he states that he doubts Cuba will revolt against Spain because doing so would leave the rest of the country outside Havana in the hands of the present slave population. Finally coming around to the original purpose of his letter, he remarks on the qualifications of office holders and seems to disapprove of military men running for national elective office. He remarks that he will not run for office because he has neither the knowledge nor the health to be interested in such a course.

     Negrete (1777-1846) was a prominent Mexican soldier and politician born in Spain. He fought against Spain during the Revolution and opposed Iturbide, whom he helped dethrone. Accused of intriguing against the government with Father Joaquín Arenas, he was found not guilty but nevertheless exiled by Gómez Pedraza. He died in France. His correspondent is probably the son of Alamo general Juan José Andrade.

     An interesting letter from an important Mexican military figure addressing many of the concerns and problems that confronted Mexico and its extensive borderlands at the time, including Texas and California.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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