Contains Probably the First Poem about Texas

About the Founder of San Saba Mission & Presidio

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

539. [TEXAS]. RUIZ DE VILLAFRANCA Y CARDENAS, José. Llanto de la religión, derramado en la muerte del Señor Don Pedro Romero Terreros, Caballero del Orden de Calatrava, Conde de Regla: perpetuado en las exequias funerales, y honras funebres, Que como á su Síndico Apostólico y Bienhechor insigne, le hizo el Colegio Apostólico de N.S.P.S. Francisco de Pachuca, Siendo Guardian el R.P. Fr. Joseph Ruiz de Villa Franca y Cardenas, Predicador Apostólico, Presidente de las Misiones de Infieles, Revisor y Expurgador de Libros por el Santo Oficio &c. Mexico: Por D. Felipe de Zuñiga y Ontiveros, calle del Espíritu Santo, 1782. [40], 1-39 [1, blank], [2], [1] 2-23, 34-42, [2], [1] 2-8 pp. (text complete), 1 folded unattributed copper-engraved plate engraving (portrait of Pedro Romero de Terreros, Conde de Regla). 8vo (18 x 13.2 cm), disbound. Removed from a legajo, with partial marca de fuego of the College of San Fernando and page numbering inserted in contemporary manuscript. A few minor dampstains, last leaf chipped, and the plate trimmed with slight loss of upper and lower blank margins. Overall, very good.

     First edition (reprinted in Mexico in 1796). Andrade 2451. Medina, México 7359. Palau 282446. Bibliotheca Mejicana 1653. “Although the practice of signing quality plates was almost universal, some notable anonymous engravings also appeared. Among these [is] a portrait of Pedro Romero de Terreros, Conde de Regla for Fray José Ruiz de Villafranca, Llanto de la Religión, Felipe de Zúñiga y Ontiveros in 1785” (Mathes, La Ilustración en México colonial; Register 7359).

     Funeral oration with biographical details on Pedro Romero de Terreros, Conde de Regla (1710-1781), one of the richest men in colonial Mexico. Among his accomplishments was the development of mines in Mexico and patronization of religious and missionary activities, including financially underwriting the ill-fated mission of San Sabá in Texas. This work contains brief discussions of his support of missionary activities, including references to the failed missions of Texas (pp. 24-25, second group and p. 38, third group). Included in the first discussion is a sonnet praising Romero de Terreros’ missions in Texas (pp. 24-25), surely the only such piece of literature ever written, and probably the first example of poetry with Texas as part of its theme.

     “In 1756 [Romero de Terreros] learned of plans by officials to establish missions for the Lipan Apaches in west central Texas and offered to underwrite the project. He pledged a subsidy of 150,000 pesos for twenty missionaries for three years.... He stipulated that his cousin, Father Alonso Giraldo de Terreros, be placed in charge of the missions.... In 1757, with Terreros’ backing, Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission was founded near the site of present Menard. The venture, however, proved to be a failure; not a single Apache was converted to the faith, and the following year the mission was attacked and destroyed by a band of Comanche and other hostile Indians. Fray Alonso and another priest were killed, and the mission was permanently abandoned.... Terreros continued his philanthropic activities after the destruction of San Sabá and died in Mexico in 1781 (“Terreros, Pedro Romero de,” Handbook of Texas Online: See also Dicc. Porrúa.

     The author was a Franciscan, and this is the only book he is known to have written.


Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $612.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: