Opening Matamoros to the Importation of Provisions during the Texas Rebellion

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550. [TEXAS REVOLUTION]. MEXICO (Republic). LAWS (July 16, 1836). [Decree of July 16, 1836, on opening the port of Matamoros to the importation of provisions during the war with Texas, assigning those provisions to the expeditionary force, and exempting from seizure mules and wagons carrying supplies to that army from within the country]. [At top] Secretaría de Hacienda. Seccion 1a. [text begins] El Escmo. Sr. President ha servido dirigirme el decreto que sigue. Art. 1a. Durante la guerra con los sublevados de Tejas, se permitirá la introduccion de víveres del extrangero por el puerto de Matamoros... [at end] México Julio 16, 1836. J. de la Fuente. [2] pp. with conjugate blank (laid paper watermarked with a Strasburg lily and the scales of Justice in an escutcheon). Folio (29.5 x 20.5 cm). Slightly wrinkled and right side lightly stained (not affecting text), otherwise very good, with five-line contemporary ink note at bottom, directing transmission of twelve copies to the Duaña maritima de Matamoros with orders to distribute it.

     First edition of a rare Mexican decree concerning the Texas Rebellion. Eberstadt, Texas 162:525. Streeter 880 (locating only his copy). Streeter, Only Located Copies 92. Wilkie, Lilly Texana 137. The July 16 law opened Matamoros to provisions for the Texas expeditionary force and exempted from seizure transportation taking them to the army. Matamoros was a strategic conduit for both Texas and Mexico. John Milton Nance in his chapter on “Mexican Threats and Texas Military” in After San Jacinto (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963, pp. 12-13)provides historical context on the hazardous days and uneasy peace after the victory of the Texans at San Jacinto:

“It is my opinion,” wrote David Ayres from Brazoria, “That the hardest battle is yet to be fought and unless the whole of Texas turn out and meet the enemy, on the Guadeloupe or the West side of the Colorado, we shall all have to remove again with our families.... I am afraid that unless we all act united promptly, and forthwith all will be lost.” From New Orleans on June 20, the Texan agent reported a large Mexican force (supposedly some 15,000 men) preparing to advance into Texas at an early date, and stated that he had ordered a number of extra men aboard the Texan public vessels in that port and would dispatch them immediately to Texas for orders. Meanwhile, quite a number of vessels, including a few under Mexican registry, loaded at New Orleans in June and July with provisions and merchandise, and weighed anchor for Matamoros, which port was opened by a decree of July 16 to the importation of provisions during the war with Texas. This same decree exempted from seizure mules and wagons carrying supplies within Mexico to the army being fitted out for the Texas campaign. Furthermore, no vessels from Mexican ports had reached New Orleans in some time, a fact which led both New Orleans and Texas observers to conclude that they were being retained at home to transport the large numbers of troops and supplies said to be accumulating on the Mexican seaboard. In consequence, President Burnet proclaimed on July 21 a blockade of the port of Matamoros.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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