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Pingenot Auction, Lot 272



272. ROBINSON, William Davis. Memoirs of the Mexican Revolution: Including a Narrative of the Expedition of General Xavier Mina. With Some Observations on the Practicability of Opening a Commerce between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, through the Mexican Isthmus in the Province of Oaxaca, and at the Lake of Nicaragua; and on the Future Importance of Such Commerce to the Civilized World, and More Especially to the United States.... Philadelphia: Printed for the Author, Lydia R. Bailey, Printer, 1820. xxxvi, 396 pp. 8vo, beige original beige boards, original beige paper backstrip and printed pink spine label, uncut. Fragile binding with very light shelf wear, text uniformly browned. Preserved in a beige folding box with tan leather labels. An exceptional unsophisticated copy, in the original boards, uncut. Contemporary ink ownership signature of Josiah Wood. Laid in is a signed autograph letter (New York, May 3, 1815, 2 pp., folio, integral address and postal cancel on p. [4]) from author Robinson to Domingo Garcia Sena (see final paragraph below for more on the letter).
         First edition of a rare Texas and Latin American book. Howes R380: "Chief contemporary authority on the audacious filibustering expedition against Mexico under Mina, launched with a handful of men, through Texas in 1817. Notable also for its advocacy of a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific via Nicaragua." Palau 271093. Raines, p. 176: "One of the standard histories of the Mexican Revolution." Streeter 1080: "Nearly contemporary account of General Xavier Mina and of his expedition from Galveston Island." Robinson’s Memoirs is one of the few contemporary sources for the Mexican experiences of Samuel Bangs, the first Texas printer, who accompanied Mina and created the first Texas imprints during this expedition.
         Robinson’s original autographed letter to Domingo Garcia Sena describes his problems in launching his revolutionary expedition to South America due to the proclamation issued by "Marmion" against Simon Bolivar. Robinson praises Bolivar’s efforts to liberate South America from Spain. Robinson complains that "this accursed proclamation" has raised doubts in the minds of his backers, and says: "Although I believe it only a mementary burst of faction, and although I know that BOLIVAR cannot have any other motive than the welfare and Independence of New Granda Venezuella, yet I cannot persuade my friends to pursue their operations until get some new intelligence form Carthagena."