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One Last Attempt


[SAN PATRICIOS]. MEXICO (Republic). PRESIDENT (SANTA-ANNA). The President of the Mexican Republic to the Troops Engaged in the Army of the United States of America [caption title]. [Mexico City], August 15, 1847. Broadside (24.7 x 16 cm). Left edge slightly uneven, small chip in top margin not affecting text, uniform age toning. Overall a fine example of a rare survival.

First edition, first issue (with “only” misspelled in l. 15) of an ephemeral Santa-Anna propaganda broadside in English. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 479. Howell 52:231. Kurutz & Mathes, p. 78 (second issue; illustrated on p. 77). Streeter Sale 265 (first issue; illustrated).

Santa-Anna appeals to U.S. troops to desert and join the Mexican cause: “I offer you a reward, if deserting the American standard you present yourselves like friends to a nation that offer [sic] you rich fields and large tracts of land, which being cultivated by your industry, shall crown you with happiness and convenience. The Mexican Nation ouly [sic] look upon you as some deceived foreigners and hereby stretch out to you a friendly hand, offer to you the felicity and fertility of their territory.” U.S. soldiers are invited to apply directly to Santa-Anna.

A Mexican propaganda piece intended to induce U.S. troops to desert to the Mexican cause, a campaign that had started as the forces faced each other across the Rio Grande at the start of the war. Blandishments here heaped on potential deserters include offers of land and wealth, freedom from slavery, and a peaceful, bucolic life with few wants or cares.

Amazingly, such propaganda had its effect. Enough U.S. soldiers deserted to form their own unit, known as the San Patricio Battalion, several hundred men strong. They fought fiercely at the Battle of Churubusco, which occurred only four days after this broadside was issued. In the end, many of the San Patricios were hanged after capture by the U.S. military, although some were punished otherwise; a few were pardoned. Some remained in Mexico after the war and were used by the Mexican government in military service before being completely dissolved in 1848. The executions of the San Patricios inflamed the Mexican populace, and they are still honored to this day.


Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,837.50.

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