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The Emergence of Mexico


Sixteenth Century

Seventeenth Century

Some Eighteenth Century Historians

Alexander von Humboldt

Revolution & Independence

Rediscovering Mexican Antiquity

Emergence of Mexico




adventures in texasDavy Crockett at the Alamo

Smith, Richard Penn, 1799-1854, supposed author.
Col. Crockett's exploits and adventures in Texas . . . including many hair-breadth escapes; . .  . Written by himself. The narrative brought down from the death of Col. Crockett to the battle of San Jacinto, by an eye-witness.
Philadelphia: T. K. and P. G. Collins, 1836.  Modern cloth.

The preface to this pseudo-autobiography of Davy Crockett (1786-1836), of Alamo fame, is signed by an Alex. J. Dumas, who claims that he received Crockett's manuscript from a Charles T. Beale, who wrote the final chapter, but the work is generally ascribed to Richard Penn Smith.  Santa Anna’s successful siege of San Antonio and the Alamo in March 1835 led almost immediately to Mexican defeat and Mexico’s loss of Texas. 

inscriptionGeneral Santa Anna’s own manual of Military Law

Azcárate, Miguel María de.
Catecismo practico criminal de juicios militares.
Mexico: Imprenta del aguila, dirigida por J. Ximeno, 1834. Contemporary tree calf. Gift of Harry L. Hameter.

A pencil inscription on the front endpaper reads "This book was taken from the private dwelling of President Santa Anna, Mexico--by Major   Winslow A. Sanderson U.S. Army and presented to his uncle Gilbert Meiggs." Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1794-1876) was at the centre of Mexican politics from the 1820's to the 1850's, as military leader and coup leader, serving as president no less than eleven times.  He was president when Mexico was defeated by the U.S. in 1846-47, with the loss of Texas and New Mexico, and president yet again when large areas of northern territory were sold in 1853 (the Gadsden Purchase).  

santa annaA portrait of Santa Anna

Frontispiece to Wilson, Robert Anderson, 1812-1872.
Mexico and its religion; with incidents of travel in that country during parts of the years 1851-52-53-54.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855. Original cloth.  


mexico 1846An American Guide to Mexico in 1846

Description of the republic of Mexico, including its physical and moral features, geography, agriculture, products, manufactures, etc. Illustrated by a map, in which is included smaller maps of the valley of Mexico, and the fields of Palo Alto, and Resaca de la Palma.
Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1846.  Original embossed cloth.  Bookplate of John Paul Stratton.

Texas acceded to the United States in 1845, and this map shows the extensive territory then still part of Mexico that would soon be lost in the Mexican-American war of 1846-47. 

The United States of Mexico in 1847

Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Mejico.
Revised edition.
Nueva York: Disturnell, 1847.

Facsimile of the copy added to the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo of February 2 1848, reproduced in 1935 from the original in the Department of State. Courtesy of the Map Library, Thomas Cooper Library.

Texas’s application for annexation into the Union had been ratified by the U.S. in December 1845, leading to the Mexican-American War of 1846-47.  The Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo signed February 2, 1848, annexed Upper California, New Mexico, and other border territories into the United States.  

battlesA Popular American Account of the Mexican-American War

Complete History of the Late Mexican War Containing an Authentic Account of All the Battles Fought in that Republic Including the Treaty of Peace . . . Illustrated with Fifteen Beautiful Engravings, by an Eye-Witness.
New York: F.J. Dow, 1850. Original cloth with water damage. Bookplate of Clint T. Graydon.

This is one of the books rescued following the devastating fire that destroyed most of Mr. Gus Graydon’s outstanding historical library.

bombardment of vera cruzWinfield Scott at Vera Cruz

Frost, John, 1800-1859.

Pictorial history of Mexico and the Mexican war: comprising an account of the ancient Aztec empire, the conquest by Cortes, Mexico under the Spaniards, the Mexican revolution, the republic, the Texan war, and the recent war with the United States.

Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait and Co., for J.A. Bill, 1849.  Donated by Prof. Charles R. Mack, 2004.

This chromolithograph illustrates the bombardment of Vera Cruz in 1847 by the U.S. under General Winfield Scott. 

Two Views of the French Intervention of 1862-1867

Elton, James Frederick.
the French in Mexico.
London: Chapman and Hall, 1867. Original green cloth.

And: Circulares y otras publicaciones hechas por la Legacion mexicana en Washington, durante la guerra de intervencion, 1862-1867. 2 vols.
Mexico: Imprenta del gobierno, J. M. Sandoval, 1868. Contemporary quarter calf.  Bookplate of South Carolina College Library.

In 1861, with support from Britain and Spain, the French government sent an expeditionary force to protect European financial interests in Mexico.  From 1864-67, with French support, Prince  Maximilian of Austria was Emperor of Mexico.   Initially liberal, he became increasingly isolated; following the defeat and withdrawal of French troops in 1867, Maximilian was executed by the popular government under Benito Juarez (1806-1872).   

railwaysAn American Account of Modernization

Ober, Frederick A. (Frederick Albion), 1849-1913.
Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.
Boston: Estes & Lauriat, 1885.  Original gold pictorial cloth.

The last quarter of the nineteenth century brought increased political stability under President Porfirio Diaz, and also greatly increased foreign investment, both in railways, and in the extraction of oil and other raw materials.  Diaz initially came to power as a non-reelectionist, but held the office for eight terms.  

The Mexican Revolution of 1910-1913

Fernández Rojas, José.
La revolucion mexicana de Porfirio Diaz a Victoriano Huerta, 1910-1913; obra histórica escrita en colaboración con los señores Luis Melgarejo, Antonio Melgarejo y otros distinguidos articulistas.
México: F. P. Rojas, 1913.  Rebound.

In November 1910 Francesco Madero issued a call for armed insurrection against Diaz’s continuing rule.  Madero was murdered in 1913 by a conservative counter-revolution under General Huerta.  President Woodrow Wilson’s administration backed in turn Huerta, the bandit Pancho Villa, and then the constitutional government of Venustiano Carranza (1845-1916), before invading Mexico on a punitive expedition against their former ally.  

mexico 1916Mexico in 1916

Map of Mexico prepared especially for the National Geographic Magazine.
Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1916. Courtesy of the Map Library, Thomas Cooper Library.

This map was issued to help the National Geographic’s readers follow developments in the Mexican American War of 1916-1917.   In the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Woodrow Wilson responded with a variety of diplomatic and military actions, including landing  marines at Vera Cruz in 1914, backing Pancho Villa in internal Mexican politics in 1914-1915, before switching backing to President Carranza, and sending much of the U.S. Army into Mexico in 1916 on an (unsuccessful) punitive expedition led by General Pershing,  following Villa’s border raid into New Mexico. 

This page updated May 12, 2008
by the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections,
and copyright © 2003, the University of South Carolina.

Special Collections and Rare Books
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