Some Eighteenth Century
Alexander von Humboldt
Rediscovering Mexican Antiquity
Emergence of Mexico
Response to Mexican Revolution
Bonnycastle, Richard Henry, Sir, 1791-1848.
Spanish America; or, A descriptive, historical, and
geographical account of the dominions of Spain in the Western
hemisphere, continental & insular.
Philadelphia: A. Small, 1819. Calf.
By the first years of the 19th century, the example of
the American and French revolutions, and the weakness of central
authority in Spain during the Napoleonic wars, provided the context for
a revolutionary independence movement in Mexico. The appeal by the
priest Miguel Hidalgo (1753-1811) mobilized popular devotion to the
Virgin of Guadaloupe, and came near to taking Mexico City before
military defeat in 1811. Father Jose Mari Morelos (1765-1815)
sustained the fight longer, though captured in 1815. This
report by a British officer of engineers describes how the Spanish
viceroys were trying to maintain power against continuing guerrilla
American Commercial Interest in Mexican Independence
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. Original boards. John Shaw Billings Collection.
The temporary successes of Hidalgo and Morelos foreshadowed
Iturbide’s more conservative declaration of independence from Spain
in 1821, though Iturbide’s was only the first of a long series of
revolutions and counter-coups. Much of this book is a long account of
manoevures in Mexico in 1816, brought up to date as an argument that
it would further American interests to support an independent Mexico.
Mexican Independence and American Politics
Niles, John M. (John Milton), 1787-1856.
A view of South-America and Mexico, comprising their history,
the political condition, geography, agriculture, commerce, &c., of the
republics of Mexico, Guatamala, Colombia, Peru, the United Provinces
of South-America and Chili, with a complete history of the revolution,
in each of these independent states. By a citizen of the United
States. 2 vols. in 1.
New York: H. Huntington, Jr., 1825. Contemporary tree
This account of Mexico is of special
interest, because Niles became U.S. Senator from Connecticut, pressing
the case in his first term (1835-39) for early recognition of an
independent Texas, but subsequently, as an economic protectionist,
turned against U.S. ambitions in the Mexican War of 1846-47.
Also shown is Niles’s revised edition (1827), with further comments on
the stability of Mexican affairs.
The First American Envoy to an Independent Mexico
Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851.
Notes on Mexico, made in the autumn of 1822. Accompanied by
an historical sketch of the revolution, and translations of official
reports on the present state of that country.
London: J. Miller, 1825.
Joel Poinsett, of Charleston, S.C., had served as a U.S.
government agent working against the Spanish government in Chile and
Argentina. While a member of the U.S. Congress (1821-25), he went to
Mexico as special envoy for President Monroe to newly-independent
Mexico. The first edition of this book, published both in London and
Philadelphia in 1824, was issued anonymously as "A Citizen of the
United States." Poinsett returned to Mexico City as the first
American minister (1826-1830), when he became
deeply involved in political intrigue, especially on behalf of his masonic allies, the Yorkistas,
publishing a defense in Spanish of U.S. diplomatic activity in Mexico,
under the title Esposición de la conducta política de los Estados-Unidos,
para conlas nuevas repúblicas de América (Mexico City,
1827: copy in South Caroliniana Library).