[Tacubaya]: 1853. [77 pp.] on 43 leaves, some folded. Folio. Loose leaves disbound from a later made-up volume. First edition. Overall very good. Item #43554
Beginning on June 1, 1853, shortly after Santa Anna's return to Mexico as dictator, and ending December 29, 1853, just two weeks after he extended his rule indefinitely and had himself given the title of "most serene highness," these documents cover a period of three leaders in the Ministry of War and Navy: Jose Maria Tornel y Mendivil, Juan Suárez y Navarro, and Lino J. Alcorta; all prominent santannistas. Eight are issued by Tornel, the most federalist of Santa Anna's advisors, who fell ill and died in September 1853; ten are issued by Juan Suárez y Navarro, chief administrator of the Ministry of War -the first document noting "por enfermedad de su S. E., J. Suarez Navarro" on September 10th- who coveted the position as Minster of War and Navy, but broke with Santa Anna just three weeks later when Lino J. Alcorta was appointed minister in his stead, and who issued the remaining twenty- nine documents. Thirteen of the documents are printed; 34 are in manuscript, either originals or perhaps manuscripts reproduced by an early form heliography. Similar documents were described by Dr. W. Michael Mathes in a 2004 auction catalogue as "an early form of holography [i.e. heliography] using a concentrated beam of sunlight to transfer text, a process employed in Mexico during a brief period between 1850 and 1856 for short runs and to avoid printing delays and costs. Lithography was impractical for such short-run imprints, as it was extraordinarily costly, took weeks, and presented difficulties in reproducing the writer’s hand." In a few instances the date on the manuscript documents differs from that of the later publication. The documents are primarily concerned with bringing professionalism and discipline to the army (and the nation), stemming desertions and bolstering the draft (though exempting indigenous peoples), punishing theft and corruption, building fortifications and other public works, increasing weaponry, and creating militias. OCLC locates no copies of any of these individual documents, though some of the printed items are held at Berkeley, and except for the auction noted above, we could find no listings, catalogue holdings, or auction records for items reproduced in a similar fashion to those included. Detailed list upon request.