México: 1853. Bifolium. Folio (10 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches). First edition. Very good, old folds neatly reinforced. Item #43792
Discharge papers for Andres Perez Vidal of the militia for the northern frontier, signed on January 21 1853 by interim Mexican President, Juan Bautista Ceballos, whose rule as President lasted all of 33 days. Also signed by General Santiago Blanco and Manuel Maria de Sandoval of the Ministerio Guerra y Marina. Juan Bautista Ceballos (1811-1859) had been President of the Mexican Supreme Court before succeeding to the presidency, when the Mariano Arista was driven from office on 6 January 1853 by the conservatives. Though he was granted many of the extraordinary powers he wanted, he nevertheless was stymied by Congress, which he dissolved two days before he signed this discharge. The Mexico City garrison under Manuel Robles Pezuela removed him from office on 8 February. The soldier whose discharge he signed would also reappear, this time in the troubles in Baja. Andres Perez Vidal would claim land in Baja, being granted four land lots, in the land called Mision Vieja de S. Miguel and two sites for cattle, between the Mision del Descanso and the stream of the Old Mission, between February and March 1858. A year and a half later he would be brutally murdered by Juan Mendoza during the carnage that decimated the population of La Frontera in Baja, as described by Henry J.A. Alric in his "Esquisses d'un voyage autour du monde et un épisode de guerre civile dans le district du nord de la Basse-Californie " (Paris: Typ. Morris et compagnie, 1867): "Le 1er octobre les blancs arrivèrent à la mission de San-Miguel... where the seven leaders of the expedition entered the house of a good man named A. Perez-Vidal, who was caring for his wife while she was in labor. They had barely dragged him outside when Mendoza said to him: 'the visit you made to your friend Esparza will cost you your life,' and instantly seven bullets at point-blank range laid him dead. Then the assassins said to the widow: 'Wife, here is your husband asking to speak to you.' At this very moment the unhappy woman gave birth to an orphan. Not satisfied with having murdered this honorable farmer, they rained destruction by letting their horses trample the field of maize and vegetables, which would have sustained her and her three young children. The band arrived the next morning at Santa Rosa, where they found the ex-secretary of Esparza, who, fearing for his life, thought fit to make one of those volte-faces so frequent on these occasions; he offered to show them where the cannon and the munitions were, and thus they seized everything" (p.80). A scene as if shot by Sergio Leone. Needless to say documents signed by Bautista Ceballos as President are rare.