Mexico City: 1872. 33,pp. Original printed wrappers, stitched as issued. Tanning and foxing to wraps; a few small ships at wrap edges. Contemporary annotations throughout, with two sheet of manuscript notes laid in. Light tanning internally. Good plus. Item #1185
A scarce imprint that details a concession granted by the Mexican government for the construction of cross-country railroad and telegraph lines from a point near Tampico, on the Gulf of Mexico, to a point between San Blas and Zacatulca, both on the Pacific Ocean. The concession was first granted in 1870 to three businessmen, Antonio D. Richards, Santiago Smith, and Jose Brennan, but was then altered in 1872 to give the rights to Civil War General W. S. Rosecrans. The present work interestingly prints the original concession and the edited version on facing pages.
Rosencrans, briefly appointed a diplomat in Mexico by Grant after the Civil War, seems to have been involved in the effort from the beginning, and then taken over the principal interest in the concession when the original investors bowed out:
"In 1868 President Johnson appointed Rosecrans to be Minister to Mexico. Five months later, President Grant terminated the appointment. His brief diplomatic career convinced him that a prosperous Mexico would need peace, immigration, and railways, and he applied for a concession to build a narrow-gauge railway and telegraph line from Tampico to the Coast. The record of toil and travel, scheming, waiting on rich men and politicians, and of the final collapse of his Mexican dreams, forms a wearying chapter of the frustrating years from 1869 through 1873. Yet he was almost the first, and perhaps the most important, in a long line of Yankee railroad promoters in Mexico" - Lamers.
The present copy contains numerous, contemporary manuscript notes and edits, and comprises a significant, early example of attempted American investment in Mexican railroads. We locate only three copies in OCLC, at UT Austin, the St. Louis Mercantile Library, and the American Philosophical Society.
William Lamers, "Edge of Glory: A Biography of General William S. Rosencrans," Baton Rouge: LSU Press, p.441.