Puebla: 1844. Printed broadside, approximately 12.5 x 8.75 inches. Small portion of upper left corner torn away. Small chips and very short short closed tears at edges. Light tanning and scattered faint foxing. Good plus. Item #1586
A scarce broadside promulgating an 1844 decree by the Mexican federal government that officially opened the borders of New Mexico and Chihuahua to foreign trade and allowed goods to pass through the customs houses at Taos, El Paso, and Presidio, subject to current Mexican tariffs. The law was passed by the Congreso Nacional on March 31, 1844, and announced to the citizenry of Puebla via this bando on April 26. The text reads, in part:
"Valentín Canalizo, general de división y presidente interino de la república Mexicana, a los habitantes de ella, sabed: Que el congreso nacional ha decredo y el ejecutivo sancionado lo siguente. Art. 1.o Se declaran abiertos al comercio estrangero las aduanas fronterizas de Taos en el Departamento de Nuevo-México, y las del paso del norte y presidio del norte, en el de Chihuahua. Art. 2.o Los géneros, frutos y efectos que se introduzcan por dichas aduanas, quedan sujetos para el pago de derechos al arancel general y leyes vigentes."
Of course, trade had already been passing through Chihuahua and New Mexico for over two decades along the Santa Fe Trail; Commerce of the Prairies, Josiah Gregg's classic account of his experiences on that route during the 1830s, was published the same year as this edict. The present law, authorized by Santa Anna's puppet Valentin Canalizo, was certainly an attempt to legitimize and to monetize the already extant trade passing across the border. It was also an ultimately ineffective effort to mollify the growing calls in the United States for expansion not only via the annexation of Texas, but beyond into the northern states of Mexico, which led to the Mexican-American War two years later. We locate one copy of the federal government's printing of this decree, at Yale, and four copies of a Toluca bando, but none of the present Puebla issue.