Mexico City: 1825. ,xxvi,221,xi,pp. 19th-century three-quarter Mexican calf and marbled boards, gilt leather spine label. Some scuffing to the spine, two partially-perished shelf marks on spine, minor rubbing to boards, edges and corners worn. Hinges a bit cracked but holding well, a handful of early leaves with contemporary manuscript notations in margins, partially shaved in later re-binding process. Still, a very nice early Mexican national imprint. Very good. Item #2074
A handsome copy of an early Mexican imprint that Lathrop Harper described succinctly as the "First edition of the first decrees of the first independent Mexican Congress." This collection of decrees issued by the first Mexican Congress, established after the promulgation of independence in 1822, contain a wealth of information relevant to the founding of the country. These include an act relating to the "coronation of D. Agustín de Iturbide, the hereditary successor to the throne” and formalizing that “the acts of his government are declared invalid...."
Of particular interest are two decrees directly relating to Anglo-American settlement in Texas. The first of these, dated April 11, 1823, begins “Que el gobierno, si no encuentra inconveniente, acceda a la solicitud de Estevan Austin, sobre que se confirme la concesión de establecer 300 familias en Tejas....” Roughly translated, this decree states that "the government, if it finds no objection, agrees to Estevan Austin's request for confirmation of the concession to establish 300 families in Texas....” Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred" families were the foundation of Anglo-American settlement in Texas, and here, the nation of Mexico authorizes their emigration.
The second decree, dated September 29, 1823, is titled “Esención de derechos por siete años a los efectos que se introduzcan en Tejas.” This is translated to an "Exemption of rights for seven years for the purposes that enter in Texas.” The text of the decree reads, in full: “El Soberano Congreso mexicano tomando en consideracion el deplorable estado a que las hostilidades de los barbaros han reducido a la provincia de Tejas, y para ocurrir en parte a la miseria de sus habitantes civilizados, ha venido en decretar y decreta. Que todos los efectos de cualquiera clase, nacionales o estrangeros que se introduzcan en la provincial de Tejas para el consume de sus habitants, sean libres de derechos; durando esta esencion siete anos contados desde su publicacion en aquella capital.”
The translation of this second decree reads, roughly: “The sovereign Mexican Congress, taking into consideration the deplorable state to which the hostilities of the barbarians have reduced the province of Texas, and to recognize in part the misery of its civilized inhabitants, has come to declare and decree. That all effects of any kind, national or foreign that are introduced into the province of Texas for the consumption of its inhabitants, be free of rights; lasting in essence seven years counted from its publication in that capital.”
This second decree effectively extended the term for duty-free certain to the Texas settlers as recompense for the troubles they experienced at the hands of the local "barbarians," i.e., the indigenous native peoples who had lived on the land for centuries.
An early compilation of laws governing the fledgling nation of Mexico, with early Texas colonization content.
Palau 56388. Lathrop Harper 220:116.