[Washington, D.C. 1870]. 3,3pp., formerly sewn. Moderate even toning. Very good. Item #4217
A seemingly unrecorded memorial, printed first in Spanish and followed by an English version, written by Severo de Luna, seeking recompense for a controversial incident on the Texas-Mexico border involving the Texas Rangers during what became known as the Callahan Expedition. According to the first few lines of the English translation of de Luna's memorial, which was submitted to the Claims Commission of 1868: "That in the month of October, A.D. 1855, an armed force of more than two hundred Americans, under the command of Captains Callahan and Henry, having crossed the Rio Grande from Texas in the United States, entered and took possession of the town of Piedras Negras in the State of Coahuila, Mexico, and by force of arms disarmed all the inhabitants of the town, and with many insults, threats and cruelties, drove them from their houses and caused them to flee from the town to the woods. After having pillaged them of all their most valuable and easily transported contents, the said forces set all the houses on fire, reducing the town to ruins and ashes, and then returned with the booty to the opposite side of the river, by the public ferry." The author of the memorial, Severo de Luna was a resident of Piedras Negras at the time of the 1855 raid, "with his family, three in number, and had there of his own sole and exclusive property, one house constructed of lumber" which was "pillaged and burned" by the American forces. In addition to the property damage, de Luna points out that he and his family were forced to flee to the woods, "where he wandered for three days, exposed to death under the tomahawk of the barbarous Indians, who frequented the said woods at that time, suffering from hunger and thirst in a degree almost insupportable, whereby they caused him great injury in his person and that of his family, damaging him in the full sum of thirty thousand dollars, gold." From the commission convened in Washington, de Luna requests a total amount of $33,445, and submitted his memorial through his attorney-in-fact, Bethel Coopwood.
"The Callahan Expedition occurred in October 1855, when James Hughes Callahan led a force of 111 men into Mexico near Piedras Negras, Coahuila. The announced purpose of the unauthorized invasion was to punish Lipan Apache Indians who reportedly had raided along the Texas frontier during the summer and fall of 1855, then returned to Mexico, where they were protected by the authorities. In fact, the expedition likely was an attempt by Texas slaveholders to regain fugitive slaves who had fled to northern Mexico and to prevent Mexican authorities from permitting runaway slaves to settle in their midst.... Callahan crossed the swollen Rio Grande on October 1-3. Marching westward on October 3, the Texans encountered a Mexican detachment at the Río Escondido, about twenty-two miles from Piedras Negras. In the skirmish that followed, the Mexicans under Col. Emilio (Edvard Emil) Langberg reported a loss of four dead and three wounded, and Callahan reported four killed and seven wounded. The next morning, Callahan retreated to Piedras Negras and took possession of the town. As the Mexican force approached the town on October 5, Callahan ordered his men to set fire to houses to cover their retreat, and on the evening of October 6 Maj. Sidney Burbank, commander of the American forces across the river at Fort Duncan, turned four cannons to cover the Texans as they recrossed the river.... The claims originating with this invasion of Mexico were not officially settled until 1876, when the Claims Commission of 1868 finished its work. The commission awarded approximately 150 Mexican citizens a total of $50,000 in damages" - Handbook of Texas online.
OCLC locates two nearly identical memorials presented by Julian Rodriguez (Texas Tech only) and Octaviano Cervero (SMU only), but the present work is not recorded.