Description

    Recently Released from Perote Castle, Canfield Lists "the names of Compy A. Capt. Ewen Cameron from Dec. 1842 to July 1st 1844"

    [Mier Expedition] and [Samuel H. Walker]. Israel Canfield Autograph Letter Signed "Israel Canfield of Refugio Co." Three and two-third integral pages (two and two-third pages of handwritten text), 8" x 10", New Orleans, July 20, 1844, listing the names of sixty members of the ill-fated Mier Expedition-including Samuel Walker and five men killed during the Black Bean Incident. Next to the name of each is their fate, such as "Perote Castle," "Liberated," or "Escaped," etc.

    Canfield sent this list to "the Post Master Victoria Texas" with a short note that reads, "The annexed list may be interesting to the Citizens of Victoria and Jackson Counties. if so you will please give publicity to the same." The "annexed list" of sixty names is headed, "List of the names of Compy A. Capt. Ewen Cameron from Dec. 1842 to July 1st 1844." First on the list is the commander, "Cameron, Ewen. Shot by order of Santa Anna at [. . . illegible] near Mexico-April 25th 1843." Second is "Baker, John R. wounded at the Salado Charge Feby. 11th 1843. Now in prison Vera Cruz." Canfield lists himself fourth. At number fifty-seven, he lists "Walker, Saml. H. Escaped from prison Mexico." Many of the men listed, such as John McMullen, were still in "Perote Castle." Five men-J. D. Locke, John Cash, Patrick Maher, James Turnbull, and Henry Whaling-were "Shot by order Santa Anna March 25th 1843" during the Black Bean Episode.

    In the fall of 1842, the men on this list joined the Somervell Expedition under the command of Ewen, who had commanded a company of Texas Ranger spies before he joined the expedition. After the expedition was abandoned, most of the men decided to continue on into Mexico in search of plunder, beginning the Mier Expedition. Subsequently, the group crossed the Rio Grande and entered Mier on December 23, 1842. After engaging a much larger Mexican force in battle three days later, the Texans surrendered. The captors threatened their captives with death and marched them to Mexico City. In February 1843, before they arrived, the Texans unsuccessfully tried to escape. As punishment, the Mexican commanders ordered that every tenth man be executed. Seventeen were blindfolded (including four listed in this manuscript) and then shot, a tragic incident known as the Black Bean Episode. (Although former Texas Ranger Ewen Cameron did not draw a black bean, he was later executed for attempting to escape.) The remaining prisoners, including many on this list, performed forced labor before they were finally sent to Perote Prison in September 1843. Over the next year, many escaped, died, or were released. In September 1844, the final prisoner was released. This document is toned with smoothed folds. Some stains on fourth integral page. The lower one-third of the fourth integral page has been cleanly excised. Docketing on the fourth integral page: "List of Compy A. / Capt. Ewen Cameron / Mier Expedition."


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
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