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    Hand-drawn map of the Perote Prison

    Mier Expedition: Plan of the Prison of Perote. One page, 8" x 9.5", [ca. 1845]. A detailed hand-drawn map of the Vera Cruz prison where captives of the Mier Expedition were held for one-and-a-half years. The locations of thirteen important points are identified on the map, with the corresponding list below the map. Identified are the main entrance, the guard house, the picket, "steps leading to the water," the fountain, draw bridge, links, the trench, First Square, Grand Square, "Mechanical Shops," and "the Bastion." The letter "H", adjacent to a cross, identifies "Where the Bones of Texians Prisoners are Exposed." Below the identification list is written, "N.B. There can be 12 ft. of water Left From[?] Pier to the Ditch in 4 hours the whole fortification Covers an Area of 15 Acres[?]." (The Mexican prison was originally built as a castle with moat in the 1770s.) The right side of the map identifies a glacis, or artificial slope. Some dimensions are included along parts of the interior wall. The map has minor ink blotches and smears. Also, minor soiling and foxing. With small tears at folds.

    In December 1842, the Mier Expedition ended with the capture of near 200 Texans. During their subsequent march to Mexico City, the prisoners attempted a disastrous escape which ultimately failed. As retribution, Santa Anna ordered the execution of the prisoners, but Governor Francisco Mexía of Coahuila modified the order so that only seventeen would be executed. Known as the Black Bean incident, the prisoners were forced to draw beans. Those who drew one of seventeen black beans were blindfolded and shot. The rest were sent to the Perote Prison where they stayed for a year-and-a-half, performing forced labor. In July 1843, eight Texans escaped through a small hole in a wall, and in March 1844, nine more escaped through a tunnel. Finally in September 1844, the remaining prisoners, 105 or so, were freed. No accurate records exist of those Texans who died or were killed in the prison and little Mexican documentation of the Mier Expedition exists.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    23rd Saturday
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