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    [Mier Expedition] William Preston Stapp. The Prisoners of Perote, Containing a Journal Kept by the Author, who was Captured by the Mexicans at Mier, December 25, 1842, and Released from Perote May 16, 1844. Philadelphia: G.B. Zieber & Co. 1845. First edition. 12mo. 164 pp. plus 4 pp. advertisements. Paper wrappers, neatly rebacked. A surprisingly nice copy, with just a few creases at the lower corner of front wrapper. Very fine. Housed in a modern case of half calf over brown cloth with raised bands and gilt lettering on the spine.

    Well-written and engrossing account of the experiences of William P. Stapp, whose fate was shared by nearly 200 of his fellow enlisted men who were captured during the Republic's last raiding expedition into Mexico. Known as the Mier Expedition, the raid went terribly wrong, and those who were captured were forced to march from the Rio Grande to Mexico City - a distance of more than 750 miles. Once there, they were subjected to Santa Anna's decree that every tenth prisoner should be summarily shot as outlaws. Those to be executed were chosen by use of the "black bean lottery," wherein a handful of black beans were mixed into a vessel of white beans - the men who plucked a black bean from the vessel were allowed to write one farewell letter and were then shot. The remaining prisoners were made to build roads to and around Santa Anna's home near the Capital. When those jobs were completed, they were sent to Perote prison where desperation led many of them to attempt dramatic escapes. Eventually, with the help and influence of his uncle, Stapp was released a year and a half after his capture.

    Fifty Texas Rarities 27. Howes S891. Streeter 1610. Texas Handbook, II, p. 189.

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