Description[Mexico] [Carlos III, King of Spain]. Reglamento, e Instruccion Para Los Presidios que se Han de Formar en la Linea de Frontera de la Neuva España. Resuelto por El Rey Nuestro Señor en Cédula de 10. De Septiembre de 1772. First edition. Octavo. 132 pages. Later laid-paper wrappers. Sold in a custom quarter-leather clamshell case with titles stamped in gilt on the spine.
The first body of laws imposing justice over the entire vast frontier of the Spanish Southwest. The line of fifteen presidios extended from Altar in Sonora to La Bahia del Espiritu Santo in Texas and included the presidio at Paso del Norte and another at Monclova. In addition, and north of the line, was the presidio at San Antonio de Bejar, and that at Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Reglamento goes into considerable detail as to the organization of each presidio. (Wagner, Spanish Southwest, 159a). From the summary by John Galvin, from the translated English language version: "A long succession of laws and rules, instructions and regulations, industriously and minutely produced for the governance of New Spain ... intended to be a civilizing, as well as regulatory, instrument. While demanding that vigorous measures be taken against hostile Indians along the northern frontier, it expressed the Royal wish that the Spanish forces might succeed by these means and by good treatment of those taken prisoner and those who surrender, in settling them into communities and attracting them to a knowledge of the True Religion. It forbade the killing or enslaving of captives, permitted the liberation of an Indian prisoner of war 'to spread report of good treatment' ... Besides the remarks on justice these Regulations have much to engage the interest of both the historian and the more casual reader. They show an accurate knowledge of the soldier, both his virtues and shortcomings, his hardihood and valor, his weakness for women, his dress, his armament and mounts, supplies for himself and (if he has one) his family, his target practice, his drill and discipline, his morals, and his pay. They contribute appreciably to our mental picture of him, on duty and off ..."
Condition: Fine. A bright, clean copy with only a hint toning to the preliminary and terminal pages.
Reference: Wagner, Spanish Southwest, 159a.
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