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    Mirabeau B. Lamar. Address of His Excellency Mirabeau B. Lamar to the Citizens of Santa Fe. [Austin]: Austin City Gazette Office, [1841]. Also Proclama de su Excellencia Mirabeau B. Lamar a los Ciudadanos de Santa Fe, Constitucion de la Republica de Tejas, Constitution of the Republic of Texas, Decreto Relativo a las Yglesias Catolicas y propriedades pertenecientes a ellas, and An Act Concerning the Catholic Churches. 8vo, 14; 47 pages. Disbound with all signatures intact and all of the pages have been silked for preservation. Modern casing of red, quarter-bound cloth over boards with red leather spine featuring two raised bands and gilt lettering and an integral chemise. Moderate to heavy toning, with staining found scattered throughout. Text is faded in parts, but still entirely legible. Some small holes and wrinkling from silking resulting in minimal text loss. Some light water damage. Composed of two letters, the first, dated June 5, 1841, opens with an address to "the Inhabitants of Santa Fe, and of the other portions of New Mexico, to the East of the Rio Grande," where he bluntly states the position of Texas toward the citizens of New Mexico:

    "The country has been won by our valor, and is consecrated to civil and religious liberty; and in no portion of it, will the enemy who provoked our resentment...ever be permitted to continue its authority, or perpetuate its domination. Knowing such to be the feelings of our people, it is due to candor to apprise you of the fact; and to let you know that the position which you now occupy towards the Government is temporary only...Although residing within our established limits, you are at present paying tribute to our enemies, professing allegiance to them, and receiving laws from their hands - a state of things utterly incompatible with our right of sovereignty, and which certainly cannot be permitted to be of long continuance. We do not use this language in any spirit of unkindness to you...Our purpose is simply to place before you the rights which we claim, and admonish you of the change in your condition, which the force of circumstances will inevitably bring about at no distant period, eight with or without your consent...that constituting, as you do, a portion of the civilized population of this Republic, you allowed to exist as a separate and independent people, but must be finally compelled to unite with us under the same Constitution and laws, and share our destiny, as an undivided nation. That which you will have to do ultimately, we invite you to do now."

    Lamar continues by enticing the people to join him by laying out the advantages of living under the umbrella of Texas democracy and expounding upon the valor of the people of Texas by telling of their glories during the Revolution, as well as the "cold-blooded butcheries of Goliad and the Alamo" by their friends, the Mexicans. Translated into Spanish, it is found in the accompanying pamphlet, "Proclama de su Excellencia Mirabeau B. Lamar a los Ciudadanos de Santa Fe." The second letter, "To the Citizens of Santa Fe: Friends and Compatriots," dated a year earlier, April 14, 1840, is less hostile and talks about the "glorious revolution" and urges the joining of the two peoples. Most of the copies of the Address were destroyed during the Santa Fe Expedition, leading Streeter to proclaim the Address to be one of the fifteen most desirable items of Texana.

    In an aggressive maneuver to lure some of the westward flow of goods through Texas and away from the Santa Fe Trail, President Mirabeau Lamar unofficially commenced the Texas Santa Fe Expedition in 1841. (The reason for the expedition was much more complicated than simply a trade mission: President Lamar, without the backing of the Texas Congress, was also attempting to lure the citizens of New Mexico to come under the jurisdiction of the republic, by force if necessary.) Merchants, with twenty-one wagons of goods valued near $200,000, were escorted by 321 soldiers with artillery, carrying copies of the Address with them. The expedition was poorly organized and executed. Traveling northwest in unfamiliar terrain, the party got lost. Meanwhile, food and water supplies ran short as hostile Indians harassed the party. When they finally arrived in New Mexico in mid-September 1841, they were met by a large Mexican Army. In no position to fight, the merchants and soldiers surrendered and were marched as prisoners to Mexico City. While there, they were rescued by U.S. diplomacy and released in April, 1842. Though an unfortunate episode, it did bring Texas into the consciousness of the U.S. as war with Mexico loomed closer.

    Reference: Streeter 480; 483.

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    March, 2012
    3rd Saturday
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