Galveston honors French Admiral Charles Baudin, the hero of San Juan de UllóaBroadside: "Galveston City" Honors French Admiral Baudin. One page, 15.5" x 10", May 14, 1839, "Galveston City", issued by Mayor John M. Allen and the city's eight aldermen. In full: "To His Excellency, The Admiral Baudin, Commander-in-Chief of his most Christian Majesty's Blockading Squadron off the Coasts of Mexico: We, the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Galveston, in Council assembled, in consideration of your gallant deportment at the siege and capture of St. John de Lulloa, and your subsequent humane treatment of your prisoners, are induced to offer you the freedom of our City, and with it the good feelings of our fellow citizens, and wishes for your future prosperity and happiness." Following the body of the broadside are the boldly printed names of "John M. Allen, Mayor", the eight aldermen (Gail Borden Jr., Joseph Taylor Jr., John Derrick, William B. Nichols, C. H. Van Winkle, C. F. Baeumlein, D. S. Kelsey, and N. B. Yard), J. D. McKnight (Recorder), P. J. Menard (Treasurer), and John N. Reed (Secretary). The formal ceremony honoring Admiral Baudin, the hero of the Battle of San Juan de Ullóa, was held on May 13, rather than May 14, the date printed on the broadside. Printed by Gladwin & Mims on blue paper, the broadside is a previously unknown variant of the Streeter 315 broadside, which is described as printed on silk. Some light stains on recto, with mounting residue on verso. Fine condition.
In 1838, King Louis Philippe gave the one-armed admiral command of a squadron in the Gulf of Mexico during the Pastry War. Baudin, accompanied by Louis Philippe's son, aided in keeping the new Texas Republic safe from a feared Mexican invasion. In late 1838, Admiral Baudin's French squadron laid siege to San Juan de Ullóa, a fortress overlooking Veracruz and considered unconquerable. After eight days, the fortress fell to Baudin, who received international renown for the astonishing victory. During the siege, Mexican General Mariano Arista was captured and General Santa Anna lost a leg.
Mayor John Allen (?-1847) was elected Galveston's first mayor after the city was incorporated in 1839. Allen was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, the Texas Revolution, and following the revolution, had patrolled the gulf while commanding the Texas privateer, the Terrible. After his commission expired in 1837, he settled on the island city. His colorful career as Galveston's mayor was marked by his use of two cannons to protect his position from a powerful Galveston businessman who threatened to remove Allen from office.
References: Streeter 315.
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