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    [Cortina Wars]. Juan Cortina Half-Plate Salt Print Portrait, circa 1860. Pictured in this studio portrait is Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, famed Mexican bandit, folk hero, and center of the Cortina Wars which plagued South Texas sporadically from 1859 to 1875.

    The First Cortina War began in July 1859 when Cortina shot the marshal of Brownsville, Texas, for the public mistreatment of a Mexican ranch hand. By September, tensions had so increased between Cortina and his followers and Brownsville lawmen that Cortina occupied the town, running off the authorities that had stood against them. In December 1859, a group of Texas Rangers under the command of Captain Rip Ford cooperated with U.S. Army regulars under the command of Major Samuel Heintzelman to eliminate the threat from Cortina. Together they successfully tracked and defeated Cortina soundly on several occasions, first at Rio Grande City. Cortina, having lost many men and almost all supplies, retreated across the Rio Grande into Mexico.

    The so-called Second Cortina War commenced the following year (1861) immediately after the outbreak of the Civil War. After being defeated a second time, rumors and fear of raids lingered for years in the minds of Southern Texas landowners and ranchers. This photograph exhibits some toning on image from previous framing, with pencil writing on recto and verso.


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
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