[Mexico City]: D. José Maria Ramos Palomera, 1822. 62pp. Small quarto. Modern speckled calf, red gilt morocco label. Old ink stain on titlepage, not affecting text; two small worm holes, each about typeface size throughout. Else near fine. Item #WRCAM28446A
On April 11, 1822 the last Spanish flag flying in Mexican territory was removed from the plaza at Monterey. Iturbide's declaration of independence, and the subsequent bloodless transfer of power, left the new government in Mexico in dire need of information regarding the various regions of the new nation. The present book, submitted to the administrative authorities in Mexico City on July 1, 1822, only two months after independence, attempts to communicate such information as was needed to govern the western provinces, most notably Sonora and New Mexico. It contains far-reaching recommendations on how to administer the region politically, militarily, and economically. The report begins with a description of the provinces and their capitals, including Santa Fe. The essential recommendation is for greater local control over the regions. Riezgo proposes that the military chiefs live within the provinces under their jurisdiction, and that they have wide discretionary powers within the limits of the constitution. Locations for regional governmental centers are suggested, and recommendations are made for increased military fortifications. Riezgo discusses the trade between Santa Fe and St. Louis, recommends that New Mexico be exempt from taxes on trade for a period of five years, and assesses the threat to trade posed by Comanche raids. He also makes suggestions concerning the role of the clergy in the region, and reforms in the educational system. "An extremely rare work in full description of the regions at the time of Independence, with much on the natural resources, settlements, Indians, future possibilities, etc." - Eberstadt. We cannot trace another copy of this work in the marketplace. It contains more detailed information than the more famous accounts of Pino and Escuerdo, one published a decade before, the other published a decade after, this work. Neither Thomas W. Streeter nor Everett D. Graff were able to secure a copy of this report. A wide-ranging early Mexican administrative report, and an exceptional southwestern rarity. EBERSTADT 138:514. HOWES R287, "b."