[Campeche. 1842-1843]. pp. plus a quarto bifolium bearing title bound at beginning of text. Folio. Modern three-quarter red morocco and cloth, gilt. Boards bowed, light rubbing to corners and spine ends. Central horizontal crease throughout, otherwise clean. Near fine. Item #WRCAM49188
An extensive unpublished manuscript manual of diplomacy written for the use of Spanish consuls and commercial agents stationed in foreign countries by Gerónimo Ferrer y Valls (1797-1851), then the Spanish consul and commercial agent in Campeche, Yucatan, and addressed to Antonio González y González (1792-1876), then in his second term as Spain's Prime Minister. Ferrer y Valls explains that he wrote this treatise for the benefit of his consular colleagues and trade agents, having himself profited from Agustín de Letamendi's ATRIBUCIONES CONSULARES (1835). Arranged in thirty-six chapters, the text includes examples drawn from the author's own experience in Campeche. Following a discussion of commerce in general and the history of Spanish consulates, Ferrer y Valls examines the skills required by a consul and vice consul, arguing that such a figure should also undertake the role of the commercial agent. Consular documents are examined: the bill of health for the port for which the consul was responsible, the authentication of documents, the notification of petitions, and the books to be kept. These include a letter book of ministerial correspondence and another of correspondence with authorities within the country; a register of passports issued by the consul; a log of the entry and exit of ships; a book of certificates stating the origin of goods; a register of Spanish citizens resident in the country; and a book of sea protests, proxies, deeds, wills, and other public acts. Discussion of the jurisdiction of Spanish consuls is followed by a description of consular services and fees, with a table of tariffs. A particularly interesting example of a consular report given here is a table for the first quarter of 1842 recording imports and exports shipped into and out of the port of Campeche by Spanish merchant vessels. The treatise ends with a short chapter on inventories, listing, as an example, the papers, books, and effects in the consulate at Campeche. At the time of writing this treatise Ferrer y Valls was already an established author, having published, among other works, the similarly titled TRATADO ELEMENTAL TEÓRICO-PRÁCTICO DE RELACIONES COMERCIALES... in 1833, and edited a periodical entitled TECNOLÓGICO NACIONAL DE AGRICULTURA, ARTES INDUSTRIALES, CIENCIAS, COMERCIO Y LITERATURA in 1834. That Ferrer y Valls also intended to publish this manuscript is clear: not only is it a fair copy, with only a few corrections and cross-outs, but it contains a copy of a letter from the author, and Prime Minister Antonio González y Gonzálezs reply, regarding its printing. The author estimates the cost of printing and paper for 500 copies at no more than 150 pesos and states that if the government cannot meet the expense, he would, with González's approval, arrange the printing himself. In an interesting aside, Ferrer y Valls requests transfer to the new consulate in Montevideo, as the climate in Campeche is not congenial to his health. González's reply must have come as a disappointment on both accounts: it would not be appropriate for his ministry to publish the TRATADO, as it might give the work an authority which only government-issued instructions could have on such matters; as for the transfer, no definite decision had yet been made on the establishment of a consulate in Montevideo. That Ferrer y Valls continued to write, however, is clear from the publication of his CARTAS HISTÓRICAS, FILOSÓFICAS, ESTADÍSTICAS, AGRÍCOLAS, INDUSTRIALES Y MERCANTILES in 1846. The text of the TRATADO is followed by a copy of a letter from Ferrer y Valls, dated Dec. 26, 1842, to the Secretary of the Office of the Ministry of State in Madrid, enclosing an appendix, and the Secretary's reply of March 10, 1843. The appendix includes a "Copy of the case relative to the dispatch of passports to Spanish subjects by the commercial agent of Spain in Yucatan promoted by the government of the said state on 2 November 1841 and ended in favour of the representative of her majesty on 14 October 1842;" "A verbal claim made by the commercial agent of Spain in Yucatan on 18 October 1842 to the commander of the first division of operations for excluding the Spanish subject Juan Gual from the armed services;" and "A preventive communication directed by the commercial agent of Spain in Yucatan to the general in chief of the Mexican expeditionary troops and naval forces of the same state" of November 1842. A marvelous inside view of Spanish diplomatic relations, written in Mexico in the mid-19th century.