Puebla, Mx. July 10, 1836. pp. on a folded folio sheet, with integral blank leaf. Text in Spanish. Old folds, old dampstain in upper outer corner of first leaf and upper edge of central vertical fold. Tear in upper outer corner of first leaf, not affecting text. Contemporary ink notation at bottom of second page. Very good. Accompanied by a modern English translation. Item #WRCAM55002
A rare circular decree written by Mexican general and statesman Manuel Rincon, who was serving at the time as governor of Puebla. Here, reeling from the Mexican defeat in Texas, Rincon attempts to rally the Mexican people by preying on their fears of invasion and colonization by the new Republic of Texas. Rincon writes (translated from the Spanish), in part: "Foreigners have taken over our territory of Texas. Their goal is to create a new nation, which they can then turn into a colony. Their ultimate goal is to colonize us. True Mexican patriots who value our independence must not be deceived by their devious use of our politicians, collaborators, who will rob us blind while shouting 'freedom and country.' We can defend our country militarily. But the danger is that the enemy will take advantage of our people's naiveté and lack of experience and sow discord among us, so that, instead of taking up arms against them, we will fight each other. I therefore issue the following orders to military commanders." Rincon then lays out five orders to help the Mexican military prepare for renewed conflict with the rebel Texans. Translated from the Spanish, they read: "1. Keep the troops under your command highly disciplined with weapons, ammunition and horses in good condition. 2. Ensure that all soldiers ordered to enlist on Dec. 31 of last year be able to answer the call to service when it comes. 3. The peace must not be disturbed for any reason, no matter what the pretext, and should any suspicious group of armed men be found in your territory, you will do everything in your power to repress them, urgently notify their immediate superiors to take the appropriate action, and with equal urgency notify me so that I may mobilize forces as needed to assist. 4. Commanders will be held responsible for any delay in providing help the moment it is requested, no excuses. 5. Commanders are authorized to increase their forces...make use of any inventory in customs, request loans from private parties, issue National Treasury receipts, which the Government pledges to honor, and in short, do anything necessary to preserve public order." Rincon concludes the proclamation by urging the Mexican people to '...impress upon the public what the true aims are of those who are attempting to disturb the peace...I have no doubt that we will all do our part and Puebla will do nothing to aid the foreigners besmirching Mexico's good name." The ink notation at bottom of second page indicates the document was received by the Town Council of Tehuancan. The Texas Revolution began as a series of escalating invasions and counter-invasions on the part of both Mexico and the Texians. The Siege of Bexar pitted Texian insurgents against Mexican forces on Mexican soil. Santa Anna then led Mexican forces into Texas to crush the rebellion as swiftly as possible, and before the Anglo Texans could be reinforced by more invaders from the north. Santa Anna's actions surrounding the Fannin Massacre changed the focus of the conflict for the Texians from a struggle for state and local rights and autonomy to an armed conflict against a foreign government. Though the Treaties of Velasco - one public document and one secret treaty - were signed on May 14, 1836 and essentially gave birth to the Republic of Texas, the question of Texas independence in the eyes of most Mexican officials was not remotely settled. The government of Mexico refused to recognize the public treaty, claiming that Santa Anna was not authorized to agree to its terms; in fact, Santa Anna did not have the power to sign such a treaty under the Mexican Constitution. Further, Santa Anna claimed that he signed the treaty under coercion, as a prisoner, and therefore the treaties were null. Almost immediately, as evidenced from the present circular, Mexican officials called for a renewed effort to reclaim the lands lost to the Texas revolutionaries. In the end, though, Mexico's government and military were simply too weak to attempt any further incursions into the new republic. A decade of more-of-the-same political infighting mentioned here drew focus away from recapturing Texas, and soon Mexico found itself with a new enemy - the United States. It was only after losing the Mexican-American War that Mexico officially recognized both the independence of Texas and its annexation by the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. A feisty decree from a Mexican governor calling for military preparedness in anticipation of further conflict with Texas, which never materialized. Not in Streeter Texas nor in OCLC. We have been unable to locate any other copies anywhere.