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Description

The Warren Heckrotte Copy of A Very Rare Work on the Mexican Borderlands. With a Fine Map of the US-Mexico Border.

Very scarce and important report relating to Mexico’s establishment of military colonies on the in the U.S.-Mexico border region. The purpose of these military establishments was probably threefold; first, to deal with the general state of lawlessness existing along the border between Mexico and the United States; second, to secure the final subjugation of the native tribes who had managed to maintain their strongholds through several centuries of Spanish and Mexican rule; and third, to secure the border against American adventurism.

There is a wealth of military detail in the report, including such facts as that the side-arms will be six-shot Colt revolvers. The report reflects the ongoing efforts by Mexico to gain control of the wild Borderlands where neither peace nor justice could be found. The regulations and provisions are amazingly detailed and offer great insight into the Mexican military and civilian establishments. All levels of the army and navy are covered, as are regulations for the colonies, such as the establishment of schools and agricultural practices.

The excellent map is "Carta general de una parte de República Mexicana, formada para el reglamento de la ley de 27 de Abril del año de 1868 por el Ingeniero Agustin Díaz" (47.5x76.2 cm plus margins). It shows the Mexico-U.S. borderlands from the mouth of the Rio Grande in Texas to San Diego in California, including La Paz in Baja California. It is partially color-coded for towns, U.S. forts, proposed Mexican military colonies, haciendas, ranches, “rancherias de indios,” minerals, waterholes, etc.

The map shows 21 American forts and 29 Mexican forts. The map labels the areas of certain Native American tribes north of the border, such as the "Indios Lipanes" and "Indios Navajoes" near Big Bend, the "Apaches Mescaleros" near the New Mexico-Texas border, and reservations in New Mexico and Arizona.

Laid into the book is a short typed note from Richard Dillon to Warren Heckrotte, thanking him for a loan of the book and commenting on the "fine map of the Border. It shows the Comanche Trail crossing very plainly (at Big Bend), and a number of vados (fords) -- my first sighting of these!..."

Condition Description
8vo (8 x 5.5 inches). Modern leather. [12], [3]-118, [26, some folded] pages. With folding lithographed map hand-colored in outline; folding lithographed plan; 2 folding tables; 3 duotone lithographed plates of military personnel.
Reference
None found. Bancroft, Mexico, Vol.6, p 366 has one sentence on the founding of the Colonia Militares.