Detailed Routes to San Felipe de Austin and Bejar in 1844
Mexican Planning Between Texas Revolution and Mexican War
This very rare book contains invasion routes from Mexico to points in Texas, with details on the condition of roads, references to specific ranchos, landmarks, and the like. The second part of the volume, which is separately paginated, begins with its own caption title: Itinerario Razonado de la Ciudad de S. Luis Potosí al Rio Sabina por el Saltillo.
Streeter writes about the significance of these routes:
In the nine pages at the end there are three itineraries for different routes from San Luis Potosí to the Sabine River, with the route from Matamoros to Monterrey at the end. These name the various stopping places on the routes and give details about the state of the road from place to place. They are most interesting.
The first itinerary is by way of Saltillo, Monclova, and Bejar; the second, 'por la costa,' is by way of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas, Matamoros, Goliad and San Felipe de Austin. The third itinerary starts at Saltillo and gives the route to Bejar by way of Monterrey and the Presidio de Rio Grande - Streeter.
The first decade of independent Texas (1836-1846) was a turbulent period marked by a precarious international standing and fraught relations with Mexico. Following the Texas Revolution, Mexico never formally recognized the Republic of Texas's independence. In the early 1840s sporadic military incursions into Texas by Mexican forces continued, including General Adrian Woll's 1842 capture of San Antonio. Within this context, the present book, published in 1844, stands as an exceptional primary source that sheds light on the Mexican military perspective at a fraught moment in what Josefina Zoraida Vázquez has called "Mexico's tragic decade," following the separation of Texas.
The Eberstadts suggested that this work reflected Mexican General Adrían Woll's plans for another invasion of Texas, after his 1842 taking of San Antonio. The French-born Woll was a commander of the Mexican Army of the North from February 1843 until December 6, 1844, when they joined a revolt led by José Joaquín Herrera and Gen. Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga against Santa Anna.
Only one month before [sic], General Woll - the French soldier of fortune employed by Mexico - had revoked the armistice he had made with Texas when he took San Antonio. Plainly he had in mind another invasion of Texas and these elaborately detailed Itinerarios would be needed.
On September 11, 1842, a Mexican army of 1,400 men under the command of Gen. Adrian Woll again captured San Antonio. Unlike the earlier Vásquez raid there was little advance warning, Woll having taken an old smuggling trail through the hills west of San Antonio. After a brief but spirited defense of the town, the Anglo-Texan residents surrendered. District court had been in session that week in San Antonio, and the captives included the judge and two members of the Texas Congress, as well as several attorneys and clerks. Juan Seguín commanded a militia unit in the assault on the town, confirming Anglo suspicions of Tejano collaboration with Mexico.
In February 1843 Woll became commander of the Army of the North. He served until the northern army, on December 6, 1844, joined a revolt Woll was arrested and imprisoned, but freed under a general amnesty decree of May 24, 1845.
While fairly well represented in institutional confines (OCLC locates only 7 examples: Bancroft, Library of Congress, University of Texas-Austin, University of Texas-San Antonio, University of Utah, Yale and a German library), and we note another example at SMU, this book is extremely rare in the market. Only one copy reported sold in RBH in the last 50 years.