Mexico - Thomas Cooper Library

an exhibition chiefly from the books of the South Carolina College Library
Originally displayed at the Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina
Curated by Patrick Scott
Archived September 12, 2013
Archived Online Exhibit ................................................................................................................................. 1
Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 2
16th Century ................................................................................................................................................. 3
17th Century ................................................................................................................................................. 6
Some 18th Century Historians .................................................................................................................... 10
Alexander von Humbolt .............................................................................................................................. 13
Revolution and Independence .................................................................................................................... 15
Rediscovering Mexican Antiquity ............................................................................................................... 17
The Emergence of Mexico .......................................................................................................................... 21
This exhibit from the Department of Rare Books & Special Collections displays
illustrated books and maps about Mexico from the sixteenth century through the late
nineteenth century. The exhibit documents the gradual process by which the cultures
and history of pre-Columbian Mexico were described and published in Spain, in rival
European countries such as the Netherlands, Britain, and France, in Mexico itself, and in
the United States.
Most of the books on display have been in the USC library since the 1830's and 1840's.
They are dramatic evidence of the intellectual ambitions of the original South Carolina
College and of the worldwide range of the books that were purchased for its
library. The oldest item on display is an engraving of Mexico city printed in 1565, from
the Italian writer Ramusio’s Voyages. Other early works include illustrations of Aztec
customs by the German Theodor de Bry from 1594 and Dutch engraved maps from the
seventeenth century by the Dutchmen De Laet and Montanus.
Some of the most impressive volumes are from the early nineteenth century, in Alexander von
Humboldt’s great folio Vue des Cordelleres et Monumens des Peuples Indigene de l’Amerique(Paris,
1810) and Lord Kingsborough’s seven-volume Antiquities of Mexico (London, 1830), with its colored
facsimiles of pre-Columbian illuminated manuscripts. The architecture of the pre-Columbian Aztec and
Mayan cultures is represented both from Kingsborough’s work and from the American J. L. Stephens’s
books about the Yucatan (1841, 1843). Of special note in the final case is a copy of the Mexican military
code of justice owned by General Santa Anna
Ramusio's Voyages
Ramusio, Giovanni Battista, 1485-1557. Terzo volvme delle navigationi et viaggi.
Venetia, Nella stamperia de' Givnti, 1565. Later vellum.
The oldest published account of Mexico in Thomas Cooper Library appears to be that
printed in the third volume of this mid-16th century Italian collection of exploration
narratives, published less than fifty years after Hernan Cortes invaded central Mexico in
1519. Shown here is an illustration and description of Mexico City, built on the ruins of the much larger
original lake-bound Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
A View of Mexico City from 1572
Georg Braun, 1541-1622, and Franz Hogenberg, c.1536-1588. "Mexico Regia Celebris
Hispaniae Novae Civitas," from Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber I.
Frankfurt: Braun and Hogenberg, [1572]. John Osman Collection.
The Osman Collection, donated by to the University by Mrs. Mary C. Osman, includes more than four
hundred copperplate engraved maps and views of (mostly European) cities, issued by the Dutch
engravers Braun and Hogenberg in six volumes over the years 1572 to 1618. In this engraving, the view
of Mexico is paired with one of Cusco, in Peru.
Purchas His Pilgrimes
Bartolomé de Las Casas, 1474-1566, translated in Purchas, Samuel,Purchas his
Pilgrimes, in Five Bookes. The Sixth, Contayning English Voyages to the East, West,
and South Parts of America: Many Land and Sea Fights, Invasions and Victories
against the Spaniards in those parts. 4 vols.
London: Printed by W. Stansby for H. Fetherstone, 1625. Later sprinkled calf.
Purchas's collection of exploration narratives, in English translations made in the same years as the King
James Bible, long retained a major influence among English-speaking readers as a source on the Spanish
conquest. As the subtitle suggests, European rivalries, sharpened by religious differences, influenced
Purchas's choice of sources to reprint. Shown here is the sharply-critical account of the cruelties of the
conquistadors by the Franciscan missionary Bartolomé de Las Casas (1474-1566), which in 1542 led to
changes in Spanish administrative policies in New Spain.
The Extent of Spanish Influence in the New World
R: Eltracke, sculp.,"America Septentrionalis." in Samuel Purchas, 1577?1626 Haklvytvs posthumus or Pvrchas his Pilgrimes. Contayning a history of the
world, in sea voyages, & lande-truells, by Englishmen and others. . .
London: Printed by W. Stansby for H. Fetherstone, 1625. 4 vols. Later sprinkled calf.
This map gives a striking representation of the extent of Spanish settlement in 1600,
not only in Mexico and central America, but north up the Californian coast, into what is
now New Mexico, and up the Atlantic coast from Florida.
Peter the Martyr, as edited by Hakluyt
Anghiera, Pietro Martire d', 1457-1526; Hakluyt, Richard, 1552?-1616, ed. De orbe
novo Petri Martyris Anglerii Mediolanensis, protonotarii, & Caroli Quinti senatoris
decades octo, diligenti temporam obseruatione, & vtilissimis annotationibus
illustratæ, suóque nitori restitutœ, labore & industria Richard Haklvyti.
Paris: apud G. Avvray, 1587. Contemporary calf, gilt.
This decade-by-decade chronicle of Spanish conquest, by Peter the Martyr, had been published earlier,
and had appeared in English translation in 1555. Shown here is the version edited and annotated by the
British geographer Richard Hakluyt, resident in Paris in 1583-1586.
Theodor de Bry's Greater Voyages, I
Bry, Theodor de, 1528-1598, map of New Spain, in Americæ pars quarta. Sive, Insignis
& admiranda historia de reperta primùm Occidentali India à Christophoro Columbo
Frankfurt: Feyrabend, 1594. Contemporary vellum with the date 1605.
The two volumes of Theodor de Bry's illustrated collection of voyages to the Americas were purchased
for the South Carolina College library in the 1820's. The fourth part printed Urbain Chauveton's
annotated Latin translation of the Italian Historia del Mondo Nuovo, book 1, by Girolamo Benzoni.
Benzoni had travelled in America in the years 1541-1556. De Bry's beautiful map of New Spain shows
how widely Spanish exploration and settlement had reached by the 1590's.
Theodor de Bry's Greater Voyages, II
Bry, Theodor de, 1528-1598. Americæ nona & postrema pars. Qua de ratione
elementorum: de Novi Orbis natura: de huius incolarum superstitiosis cultibus: . . .
Catalogo Regum Mexicanorum omnium. . . & figuris . . . æneis coornata.
Frankfurt: Matthew Becker, 1602. Contemporary vellum stamped 1605.
Each of the separate parts of de Bry's great project was illustrated with an appendix of
copperplate engravings, which had a lasting influence on European perceptions of preColumbian America. Shown here is de Bry's illustration of Aztec sacrifice, with the
victim's discarded corpse tumbling down the steps of the temple, and the racks of human skulls beneath
the main platform. While most of this ninth part of de Bry's collection is drawn from the Dutch explorer
Sebald de Weert, the first section is by the Spanish Jesuit José de Acosta.
José de Acosta on American natural history and customs
Acosta, José de, 1540-1600. Historia natural y moral de la Indias, en que se tratan . . .
los ritos, y cereminas, leyes, y govierno, y guerras de los Indios.
Sevilla: Juan de Leon, 1590. Nineteenth-century calf.
In1583, as a Jesuit missionary, Jose de Acosta had published the first book ever printed
in Peru. This sophisticated defence of Spanish policy in the New World was his most
famous book, notable especially for its careful descriptions of natural resources.
José de Acosta in translation
Acosta, José de, 1540-1600; Grimeston, Edward, transl. The natvrall and morall
historie of the East and West Indies. . . . with the manners, ceremonies, lawes,
governements, and warres of the Indians.
London: V. Sims for E. Blount and W. Aspley, 1604. Nineteenth-century calf.
The extent of European interest in Mexico and the New World is indicated by successive translations of
Acosta's book into Italian (1596), French (1597), Dutch (1598), German (1601), Latin (1602), and English
A Map of New Spain from the 1630's
Laet, Joannis de, 1593-1649.
Novvs orbis, seu Descriptionis Indiae Occidentalis, libri XVIII. . . . Novis tabulis geographicis et variis
animantium, plantarum fructuumque iconibus illustrati.
Leyden: Elzevir, 1633. Calf. Cardinal Richelieu's copy, gold-stamped with his arms.
The Dutch geographer de Laet's book, published by the great house of Elzevir, contained fourteen maps
of the Americas engraved by Hessel Gerritz.
Central America in the mid Seventeenth Century
Willem Janssoon Blaeu, 1571-1638, "Yucatan et Guatemala," from Joan Blaeu, 15961673, comp., Le grand atlas, ou, Cosmographie blaeviane: en laquelle est exactement
descritte la terre, la mer et le ciel; v.12. Amerique.
Amsterdam: Chez Jean Blaeu, 1667. Contemporary vellum, gold-stamped.Kendall
Blaeu’s Grand Atlas has two maps including 17th-century Mexico, a more detailed one concentrating on
the central areas and the Pacific coast, and this one, covering a wider area, including the Caribbean
coastline and Vera Cruz. The twelve volumes of maps in this atlas, published by Blaeu's son in various
editions with accompanying text in different major languages, cover the whole known world and
constitute the single most important Renaissance map series in Thomas Cooper Library. The beautiful
hand-colored copperplates of the Blaeu atlas are nearly all reprintings of maps originally engraved and
issued by the elder Blaeu in the 1630's and 1640's.
A Depiction of Mexico City from the 1670's
Montanus, Arnoldus, 1625?-1683.
De Nieuwe en onbekende weereld of Beschryving van America en 't zuidland,vervaetende d'oorsprong der Americaenen en zuid-landers, gedenkwaerdige
togten derwaerds, gelegendheid der vaste kusten, eilanden, steden, sterkten,
dorpen, tempels, bergen, fonteinen, stroomen, huisen, de natuur van beesten,
boomen, planten en vreemde gewasschen, Gods-dienst en zeden, wonderlijke
voorvallen, vereeuwde en oor/oogen . . .
Amsterdam: Meurs, 1671. Large paper. Contemporary calf. Alfred Chapin Rogers Collection.
Montanus's description of the Americas (which was immediately pirated for English translation by John
Ogilby) also includes a double-page engraving of Port Acapulco.
A British Traveler through Mexico in the mid-17th century
Gage, Thomas, 1603?-1656.
A new survey of the West-India's: or, The English American his travail by sea and
land; containing a journal of three thousand and three hundred miles within the
main land of America. Wherein is set forth his voyage from Spain to St. John de
Ulhua; and from thence to Xalappa, to Tlaxcalla, the City of Angels, and forward to
Mexico.Second ed.
London: Printed by E. Cotes, and sold by J. Sweeting, 1655. Contemporary paneled
calf. William R. Bailey Collection.
From an English catholic family and educated in Spain, Thomas Gage initially went to Mexico in 1625 as
a Dominican missionary. In 1636, he left his parish and the order and traveled independently throughout
the region, before returning to London in 1639, rejecting the Roman church, and becoming a warm
supporter of Parliament during the English Civil War. His account of his travels, first published in 1648,
with its description of the wealth and vulnerability of Spanish America, led to a British naval expedition,
which failed to capture Hispaniola, but successfully seized control of Jamaica.
A Jesuit in Mexico and Peru in the early 17th century
Victoria, Pedro Gobeo de, 1560?-1630?; Bissel, Johannes, 1601-1682, transl. Joannis
Bisselii, è societate Jesu, Argonauticon Americanorum, sive, Historiæ periculorum
Petri de Victoria, ac sociorum eius, libri XV.
Monachii: formis Lucæ Straubii, sumptibus Ioannis Wagneri bibliopolæ,
1647. Contemporary pigskin over wood.
Gobeo's account, Naufragio y peregrinacion de Pedro Gobeo de Vitoria, natural de Sevilla, was first
published in Spanish in Seville in 1610.
Montezuma on the British Stage
Dryden, John, 1631-1700.
The Indian emperour, or the, Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards.
London: Herringman, at the Sign of the Blue Anchor, 1681. Calf spine, marbled boards.
Montezuma's story, as a heroic leader doomed by the clash between opposing civilizations, resonated
with Britons in the post-Civil War Restoration period, in which their own monarch had been executed by
the victorious Parliamentary forces. This play by the first English Poet Laureate, John Dryden, was first
performed in 1665, and first printed the following year.
Dampier: A British Expedition in the Age of the Buccaneers
Dampier, William, 1652-1715.
A new voyage round the world. Describing particularly, the isthmus of America,
several coasts and islands in the West Indies, the isles of Cape Verd, the passage by
Terra del Fuego, the South Sea coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico; . . . Second ed.
London: James Knapton, 1697. Modern cloth.
In the seventeenth-century, the wealth of Spanish America attracted the attention not only of rival
governments but also of free-lance buccaneers. Dampier's account of his voyages in 1679-1691 (which
took him right round the world) narrate a quasi-scientific story of geographic discovery, but the voyage
was motivated and financed by piracy, and it was the chance of intercepting the Spanish galleons
bringing bullion from the Philippines that took him both to the Pacific coast of Mexico and subsequently
(by way of Africa) to the Far East.
Dampier in Dutch Translation
Dampier, William, 1652-1715; Sewel, Willem, 1654-1720, transl. Nieuwe reystogt
rondom de werreld, waarrin omstandiglyk beschreeven worden de land-engte van
Amerika, verscheydene kusten en eylanden in Westindie, de eylanden van Kabo
Verde, de doortogt van de Straat Le Maire na de Zuydzee, de kusten van Chili, Peru,
Mexiko. . .
Gravenhage: A. de Hondt, 1698-1700. Modem half calf.
This Dutch translation indicates the interest among rival European maritime powers in Spanish America
in the late seventeenth-century, when Spain itself was politically weak.
Popular British Opinion in the late 17th Century
Casas, Bartolomé de las, 1474-1566. An Account Of the First Voyages and Discoveries
Made by the Spaniards in America. Containing The most Exact Relation hitherto
publish'd, of their unparallel'd Cruelties on the Indians, in the destruction of above
Forty Millions of people. . . . Illustrated with cuts.
London: Printed by J. Darby for D. Brown, 1699. Contemporary panelled calf.
This little volume, a translation into English from a French condensation of several different older works
by Bartolomé de las Casas, indicates the curious mixture in British attitudes of anti-Spanish outrage (in
the illustration) and of entrepreneurial ambition (in its appendix "The Art of Travelling, fhewing how a
Man may difpofe his Travels to the beft advantage.).
An Account of Dampier's Return to Mexico
Funnell, William. A voyage round the world. Containing an account of Captain
Dampier's expedition into the South-seas in the ship St. George, in the years 1703 and
1704 . . . together with the author's voyage from Amapalla on the west coast of
Mexico, to East India.
London: W. Botham, for J. Knapton, 1707. Contemporary calf.
Funnell, who describes himself as mate but was apparently only the steward, sailed on Dampier's third
major voyage, when Dampier attacked but failed to capture the Manila galleon, and had to abandon his
expedition. The map shown here depicts a section of the American coast where buccaneers could land
and raid both Spanish and Indian settlements, which they lurked in wait for richer prey.
Torquemada on the Franciscans in Mexico
Torquemada, Juan de, ca. 1557-1664. Primera parte de los veinte i vn libros rituales i manarchia
indiana, con el origen y guerras, de los indios occidentales. 3 vols., second impression.
Madrid: N. Rodriquez Franco, 1723 [1725]. Boards.
Although the antebellum South Carolina College curriculum included neither Spanish language nor Latin
American history, the College library held a significant number of books about Spanish America.
Herrera's General History
Herrera y Tordesillas, Antonio de, d. 1625. Historia general de los hechos de los
castellanos en las islas i tierra firme del mar oceano. . . . En quatro decades desde al
año de 1492 hasta el de 1531. 9 vols. in 3.
Madrid: Nicolas Rodiguez Franco, 1726-30. Contemporary calf.
The engraved title-page shows the royal arms of Spain, with pictures of the conquistadors, of events
during the conquest, and of American customs. The College library also held John Stevens's six-volume
English translation (London, 1725-26).
Bareia's Historiadores Primitivos
Barcia Carballido y Zuñiga, Andrés Gonzalez de, 1673-1743. Historiadores primitivos de
las Indias Occidentales, que juntò, traduxo en parte, y sacò à luz, ilustrados con
erudìtas notas, y copiosos indices. 6 vols.
Madrid: s.n., 1749. Contemporary half vellum.
The editor of this collection of exploration narratives, Gonzalez de Barcia, also edited the previous two
works in this case.
A New Edition of Documents about Cortes
Lorenzana y Butron, Francisco Antonio, cardinal, 1722-1804, ed. Historia de NuevaEspaña, escrita por su esclarecido conquistador Hernan Cortes, aumentada con otros
Mexico: Impr. del superior gobierno, J. A. de Hogal, 1770. Contemporary mottled calf.
This later 18th-century Spanish edition of Cortes also prints a number of other early sources, including
this section of 31 plates with facsimiles from early codices.
A Spanish Epic Poem about Cortes
Ruiz de León, Francisco. Hernandia. Triumphos de la fe, y gloria de las armas
españolas. Poema heroyco. Conquista de Mexico, cabeza del imperio septentrional
de la Nueva-España. Proezas de Hernan-Cortes, catholicos blasones militares, y
grandezas del Nuevo mundo.
Madrid: Fernandez, y del Supremo consejo de la Inquisicion, 1755.
The only other work known by the author of this heroic poem (which was not reprinted till the 1980's) is
his elegy on the funeral of the Queen of Spain, Tristes ayes de la aguila mexicana(Mexico City, 1760).
A French Translation of Cortes
Flavigny, Gratien Jean Baptiste Louis, vicomte de, 1741-1803, transl.Correspondance de
Fernand Cortès avec l'empereur Charles-Quint, sur la conquete du Mexique.
Paris: Cellot and Jombert, 1778. Contemporary mottled calf. Alfred Chapin Rogers
With the passing in 1701 of the Spanish throne from the Hapsburg to the Bourbon
dynasty, it is perhaps surprising that more of the College's books about Mexico were not in French.
Clavigero's History in English
Clavigero, Abbé Francesco Saverio, 1731-1787. The history of Mexico. Collected from
Spanish and Mexican historians, from manuscripts and ancient paintings of the
Indians. 2 vols.
London: G. G. J. and Robinson, 1787. Tree calf. From the Georgetown Library Society.
This English translation from the work of the Italian historian Clavigero was by Charles Cullen.
Diaz del Castillo in English Translation
Keating, Maurice Bagenal St. Leger, d.1835, transl. The true history of the conquest of
Mexico, by Captain Bernal Diaz del Castillo, one of the conquerors. Written in the
year 1568. . . Translated from the original Spanish.
London: Printed for J. Wright, by John Dean, 1800. Tree calf.
Keating's was the first edition in English of this account by Diaz del Castillo (1496-1584).
Alexander von Humboldt, I
Humboldt, Alexander, von, 1769-1859.
Vue des Cordelleres et Monumens des Peuples Indigene de l’Amerique.
Paris: F. Schoell, 1810. Original full red morocco.
Alexander von Humboldt, the leading German scientist and explorer of his age, was already well-known
as a geologist before he sailed for Spanish America in 1799 with his French collaborator Aime Bonpland.
On his return to Paris in 1804, he and Bonpland published a 23-volume series covering physical
geography, natural history, and ethnography, usually titled after its first volume Voyage aux régions
equinoxiales du nouveax continent (Paris: Schoell, 1805-34). In part because each sub-series was
differently titled, most library sets are incomplete, and this first "Atlas" volume of illustrative plates,
though badly in need of professional conservation, is especially rare. [This volume is currently being
covered and no image is yet available.]
Alexander von Humboldt, II
Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859; Williams, Helen Maria, 1762-1827,
transl. Researches concerning the institutions & monuments of the ancient
inhabitants of America, with descriptions & views of some of the most striking scenes
in the Cordilleras! 2 vols.
London: Longman, 1814.
This English translation of the text from Humboldt's opening volume attests to the widespread influence
of his work in his own time. The poet, novelist, and enthusiast for the French revolution Helen Maria
Williams had published a poem titled Peru in 1784, though she is now best known for her volumes
ofLetters about French politics (1790 etc.).
Alexander von Humboldt, III
Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859; Black, John, 1783-1855, transl. Political essay
on the kingdom of New Spain. 2 vols.
New York: Riley, 1811. Contemporary calf.
The third volume in Humboldt's series was his Essai politique(Paris, 1810), an
argument based on demographic and statistical data for the overhaul of Mexican
political structures. The prefatory letter to the King of Spain is dated March 1808,
before Miguel Hidalgo's "Grito de Dolores" initiated the first Mexican revolution in
September 1810.
Aztec Costume from the Time of Montezuma: Humboldt, IV
"Costumes dessines des Peintres Mexicains du Temps de Montezuma," from Humboldt, Vue des
Paris: Schoell, 1810.
Though less extensive and well-known than those in Kingsborough's Antiquities, the illustrations in
Humboldt's atlas volume also included drawings made from the pre-Columbian codices. This detached
page from the South Carolina College copy of the Humboldt atlas indicates why the volume will shortly
be sent for professional restoration. [This volume is currently being covered and no image is yet
A European Response to Mexican Revolution
Bonnycastle, Richard Henry, Sir, 1791-1848.
Spanish America; or, A descriptive, historical, and geographical account of the
dominions of Spain in the Western hemisphere, continental & insular.
Philadelphia: A. Small, 1819. Calf.
By the first years of the 19th century, the example of the American and French
revolutions, and the weakness of central authority in Spain during the Napoleonic
wars, provided the context for a revolutionary independence movement in
Mexico. The appeal by the priest Miguel Hidalgo (1753-1811) mobilized popular devotion to the Virgin
of Guadaloupe, and came near to taking Mexico City before military defeat in 1811. Father Jose Mari
Morelos (1765-1815) sustained the fight longer, though captured in 1815. This report by a British
officer of engineers describes how the Spanish viceroys were trying to maintain power against
continuing guerrilla resistance.
American Commercial Interest in Mexican Independence
Robinson, William Davis.
Memoirs of the Mexican Revolution: including a narrative of the expedition of
General Xavier Mina. With some observations on the practicability of opening a
commerce between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, through the Mexican Isthmus in
the province of Oaxaca, and at the Lake of Nicaragua; and on the future importance
of such commerce to the civilized world, and more especially to the United States.
Philadelphia: Printed for the author. Lydia R. Bailey, printer, 1820. Original
boards. John Shaw Billings Collection.
The temporary successes of Hidalgo and Morelos foreshadowed Iturbide’s more conservative
declaration of independence from Spain in 1821, though Iturbide’s was only the first of a long series of
revolutions and counter-coups. Much of this book is a long account of manoevures in Mexico in 1816,
brought up to date as an argument that it would further American interests to support an independent
Mexican Independence and American Politics
Niles, John M. (John Milton), 1787-1856.
A view of South-America and Mexico, comprising their history, the political condition,
geography, agriculture, commerce, &c., of the republics of Mexico, Guatamala,
Colombia, Peru, the United Provinces of South-America and Chili, with a complete
history of the revolution, in each of these independent states. By a citizen of the
United States. 2 vols. in 1.
New York: H. Huntington, Jr., 1825. Contemporary tree calf.
This account of Mexico is of special interest, because Niles became U.S. Senator from
Connecticut, pressing the case in his first term (1835-39) for early recognition of an independent Texas,
but subsequently, as an economic protectionist, turned against U.S. ambitions in the Mexican War of
1846-47. Also shown is Niles’s revised edition (1827), with further comments on the stability of Mexican
The First American Envoy to an Independent Mexico
Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851.
Notes on Mexico, made in the autumn of 1822. Accompanied by an historical sketch
of the revolution, and translations of official reports on the present state of that
London: J. Miller, 1825.
Joel Poinsett, of Charleston, S.C., had served as a U.S. government agent working
against the Spanish government in Chile and Argentina. While a member of the U.S.
Congress (1821-25), he went to Mexico as special envoy for President Monroe to
newly-independent Mexico. The first edition of this book, published both in London and Philadelphia in
1824, was issued anonymously as "A Citizen of the United States." Poinsett returned to Mexico City as
the first American minister (1826-1830), when he became deeply involved in political intrigue, especially
on behalf of his masonic allies, the Yorkistas, publishing a defense in Spanish of U.S. diplomatic activity
in Mexico, under the title Esposición de la conducta política de los Estados-Unidos, para conlas nuevas
repúblicas de América (Mexico City, 1827: copy in South Caroliniana Library).
Kingsborough’s Antiquities of Mexico, I
Kingsborough, Edward King, viscount, 1795-1837.
Antiquities of Mexico: comprising fac-similes of ancient Mexican paintings and
hieroglyphics, preserved in the royal libraries of Paris, Berlin and Dresden, in the
Imperial library of Vienna, in the Vatican library; in the Borgian museum at Rome; in
the library of the Institute at Bologna; and in the Bodleian library at Oxford.
Together with the Monuments of New Spain, by M. Dupaix: with their respective
scales of measurement and accompanying descriptions. The whole illustrated by many valuable
inedited manuscripts, by Augustine Aglio. Vol. I.
London: Aglio, 1830. Contemporary mottled calf. (Vol. 1, plate 23).
The high point of the South Carolina College library’s books on Mexico is surely Lord Kingsborough’s
sumptuously-produced illustrated sequence, a nine-volume series that starts out with facsimiles of all
the major Mexican manuscript codices in European libraries, by the engraver Agostino Aglio (17771857). Edward King, son of the Irish Earl of Kingsborough, first caught sight of a Mexican manuscript in
Oxford University’s Bodleian Library while he was an undergraduate, and that moment set the future
purpose of his life. Shown here is a facsimile of a pre-Columbian Mixtec codex, one of those preserved
in Thomas Bodley’s own collection in the Bodleian.
From a Pre-Columbian Illuminated Codex
Plate 27 "Mexican Painting preserved in the Borgia Museum, at the College of
Propaganda in Rome," in Lord Kingsborough, Antiquities of Mexico. Vol. III.
London: Aglio, 1830.
Kingsborough’s Antiquities of Mexico, II
Kingsborough, Edward King, viscount, 1795-1837.
Antiquities of Mexico: comprising fac-similes of ancient Mexican paintings and
hieroglyphics. . . . The whole illustrated by many valuable inedited manuscripts, by
Augustine Aglio. Volume II.
London: Aglio, 1830. Contemporary mottled calf. (Vol. II, plate 137).
This illustration, from "A Copy of a Mexican Manuscript Preserved in the Library of the Vatican," dates
from the post-Conquest period, depicting the encounter between the Spanish invaders and central
American resistance. The drawings (at least in this copy) also show the displacement or overlaying of
pre-Columbian style with Europeanized visual forms.
Kingsborough’s Antiquities of Mexico, III
Kingsborough, Edward King, viscount, 1795-1837. Antiquities of Mexico: . . .
Together with the Monuments of New Spain, by M. Dupaix: with their respective
scales of measurement and accompanying descriptions. The whole illustrated. Vol. IV.
London: Aglio, 1830. (Vol. IV, plate I. 14)
After three volumes of codices, Kingsborough’s fourth volume was largely devoted to reproducing
drawings and plans of Mexican antiquities by Guilermo Dupaix, originally prepared for the King of
Spain. It was Kingsborough and Aglio’s last volume of illustrations. Inexplicably staying with the same
huge format, Kingsborough prepared further volumes of explanatory text, ranging from a valuable
edition of the Franciscan Bernadino de Sahagun’s 16th-century description of pre-Columbian Aztec
culture to his own speculations on the origins of Aztec culture in one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. As the
project expanded (he had originally projected seven volumes, and eventually prepared nine-and-a-half),
he had to switch publishers, and in 1839, while he was in prison in Dublin for debts to a paper supplier,
he succumbed to typhus with his great project still incomplete. The South Carolina College set ends with
the original seven volumes, before H.G. Bohn issued the additional two volumes.
Illustrations of Pre-Columbian Architecture
From Guilermo Dupaix, Monuments of New Spain . . . with their respective scales of
measurement and accompanying descriptions, in Lord Kingsborough, Antiquities of
Mexico. Vol. IV.
London: Aglio, 1830.
Two engravings of Illustrations of Pre-Columbian Sculptures
From "Specimens of Mexican sculpture in the possession of M.
Latour Allard in Paris," in Lord Kingsborough, Antiquities of
Mexico. Vol. IV.
London: Aglio, 1830.
An American in Yucatan, I
Stephens, John Lloyd, 1805-1852.
Incidents of travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan. 2 vols.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1841. Original gold-stamped cloth.
John Lloyd Stephens, a New York lawyer, first won recognition as a travel writer with
his Incidents of Travel in Egypt . . . and the Holy Land (1837), rapidly followed
by Incidents of Travel in Greece, Russia Turkey and Poland(1838). Sent to Central
America by President Van Buren in 1839 on an ill-defined diplomatic mission, he took
with him the artist Frederick Catherwood, publishing this book in 1841.
An American in Yucatan, II
Stephens, John Lloyd, 1805-1852.
Incidents of travel in Yucatan. 2 vols.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847. Rebound.
After the publication and success of their first book, Stephens and Catherwood
returned to Mexico in 1841, specifically to describe and draw the mysterious, lost and
ruined cities of which they had been told.
Further American Notes on Yucatan
Norman, Benjamin Moore, 1809-1860.
Rambles in Yucatan; or, Notes of travel through the peninsula, including a visit to the
ruins of Chi-chen, Kabah, Zayi, and Uxmal. 2d ed.
New York: Langley, 1842. Green calf stamped "South Carolina College Library."
Moore was more of a journalist than a scholar, but his book’s presence in the College
library attests to contemporary interest in its subject.
Prescott’s Conquest of Mexico
Prescott, William Hickling, 1796-1859.
History of the conquest of Mexico: with a preliminary view of the ancient Mexican
civilization, and the life of the conqueror, Hernando Cortez. 3 vols.
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1868. Contemporary half calf. Bookplate of Henry H.
Soon after graduating from Harvard (A.B. 1814), where he lost an eye in a food-fight,
the invalid Bostonian W.H. Prescott set himself to become theAmerican expert on
Spanish history. His three-volume Ferdinand and Isabella (1838) established his reputation, but his epic
narrative on the Conquest of Mexico, originally published in 1843 and written much more quickly, was
more widely successful and remained influential and in print well into the twentieth century.
Davy Crockett at the Alamo
Smith, Richard Penn, 1799-1854, supposed author.
Col. Crockett's exploits and adventures in Texas . . . including many hair-breadth
escapes; . . . Written by himself. The narrative brought down from the death of Col.
Crockett to the battle of San Jacinto, by an eye-witness.
Philadelphia: T. K. and P. G. Collins, 1836. Modern cloth.
The preface to this pseudo-autobiography of Davy Crockett (1786-1836), of Alamo
fame, is signed by an Alex. J. Dumas, who claims that he received Crockett's
manuscript from a Charles T. Beale, who wrote the final chapter, but the work is
generally ascribed to Richard Penn Smith. Santa Anna’s successful siege of San Antonio and the Alamo
in March 1835 led almost immediately to Mexican defeat and Mexico’s loss of Texas.
General Santa Anna’s own manual of Military Law
Azcárate, Miguel María de.
Catecismo practico criminal de juicios militares.
Mexico: Imprenta del aguila, dirigida por J. Ximeno, 1834. Contemporary tree calf. Gift
of Harry L. Hameter.
A pencil inscription on the front endpaper reads "This book was taken from the private
dwelling of President Santa Anna, Mexico--by Major Winslow A. Sanderson U.S. Army
and presented to his uncle Gilbert Meiggs." Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1794-1876)
was at the centre of Mexican politics from the 1820's to the 1850's, as military leader and coup leader,
serving as president no less than eleven times. He was president when Mexico was defeated by the U.S.
in 1846-47, with the loss of Texas and New Mexico, and president yet again when large areas of
northern territory were sold in 1853 (the Gadsden Purchase).
A portrait of Santa Anna
Frontispiece to Wilson, Robert Anderson, 1812-1872.
Mexico and its religion; with incidents of travel in that country during parts of the
years 1851-52-53-54.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855. Original cloth.
An American Guide to Mexico in 1846
Description of the republic of Mexico, including its physical and moral features,
geography, agriculture, products, manufactures, etc. Illustrated by a map, in which is
included smaller maps of the valley of Mexico, and the fields of Palo Alto, and Resaca
de la Palma.
Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1846. Original embossed cloth. Bookplate of John Paul
Texas acceded to the United States in 1845, and this map shows the extensive territory then still part of
Mexico that would soon be lost in the Mexican-American war of 1846-47.
The United States of Mexico in 1847
Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Mejico.
Revised edition.
Nueva York: Disturnell, 1847.
Facsimile of the copy added to the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo of February 2 1848, reproduced in
1935 from the original in the Department of State. Courtesy of the Map Library, Thomas Cooper Library.
Texas’s application for annexation into the Union had been ratified by the U.S. in December 1845,
leading to the Mexican-American War of 1846-47. The Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo signed February 2,
1848, annexed Upper California, New Mexico, and other border territories into the United States.
A Popular American Account of the Mexican-American War
Complete History of the Late Mexican War Containing an Authentic Account of All
the Battles Fought in that Republic Including the Treaty of Peace . . . Illustrated with
Fifteen Beautiful Engravings, by an Eye-Witness.
New York: F.J. Dow, 1850. Original cloth with water damage. Bookplate of Clint T.
This is one of the books rescued following the devastating fire that destroyed most of
Mr. Gus Graydon’s outstanding historical library.
Winfield Scott at Vera Cruz
Frost, John, 1800-1859.
Pictorial history of Mexico and the Mexican war: comprising an account of the
ancient Aztec empire, the conquest by Cortes, Mexico under the Spaniards, the
Mexican revolution, the republic, the Texan war, and the recent war with the United
Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait and Co., for J.A. Bill, 1849. Donated by Prof.
Charles R. Mack, 2004.
This chromolithograph illustrates the bombardment of Vera Cruz in 1847 by the U.S. under General
Winfield Scott.
Two Views of the French Intervention of 1862-1867
Elton, James Frederick.
With the French in Mexico.
London: Chapman and Hall, 1867. Original green cloth.
And: Circulares y otras publicaciones hechas por la Legacion
mexicana en Washington, durante la guerra de intervencion,18621867. 2 vols.
Mexico: Imprenta del gobierno, J. M. Sandoval, 1868. Contemporary quarter
calf. Bookplate of South Carolina College Library.
In 1861, with support from Britain and Spain, the French government sent an
expeditionary force to protect European financial interests in Mexico. From 1864-67,
with French support, Prince Maximilian of Austria was Emperor of Mexico. Initially
liberal, he became increasingly isolated; following the defeat and withdrawal of
French troops in 1867, Maximilian was executed by the popular government under
Benito Juarez (1806-1872).
An American Account of Modernization
Ober, Frederick A. (Frederick Albion), 1849-1913.
Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.
Boston: Estes & Lauriat, 1885. Original gold pictorial cloth.
The last quarter of the nineteenth century brought increased political stability under
President Porfirio Diaz, and also greatly increased foreign investment, both in railways,
and in the extraction of oil and other raw materials. Diaz initially came to power as a
non-reelectionist, but held the office for eight terms.
The Mexican Revolution of 1910-1913
Fernández Rojas, José.
La revolucion mexicana de Porfirio Diaz a Victoriano Huerta, 1910-1913; obra
histórica escrita en colaboración con los señores Luis Melgarejo, Antonio Melgarejo y
otros distinguidos articulistas.
México: F. P. Rojas, 1913. Rebound.
In November 1910 Francesco Madero issued a call for armed insurrection against
Diaz’s continuing rule. Madero was murdered in 1913 by a conservative counterrevolution under General Huerta. President Woodrow Wilson’s administration backed in turn Huerta,
the bandit Pancho Villa, and then the constitutional government of Venustiano Carranza (1845-1916),
before invading Mexico on a punitive expedition against their former ally.
Mexico in 1916
Map of Mexico prepared especially for the National Geographic Magazine.
Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1916. Courtesy of the Map Library,
Thomas Cooper Library.
This map was issued to help the National Geographic’s readers follow developments in the Mexican
American War of 1916-1917. In the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Woodrow Wilson
responded with a variety of diplomatic and military actions, including landing marines at Vera Cruz in
1914, backing Pancho Villa in internal Mexican politics in 1914-1915, before switching backing to
President Carranza, and sending much of the U.S. Army into Mexico in 1916 on an (unsuccessful)
punitive expedition led by General Pershing, following Villa’s border raid into New Mexico.