Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Entertainment and Sports Auction December 9th
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Lengthy LS in Spanish, signed Ant. Lopez de Santa Anna, twelve pages on three sets of adjoining sheets, 8.5 x 12, Mexican Empire letterhead, April 23, 1822. Lengthy, important letter written in the immediate aftermath of the Mexican Revolution. It is remarkable in many ways: its author, presumed recipient (Agustin de Iturbide), date, subject (Veracruz), and anticipation of future political events in Mexico make it an important piece of world history. At this time, Agustin de Iturbide, was President of the First Council of the Regency of the Mexican Empire, and would be elected as Emperor Agustin I just one month later in May 1822. In this letter, Santa Anna outlines his accomplishments in the seven months of Mexican independence and asks to be appointed to the governorship of Veracruz.

In part (translated): "Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Colonel of Infantry Regiment no. 8 and Military Commander of this city, addressing Your Highness with all due subservience, declares: that he has the honor to have served in the defense of his beloved fatherland since March of last year, 1821. He gave the cry of liberty in the city of Orizaba, attracting to the side of justice 70 infantry troops that had been sent by the Government of Spain to maintain its tyranny, with others joining him out of conviction, fatigue, and for the sake of money put toward that effectâ!

After that, I came to this city of Jalapa, which I attacked and took after five hours of shooting and losses on both sides, obtaining its capitulation on May 29 and raising the glorious flag of our libertyâ!

After a short interlude, I marched for a second time on Veracruz, the only port in the province that had not proclaimed independence from the Empire. I began negotiations with the Spanish Governor, Don José Dávila, leaving my division camped in Santa Fé and committed to using all means at my disposal to avoid force. From what the Governor said, he seemed to agree with my insinuations, as I reported to his Excellency the Generalissimo because he unexpectedly evacuated the city and withdrew abruptly to the castle on the night of October 26. I received this news outside the city walls and entered Veracruz with the 11th Division under my command on the following day. This marked the end of my military campaign, having secured the independence of the entire province under my command at a very critical and difficult time.

This is an account of my deeds that I have the pleasure to present for your Highness’s esteemed consideration. They are small when compared to the ardent desire I have always had to sacrifice myself for my beloved fatherland, but their simple narration should clearly demonstrate that ever since I picked up my sword to defend its just rights, I have worked tirelessly to pursue an endeavor as dangerous as it is glorious. It is not up to me to weigh the benefits of my actions for the common good, whether in weakening our enemies or feeding the flames of the defenders of our yearned-for emancipation, but those who witnessed these events and their results can speak for my character, a topic about which I myself am obliged to remain silent.

I will say that I rejoice in having been among those who contributed to the freedom of this Empire, a cause for which I worked tirelessly. From the beginning, my decision was informed by the obstacle presented by one province in particular, given the number of cities to be taken and the many steadfast Europeans who resided there, it being the site of the main port where the defenders of despotism could disembark and cling even more fiercely to their cause even when faced with retreat, as they do to this day at the Fortress of San Juan de Ulua.

I have sought recompense for the events I have recounted. It was a duty I had set myself, and in performing it I did nothing more than fulfill one of my most important obligations, and if I now take up my pen and refer to them, it is because of the reasons I respectfully present below for Your Highnessâs consideration.

It is the case that, for a variety of reasons, the inconveniences, privations and ill health the above-mentioned campaign caused me to suffer led to a meeting with the General, who agreed that, since I had achieved everything I had aspired to in occupying Veracruz, I be excused from general command of that province and be allowed to return to Mexico City to reestablish myself, and in fact Your Highness agreed to this, sending Colonel Don Manuel Rincon to meet with me so I could formally turn over to him everything pertaining to that position. I then left for the Capital for the purpose mentioned above, and after staying there for two months I proceeded to Puebla to take charge of that province by order of the General himself, but I only stayed there for six days, after which I came to this city to support the forces here, and this is where I have been for more than three months.

I leave it to Your Highness’s acute perception to understand the sentiment that has caused me to remain here in obscurity, despite my ability to lead the province even under the most difficult circumstances. The public in its perhaps ever-greater ignorance may perceive this situation to be a punishment for the blame I have incurred. The pain it causes me to see a new leader in charge, to whom I myself deferred right here in this city, is well worth noting, but however one chooses to interpret this, I consider myself to be at his service, given that he is in charge and can therefore command me and all of the other leaders stationed in the district under his command. It is impossible for me not to be humiliated by this situation and therefore, given my delicate state of health and the decorum of my position, I find myself making my case to Your Highness as forcefully as I am able, asking you that, by virtue of the efforts I have gladly undertaken for the Independence of this Empire, and in consideration of the knowledge of the land and the inhabitants of the Province of Veracruz that I have gained over many years experience, especially during times of war, that you grant me the governorship of this territory and general command of the provinceâ¦

I beseech Your Highness to deign to grant me the terms I request and, if you do not agree with the basis for my argument, to be kind enough to remove me from this province, sending me to wherever you think is best, despite the effect it will have on me to know that this is what people care about in the Empire today. This is the grace that I hope to receive as a result of Your Highness’s well-known generosity." In fine condition.

This historic letter sets the stage for one of Mexico's great political reversals: Iturbide did reward Santa Anna with the command of the vital port of Veracruz, but rescinded the appointment in November 1822 after receiving complaints about his behavior. Enraged, Santa Anna repudiated his former ally and rose up in rebellion against him. Forming a coalition with past insurgent leaders Vicente Guerrero and Nicolás Bravo, he devised the 'Casa Mata Plan,' which called for the end of the monarchy, restoration of the Constituent Congress, and creation of a republic. Santa Anna was successful in his scheme, and forced Iturbide's abdication in March 1823.

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of VeracruzAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of VeracruzAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of VeracruzAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of Veracruz
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of VeracruzAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of VeracruzAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of VeracruzAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of Veracruz
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of VeracruzAntonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of Veracruz
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Long letter Requested Governorship of Veracruz
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