Finding Aid for the Mexican proclamations issued during the Mexican-American War, 1807-1864 (bulk 1846-1848)

Processed by Pablo Sierra in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Bachli, Winter 2008; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé and edited by Josh Fiala.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2005
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Mexican proclamations issued during the Mexican-American War,
Date (bulk): 1807-1864 (bulk 1846-1848)
Collection number: 997
Extent: 1 oversized box.
Abstract: The collection features series of printed proclamations put forth by governors and key administrators of the Federal District during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). The majority of the collection consists of broadsides which would have been posted and read out loud to the illiterate urban masses. In addition, a number of pamphlets and larger broadsides reveal the federal government's preoccupation over the scarcity of war funds, civilian participation in the National Guard and indemnity payments to the United States. Also included in the collection is a four-item series on Maximilian's brief reign during the Imperial Regency (1864-1867).
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Processing Note

Processed by Pablo Sierra in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Bachli, Winter 2008.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 1967 July 10.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Mexican proclamations issued during the Mexican-American War (Collection 997). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Biography

Generally speaking, the Mexican-American War, also known as the North American Intervention, falls within the years of the Early Republic (1824-1855), typically characterized as one of the most politically unstable periods in Mexican history. Only twenty-five years removed from its War of Independence (1821), the young Mexican nation had already lost a significant portion of its northern territories to an independent Texas in 1836. The defeat exposed Mexico's military and political fragility, a fact further evidenced by the ten weak, ephemeral presidencies during the three-year war with the United States (1846-1848). Throughout these years of instability, Antonio López de Santa Anna emerged as the most important figure in the Mexican political terrain. Santa Anna held the office of the executive during eleven non-consecutive terms, frequently abandoning the presidential seat to double as military commander. At a time when Mexico was the second largest country in the world, Santa Anna is infamously remembered for his role in the Battle of the Alamo and for having "lost" half the national territory to the United States in exchange for another presidential term. His December 1846 election, alongside vice-president Valentín Gómez Farías, is documented in the collection of proclamations.

Scope and Content

As the majority of proclamations were printed during the North American intervention, the dominant themes are: 1) the collection of war funds, 2) enrollment into the National Guard, and 3) the indemnification payments made to the occupying American army. The role of the Church as both a potential ally and enemy of the state is evident in the federal government's imposition of heavy wartime "contributions" upon the Metropolitan Diocese. While a few documents have a nation-wide relevance for the period, most are specific to the Federal District. A number of documents offer insight into quotidian life in mid-nineteenth century Mexico City and describe the levels of pedestrian and horse-carriage traffic, excessive holiday celebrations and restrictions on peddlers' access to local marketplaces. Legislation on taxation, including the much disliked "alcabala," reveals the government's recurrent efforts to reform its fiscal policies on both the national and municipal level. A number of important governmental institutions, including the pro-immigration Department of Colonization, seem to have been established during this time. In addition, the growing influence of the United States on Mexico is evident in the many judicial and correctional system reforms made during the Early Republic, the most notable being the adoption of the Philadelphia jail system. In terms of political events, these proclamations serve as an informal track record for the Federal District's governors for the years 1846-1848. Asides from these key administrators, the major political figures in the collection are presidents Antonio López de Santa Anna, Valentín Gómez Farías and Pedro María Anaya, who served as interim governor of the capital. A distinct subdivision in the collection is the four-item Imperial Regency series, which covers the early years of the Second Empire and the brief rule of the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian (1864-1867).
In terms of chronology, the earliest and oldest documents are an 1807 royal decree on the mismanagement of the colony's Treasury and Maximilian's 1865 edict on educational reforms, respectively. The bulk of the collection consists of the years 1846 and 1848, a majority of these documents covering the latter half of 1846 (August-December). There are no items for 1847 or the first half of 1846. An additional proclamation from 1830 is included among the collection of bound items and is later referenced during the 1846 electoral reforms.

Series

Items have been intellectually organized into series, which follow chronological order and are named after each governor of the Federal District at the time the proclamation was issued. Exceptions to this rule are the Diaz de la Vega, Suarez Iriarte, and Imperial Regency series. Diaz de la Vega served as the Director General of the royal tobacco monopoly during the colonial period. Suarez Iriarte was president of the Mexico City municipal assembly but took on the responsibilities of the governor. In addition, items 7, 9 and 10 in the Malo series were emitted by the Secretary of Government Mariano Guerra, but correspond to José Ramon Malo's term as governor. The Imperial Regency series makes reference to a small four item subset of a separate historical period.
  • 1. Silvestre Diaz de la Vega
    (1807 September 1) Viceroy takes measures to eliminate corruption from the colony's treasuries.
  • 2. Miguel Cervantes
    (1830 July 14) Document establishes the voting regulations to abide by for House elections.
  • 3. Luis Gonzaga de Chávarri
    (1846 August 6) The interim governor announces the elimination of the "alcabala" tax for the poor.
  • 4. José Gomez de la Cortina
    (1846 August 22-October 12) As Brigade General and Governor of Mexico City, Gomez de la Cortina takes energetic measures to reform the judicial system, raise funds for the war effort and enroll civilians into the National Guard.
  • 5. José Lázaro Villamil
    (1846 October 21-November 13) Villamil focuses on reforming the civilian courts system, a series of steps which included canceling the collection of court and trial fees. He also reinstated the "alcabala" tax that been abolished throughout the nation.
  • 6. Agustin Buenrostro
    (1846 October 21) Buenrostro sought to reduce the amount of civilian court cases by appointing local mediators, "jueces de paz," to resolve minor disputes.
  • 7. Pedro María Anaya
    (1846 November 21-December 9) Yet another military governor, Anaya was overly concerned with the greater war effort. As a result applied stringent regulations on the freedom of the press, imposed a large "contribution" on the Church and enforced civilian enrollment into the National Guard.
  • 8. José Guadalupe Covarrubias
    (1846 December 10-December 28) Unlike his predecessors, Covarrubias concentrated on the more civilian aspects of life in Mexico City. He passed decrees on traffic regulations and restricted towncriers' hours of operation.
  • 9. Vicente Romero
    (1846 December 29-December 30) A more civilian-focused governor, Romero repealed abusive road regulations and disbanded the secret police force on the grounds that it was undemocratic.
  • 10. Francisco Suarez Iriarte
    (1848 February 4-February 17) Doubling as President of the Municipal Assembly, Suarez Iriarte attempted to raise funds for the indemnity payments to the American occupying forces.
  • 11. Juan María Florez y Teran
    (1848 October 8-November 2) Among the governor's many projects was the reorganization of Mexico City's drainage and penal systems, which included the construction of a jail based on the Philadelphia model.
  • 12. José Ramon Malo
    (1848 November 5-December 28) During the term of war period's last governor, the Mexican government sent a team of architects to establish the new national boundaries and customs houses. Congress continued to deal with the larger issues indemnity payments and the mission of the National Guard.
  • 13. Imperial Regency
    (1864 May 19- 1865 July 27) This four-item collection on the Imperial Regency documents the political context surrounding Maximilian of Hapsburg's ascension to the Mexican throne. The last document in the series is the emperor's edict on educational reforms.

Organization and Arrangement

Documents have been placed into an oversized box and physically separated by size into legal and oversized folders. Subsequently, they have then been arranged by series. Pamphlets and small broadsides occupy folders 1 through 6. Medium-sized broadsides have been individually placed into Mylar envelopes and then arranged chronologically into folder 7. Folders 8, 9, 10 and 11 are reserved for the individual storage of the collection's four oversized items.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Mexican War, 1807-1864 (bulk 1846-1848).

Genres and Forms of Material

Proclamations--Mexico.


Container List

 

1. Silvestre Diaz de la Vega

Box 1, Folder 1

Viceroyal decree on treasuries' mismanagement 1807 September 1

Physical Description: 4 pages.
 

2. Miguel Cervantes

Box 1, Folder 2

Voting requisites for deputy elections 1830 July 14

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

3. Luis Gonzaga de Chávarri

Box 1, Folder 2

Suspending "alcabala" tax for benefit of the poor 1846 August 6

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

4. José Gomez de la Cortina

Box 1, Folder 2

Authorizing Congress to pass laws 1846 August 22

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Revoking previous fireweapon licenses 1846 August 24

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Expectations of community-based police forces 1846 August 26

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Organization of public security vigilance 1846 September 5

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Criminal profiling of domestic servants 1846 September 5

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Re-establishment of judicial system 1846 September 7

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Various measures to expedite road improvement 1846 September 9

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Enrollment and organization of the National Guard 1846 September 11

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Amendment to previous road improvement law 1846 September 15

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Authorizing public meetings on political issues 1846 September 17

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Imposition of gunpowder tax 1846 September 17

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Annuling previous Naval reforms 1846 September 17

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Free introduction of weapons to protect nation 1846 September 18

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

States contribute soldiers to national army 1846 September 18

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Raising taxes for unoccupied states 1846 September 21

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Reduced importation fees for merchant ships 1846 September 22

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Establishment of a government council 1846 September 25

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Government council members eligible for Congress 1846 October 4

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

General one-time tax for war effort 1846 October 5

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Total elimination of the "alcabala" tax 1846 October 12

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

5. José Lázaro Villamil

Box 1, Folder 2

Canceling court and trial fees 1846 October 21

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Suspending the election of civil judges 1846 October 25

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

War impedes applying recent judicial reforms 1846 October 25

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Supreme Court may arbitrer military trials 1846 October 26

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Abrogation of debt repossession laws 1846 October 26

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Jurisdictional limits of the Supreme Court 1846 October 26

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Describing powers of the Supreme Court 1846 October 26

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Expediting upcoming Congress session 1846 October 28

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Citizenry must donate weapons for war effort 1846 October 28

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

National Guard only to aid threatened states 1846 October 29

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Dispellment of traitors' rumors on enrollment 1846 October 29

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Pressing for collection of taxes for the war 1846 October 30

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Repealing law on employees' dereliction of duty 1846 November 6

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

On maintaining 1830 electoral laws 1846 November 12

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Reinstatement of the "alcabala" tax 1846 November 13

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

6. Agustin Buenrostro

Box 1, Folder 2

Progressive judicial and penal system 1846 October 21

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Establishment of local arbitrers to mediate disputes 1846 October 21

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

7. Pedro María Anaya

Box 1, Folder 2

Guidelines for censorship of the press 1846 November 21

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Church must raise 2 million pesos for the war 1846 November 22

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Federal Government appoints local judges 1846 November 23

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Commissioners enforce National Guard enrollment 1846 November 30

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Citizenry to adorn private and public buildings 1846 December 2

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Pro-immigration Department of Colonization formed 1846 December 3

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

National Guard to protect Mexico City 1846 December 3

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Amendments to law on free trials 1846 December 4

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Prisoners work to reduce sentence time 1846 December 4

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

On civil and criminal judges' replacements 1846 December 5

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Reforms for civil and criminal court judges 1846 December 5

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Court clerks considered as public officials 1846 December 9

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Distribution of court clerk fees 1846 December 9

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

8. José Guadalupe Covarrubias

Box 1, Folder 2

Metropolitan Diocese completed war fund quota 1846 December 10

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Restricting "towncriers" hours of operation 1846 December 11

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Traffic regulations for horse carriage owners 1846 December 16

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Department of Colonization mission and regulations 1846 December 22

Physical Description: Pamphlet. 16 pages.
Box 1, Folder 2

Election of president and vice-president 1846 December 22

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Regulation of purchaseable public offices 1846 December 22

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Days of prayer for the Constitutional Congress 1846 December 23

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Election of Antonio Lopez Santa Anna as president 1846 December 24

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Swearing in of vicepresident Valentin Gomez Farias 1846 December 24

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

9. Vicente Romero

Box 1, Folder 2

Congressmen forbidden from holding jobs 1846 December 28

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Repeal of September road improvement laws 1846 December 29

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Disbandment of the secret police force 1846 December 29

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 2

Prohibiting entry of fruit and foodstuffs peddlers 1846 December 29

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

10. Francisco Suarez Iriarte

Box 1, Folder 3

Budget and taxation list for Mexico city properties 1848 February 4

Physical Description: Pamphlet. 18 pages.
Box 1, Folder 7

Mexico City indemnity payment to the United States 1848 February 17

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Mexico City indemnity payment to the United States 1848 February 17

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

11. Juan María Florez y Teran

Box 1, Folder 4

Regulations on collection of municipal funds 1848 October 6

Physical Description: Pamphlet. 20 pages.
Box 1, Folder 5

Fireworks restrictions for religious holidays 1848 October 13

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 8

Tax raise for inhabitants of Mexico City 1848 October 12

Physical Description: Oversized broadside.
Box 1, Folder 5

Allocation of war funds to northern states 1848 October 18

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 5

Authorizing a minor control of his estates 1848 October 19

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 5

Rescheduling of delayed senatorial elections 1848 October 29

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Establishment of correctional system 1848 October 8

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 5

Use of National Guard forces for defense 1848 November 2

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Construction of Philadelphia-style jail 1848 October 8

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 5

Jose Gabriel Rodriguez receives scholarship 1848 November 2

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Construction of drainage system for Mexico City 1848 October 13

Physical Description: Broadside.
 

12. José Ramon Malo

Box 1, Folder 6

Architects to establish new national boundaries 1848 November 5

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Congress indemnification funds, ends sessions 1848 November 5

Physical Description: Broadside. 2 pages.
Box 1, Folder 6

President appoints Mexico City governor and secretary 1848 November 6

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Congress reduces convict's prison sentence 1848 November 6

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Family of Agustin de Iturbide remunerated 1848 November 12

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Auditor appointed for the National Guard 1848 November 13

Physical Description: Leaflet. 4 pages.
Box 1, Folder 6

Fireworks restrictions for Guadalupe celebration 1848 December 7

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Elimination of several voting restrictions 1848 November 6

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Alcaldes continue in office until new law passes 1848 December 9

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Re-organization of border customs houses 1848 November 26

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Slaughterhouse owners evading new regulations 1848 December 19

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Holiday restrictions on liquor sales 1848 December 13

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Lost children taken to Hospice of the Poor 1848 December 19

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Slaughterhouse restrictions and regulations 1848 December 15

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 6

Business and church restrictions for Christmas Eve 1848 December 22

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Reforms to the National Guard 1848 December 21

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Amendment to slaughterhouse restrictions 1848 December 24

Physical Description: Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Taxation of Mexico City businesses 1848 December 28

Physical Description: Broadside. Torn item.
 

13. Imperial Regency

Box 1, Folder 9

Account of actions by the Imperial Regency 1864 May 19

Physical Description: Oversized Broadside.
Box 1, Folder 10

Regency offers Maximilian the crown of Mexico 1864 May 21

Physical Description: Newspaper. 4 pages.
Box 1, Folder 11

Maximilian's edict on educational reforms 1865 July 27

Physical Description: Oversized broadside.
Box 1, Folder 7

Maximilian accepts the Mexican throne 1864 May 20

Physical Description: Broadside.