MEXICO - UNA PIÑATA BIBLIOGRÁFICA
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The NorthernmostMAYAN Dialect — Two “Firsts”
Tapia Zenteno, Carlos de. Noticia de la lengua huasteca ... con cathecismo, y doctrina christiana para su instruccion ... enchiridion sacramental para su administracion, con todo lo que parece necessario hablar en ella los neoministros y copioso diccionario para facilitar su inteligencia. Mexico: En la Imprenta de la Bibliotheca Mexicana, 1767. 4to (20 cm, 7.785").  ff., 128 pp.
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Huastec is the northernmost dialect of the Maya language. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was spoken in Puebla, Veracruz, and San Luis Potosí. Works of any category in this language are rarely found, this beingthe first surviving published grammar and the first dictionary. The catechism is bilingual (Spanish and Huastec) as is the doctrine. Both are important for the study of moral and doctrinal concerns by the clergy among the indigenous population.
Tapia Zenteno was not only an important Mexican linguist and professor of Mexican languages at the Royal and Pontifical University, but was also a comisario for the Inquisition. This work of his is dedicated to Archbishop Francisco Antonio Lorenzana, a man deeply interested in the indigenous culture and the conquest of it, and the man who produced Cortés's letters in a fine and wonderfully illustrated edition in Mexico in 1770. He also paid for the publication of this work, and his coat of arms appears at the top of the Dedication in an engraving by Manuel Villavicencio, one of Mexico's finest engravers.
The volume is handsomely printed, with a nicely composed typographic border to its title-page, an elegant headpiece and a scenic initial “E” on its p. 1, and a modest but charming typographic “surround” for its final leaf's “O MARIA” (above).
Provenance: Marca de fuego on upper edges of closed book, most likely of the Franciscan Convento de Santa María Magdalena de San Martín Texmelucan, Puebla; early 19th-century pressure-stamp of a private Spanish-language collector on title-page; faint 19th-century case and shelf rubber-stamp in English on front free endpaper.
Viñaza 355; García Icazbalceta, Apuntes, 73; Medina, Mexico, 5187; Sabin 94355; Palau 327486; Maggs,
Bibl. Amer., 4678; Newberry Library, Ayer Indians, Huastec, 15; Pilling, Proof-sheets, 3801. Contemporary limp vellum lacking the leather ties. An attractive, crisp copy and only the fourth complete copy of this work we have seen on the market in 35 years. (33590)
Don't Let theTITLE Mislead You
[drop-title] Tolerancia. [México, 1866]. Small 4to. 15 pp.
Calls for religiousINtolerance of non-Catholic sects: They are the vanguard of the forces seeking to annex Mexico to the U.S.
Not in Sutro. Plain wrappers; age-toning and some fair degree of worming, but sound. (3690)
(Toluca?). Arizcorreta, Mariano. Manifestacion que hace al publico...contra la comunicacion dirigida a los propietarios de fincas rústicas del Estado de México, con motivo de la llamada ciruclar del 18 de julio del gobierno del mismo estado. [Toluca?], 1849. 12mo. 18 pp.
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The Louisiana Purchase PLUS
United States. Dept. of State. Message from the President of the United States, transmitting the correspondence between the United States and the government of Spain, relative to the subjects of controversy between the two nations. Washington: William A. Davis, 1817. 8vo. 77 pp.
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Meaty document dealing with the Louisiana Purchase, U.S. relations with Spain, U.S. boundaries, and the cession ofFlorida to the U.S. that would occur in 1819. There is even discussion of the fate of the province ofTexas. [14th Cong., 2d sess. Senate. Doc.] 114.
Shaw & Shoemaker 42663. Removed from a nonce volume. Title-page with edges browned and with War Department stamp; pages with minor offsetting. (34943)
Mutiny at Buena Vista?
United States. President. 1845-1849. Message from the President...relative to an alleged mutiny at Buena Vista.... U.S. 30th Congress, 1st session, 1848. Sen. Exec. Doc. No. 62. [Washington: 1848]. 8vo. 214 pp.
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The full proceedings of a court of inquiry held at Saltillo, Mexico, from January to April 1848, investigating a mutiny that occurred among American forces stationed at Buena Vista in August 1847 during the Mexican American War. The court exonerates Col. Robert T. Paine, who was the focus of the mutiny and who killed one soldier and wounded another in overcoming the mutineers.
The depositions here offer a view of “ordinary” military life that is full of specifics, as well as accounts of moments of high excitement.
Sewn as issued; in later plain wrappers. Some dust-soiling and light foxing. (3303)
CondemningProbabilism & Jansenism
Velasco, Tomás de. Breviloquio moral practico, en que se contienen las sesenta y cinco proposiciones prohibidas por N. SS. P. Innocencio XI declaradas por via de expugnacion ... Mexico: Por la Viuda de Bernardo Calderon, 1681. Small 8vo (14.5 cm; 5.75"). , 35, xii.,  ff.
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Here for the first time a Mexican explains the reasoning behind “Sanctissimus Dominus,” the papal bull that Innocent XI issued in 1679 condemning65 propositions that had been examined by the Inquisition and found to be contrary to the tenets and teachings of the Church. The Roman Catholic Church believed that the condemned propositions favored a liberal approach to moral theology, many of them being based in probabilism, a path of reasoning followed by the Jesuits — a path totally rejected by the conservative orders such as the Augustinians, and definitely rejected by the Dominicans who dominated the Holy Office.
Velasco presents the condemned concepts (printed in italic type) one by one and then explains why each has been condemned by the Inquisition. He was a Franciscan and “Lector de Visperas de Theología . . . en esta Nueva-España.”
The twelve-page appendix contains 45 propositions that Pope Alexander VII had condemned, here with summaries of what other writers had done to explain the reasoning for their condemnation. The propositions were mostly Jansenist.
The work is from the press of one of Mexico's famed “widow printers,” Paula Benavides, the widow of Bernardo Calderon.
Provenance: Undated (late 17th- or early 18th-century) ownership inscription of the Convent of San Antonio of Queretaro on the verso of the title-page, faded. Partial marca de fuego on top edge, undeciphered because it is so partial.
Via NUC and WorldCat we locate only two copies in U.S. libraries, but we know of a third. Searches of COPAC, CCPB, and the OPAC of the Spanish National Library find no copies in Britain or Spain. The OPAC of the Mexican national library on the other hand, shows seven copies held there.
Andrade 751; Medina, Mexico, 1238. Contemporary limp vellum, no evidence of ties; rear cover with brown staining and piece of rear pastedown excised, with vellum a little small for the text block. Faint and sometimes noticeable waterstain in lower corner of some leaves. (34770)
Velázquez de León, Miguel. La Ramirita nueva especie mineral. México: Oficina Tip. de la Secretaría de Fomento, 1885. 8vo. Frontis. port., 32 pp.
Manual for Inquisitors withInterrogation Questions
Vilaplana, Hermenegildo. Enchiridion canonico-morale de confessario ad inhonesta, & turpia solicitante: nec non de decretis, & constitutionibus pontificiis ad hoc nefarium crimen exterminandum emanantis. Mexico: ex typographia editioni Bibliothecae Mexicanae destinata, 1765. 4to (20 cm; 7.75").  ff., 217 pp.
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A theological and legal treatise on confessors and confession and the sacrament of penance with the emphasis on abuse of the confessional by priests. Telling a priest one's moral and legal transgressions empowers the weak or corrupt priest to then blackmail the parishioner for money or sex or other “favors.”
Father Vilaplana (1712–63), a native of Benimarfull, Valencia, Spain, was a Franciscan, a university lecturer in theology, and an “examiner” for the Inquisition. His handbook gives examples of abuses, lays out the pertinent canon laws and papal edicts, and has a section of questions to be asked of accused priests during court proceedings. The work also discusses punishment and other disciplines that the crimes demand.
Since abuse of the confessional fell under the authority of the Inquisition, this work is de facto a manual for Inquisitors.
This is the “Editio secunda locupletior in paucis.” The Bibliotheca Mexicana was the private press of the great bibliographer, writer, and secular cleric Juan Jose de Eguiara y Eguren.
Medina, Mexico, 5026; Palau 365782. Contemporary limp vellum, rodent-gnawed along several edges with a small loss of vellum. Front endpapers with loss to silverfish. Text unwormed and clean. (29773)
Villagutierre Sotomayor, Juan de. Historia de la conquista de la provincia de el Itza, reduccion, y progressos de la de el Lacandon, y otras naciones de indios barbaros, de la mediacion de el reyno de Guatimala, a las provincias de Yucatan, en la America septentrional. Madrid: Lucas Antonio de Bedmar y Narvaez, 1701. Folio (28.5 cm; 11.5"). Engr. “frontispiece,”  ff., 660 pp.,  ff.
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Although the author never set foot in the New World, his high position in the Consejo de Indias and other royal councils gave him access to much important documentation for the writing of this prized history of the conquest of the Izta Maya and the attempted conquest of the Lacandón Indians during the last decades of the 17th century; the conquest of Petén and the misadventures of Roque de Soberanis y Senteno and Martín de Urzúa, two governors of the Yucatán make for very exciting reading. This is the first published book dedicated solely to the history of the Yucatán and the Maya, here offered in its first edition, first issue (with the incorrect catchword “gla” at the foot of the recto of the 22nd preliminary leaf).
Bedmar y Narvaez printed the title-page in black and red and the text is in double-column format. This copy bears both the engraved “frontispiece” and the black and red title-page, but, as usual, not the very rare colophon.
Although touted as “Primera parte” on the title-page, there were no further parts; this Historia is complete, “all published.”
Palau 366681; Medina, Biblioteca hispano-americana, 2051; Sabin 99643; Leclerc 1546; Salvá 3422; Heredia 3407; Alden & Landis, European Americana, 701/262. On Villagutierre, see: Archivo biográfico de España, Portugal, e Iberoamérica, fiche 1019, frames 213–16. 19th-century Spanish sheep (“pasta española”), covers abraded and with pinhole-type worming to spine; loss of lower inch of spine leather to insects. Browning to text due to impurities in water during paper manufacture. Small insect damage to margins of first four leaves, not touching any text; similar small damage in inner margins of last four leaves. Over all, a decent copy of a scarce work. (13286)
Special Emphasis on Indigenous Practices & a Confessionary in Nahuatl
Puebla Imprint, Puebla Provenance
Villavicencio, Diego Jaimes Ricardo. Luz y methodo de confesar idolatras, y destierro de idolatrias, debajo del tratado siguiente. Tratado de avisos, y puntos importantes, de la abominable seta de la idolatria. Puebla de los Angeles: Imprenta de Diego Fernandez de Leon, 1692. 4to (21 cm; 8.25").  ff., 36 pp., pp. 40–131, 133–36; 51, [1 (blank)] pp.,  f.
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Personal experience among various indigenous people of differing regions of Mexico sets this treatise apart from the garden variety of other books by Villvicencio's contemporaries on surviving pre-Contact religious practices. One normally searches hard to find information on religious practices among the late 17th-centuryChocho speakers of Oaxaca and Veracruz, for example, but some interesting tidbits can be found here — though the greatest portion of the volume is dedicated to practices among the various Nahuatl-speaking peoples, as they were viewed by Europeans as the norm for pre-Conquest practices. In fact, there is a confessionary in Nahuatl that speaks specifically to indigenous practices on pp. 11–19 of the second pagination.
In addition to supplying firsthand practical information about native post-Contact survivals (e.g., the lengthy list found on pp. 49 and 50, second pagination, of sacrifice practices and superstitions that the Church frowned upon), the author displays considerable erudition on the subject of pre-Contact practices based on a huge body of published information, all of which is carefully documented.
17th-century Mexican imprints are ever increasingly difficult to find, and those produced in Puebla (as opposed to Mexico City) are the most difficult of all. This important treatise isonly the second complete copy we have had in our stock in more than 30 years of dealing in Mexicana.
Curiously, there are two issues of this sole edition. After the work was printed but before all copies were sold or distributed, a two-leaf insert was printed that begins “Copia de carta escrita por . . . Don Fray Francisco Nunez obispo de Chiapa” and concerns idolatry in the Yucatan. Some few copies (e.g., those at Library of Congress and New York Public) have these added two leaves. Medina did not know of them and they are not present in the copies at the John Carter Brown, the Bancroft, Tulane, or Beinecke Libraries. Offered here isa complete copy of the first issue, i.e., without the later added letter.
Provenance: Marca de fuego on closed bottom edges of the Hospital de Convalecientes de Nuestra Señora Belén de Puebla.
Medina, Puebla, 153; Sabin 99693; Palau 368931; Viñaza 232; León-Portilla, Tepuztlahcuilolli, 2827; Ugarte, Lenguas indigenas de Mexico, 427; Pilling, Proof-sheets, 4038; García Icazbalceta, Lenguas, 164. Contemporary limp vellum, lacking the ties, modern lettering in ink (old style) on spine; binding a little small for the textblock. Worming at inner margins, occasionally into text, touching and occasionally costing letters but no whole words; waterstaining sometimes barely noticeable, other times like a tea stain. We'd rate it good++. Complete, with the sometimes missing full-page woodcut of the Cruxifixion. (34384)
Bulls Bow Down & Fiends Are Powerless
Ximénez, Mateo. Compendio della vita del beato Sebastiano d'Apparizio, laico professo dell'ordine de' Minori Osservanti del Padre S. Francesco della provincia del Santo Evangelio nel Messico. Roma: Stamperia Salomoni, 1789. 4to (24.2 cm, 9.5"). xvi pp., port., 228 pp.,  f. [with] Coleccion de estampas que representan los principales pasos, echos, y prodigios del Bto.. Frai Sebastian de Aparizio, relig[ios]o. franciscano de la provincia del S[an]to Evangelio de Mexico. Dispuesta por el R.P. Fr. Mateo Ximenez. Roma: por el incisor Pedro Bombelli, 1789. 4to (23.5 cm, 9.125"). Engr. title,  of  plts.
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From humble carter to revered and beatified lay Franciscan is not an easy course to pursue in life, but Sebastián de Aparicio (1502-1600) accomplished it in Mexico. Although he was married multiple times, he is said to have remained chaste, deciding in 1574 to abandon his secular lifestyle for that of a lay Franciscan. He is said to have had great ability to manage and calm animals, including near-wild bulls. His life was filled with teaching, begging, and accomplishing near-impossible things. Offered here is the first edition of Ximénez's biography and the fine album of plates illustrating events in Aparicio's life (see our caption, above).
Finding the “life” and the volume of plates together is uncommon. Only by happenstance did the two volumes come to us within months of one another, from two different continents, allowing us to marry them for this offering. For example, in the U.S., only the Lilly and Bancroft Libraries report owning both works. There is some question as to the number of plates in a complete copy of the Colección: Some sources call for an engraved title-page and 128 plates, while others call for 129 plates. There seems not to have been an edition of the Vita in Spanish.
Vita: Palau 377047; Sabin 105727A. Colección: Palau 377048; Sabin 105728. Vita: Contemporary Italian binding of quarter leather with “wallpaper” covered boards; edges of boards seriously rubbed and exposing underlying paste boards. Internally very good. Colección: 20th-century Spanish quarter leather, with paper in imitation of treed calf on the covers. Private ownership stamps on title-page. Missing 29 plates; the other hundred in very good! condition. (2093)
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