PEÑA, JUAN ANTONIO DE LA.
Derrotero de La Expedicion en la Provincia de los Texas.... Mexico City: Juan Francisco de Ortega Bonilla, 1722.
, 29 ll [3 maps included in foliation]. A-N2 + singleton. Typographic title-page border and head-piece. 4 folding engraved maps by Sylverio (3 with letterpress captions printed on the verso, 1 with caption on recto, within image). Folio (296 x 195 mm). Modern quarter red morocco, spine gilt-lettered. Title-page with some pale staining and repair to lower corner, lower corner of first several leaves worn, two wormholes (one in upper margin, but the other in text catching letters), blank corner of H2 and of final engraving torn away, final 2 leaves lined, final 5 leaves including map with some dampstaining and apparently supplied from another copy, first 3 engravings just trimmed into neat lines.
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK DEVOTED WHOLLY TO TEXAS, A SUPERLATIVE RARITY. De la Peña was a Franciscan friar who accompanied the expedition of Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo, organized to secure Spanish control after reports of French raids on the Texas missions. Aguayo set out with 500 men and is credited with having had a major impact on Texas colonization. The four engraved plans are all of Presidios re-established by Aguayo. They include depictions of local fauna and details of the forts down to individual cannon and tombstones. They are: N.S. del Pilar de los Adaes, near present-day Robeline, Louisiana, abandoned in 1773; N.S. de Loreto en la Bahia, established on the ruins of Fort St. Louis in present-day Victoria County; San Antonio de Bejar, present-day San Antonio, the most important early settlement in Texasthe presidio was founded in 1718 and relocated by Aguayo in 1722 across the river from the Mission; and N.S. de los Dolores, first established in 1717, abandoned under French threat in 1719, and re-established by Aguayo. As in the Kane copy at Princeton, the final plan bears the letterpress caption on the recto rather than verso. The title-page bears an early manuscript heading: "Numero 6." Clements Fifty Texas Rarities 4; Graff 3242; Howes P195 ("dd"); Jenkins 40; Jones 414; Streeter Americana-Beginnings 56.
Acquisition: purchased from William Reese Company, 2001, $70,000.
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