Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez de (ON HOLD)


1847 MsDS 2 weeks before Santa Anna was relieved of command  and the presidency at the end of the disastrous Mexican-American War


Type:  Document
Description:  10 ¾ x 8 ¼ MsDS in Spanish boldly signed “L. de S,ta Anna” on engraved letterhead of the President of the Republic stationary with engraved seal at top, Mexico City, September 2 1847, safe travel pass for Minister Seiffart, representing the King of Prussia, to collect taxes on goods entering Mexico. On August 20, 1847, Mexican forces were defeated at Churubusco; on Aug. 24, an armistice was reached that lasted until Sept. 6. On Sept. 8 Mexican forces were defeated at the Battle of Molino del Rey. The Battle of Mexico City was fought Sept. 8-15, the Battle of Chapultepec on Sept. 13. On Sept. 14 Santa Anna left Mexico City and Gen. Winfield Scott occupied the city; on Sept. 16, Santa Anna was relieved of command and Manuel de la Peña y Peña was named President.

(1794-1876) Mexican politician and general, greatly influenced Mexican politics and government in the 1st half of the 19th century. His military and political career featured a series of reversals. He opposed Mexican independence from Spain then fought in support of it. He backed the 1st Mexican Empire then revolted against the Emperor. An enigmatic, patriotic, and controversial figure, he wielded great power during the 40 years of his turbulent political career. He served 11 non-consecutive presidential terms over 22 years and when not president, pursued his military career.

Perceived as a hero by his troops, he sought glory for himself and his army and independence for Mexico, repeatedly rebuilt his reputation after major losses. His military failures cost Mexico half its territory, beginning with the 1836 Texas Revolution and then with the 1848 Mexican Cession after the loss in the Mexican-American War. His leadership in the Mexican-American War and his willingness to fight to the bitter end prolonged the war. After that debacle, he returned to the presidency and in 1853 sold territory to the US in the Gadsden Purchase. Overthrown in the 1855 liberal Revolution of Ayutla, he lived most of his later years in exile.

From a middle-class family in Veracruz, his provincial origins made him uncomfortable in the halls of power in Mexico City dominated by elite cliques, so he cultivated contact with ordinary Mexicans. He was a populist strongman wielding both military and political power.

The War of Independence lasted to 1821, and Santa Anna fought against independence. He served in Texas in 1813, cited for bravery at the Battle of Medina. When royalist officer Agustin de Iturbide changed sides in 1821 and with insurgent Vicente Guerrero fought for independence, Santa Anna joined them. Iturbide gave Santa Anna command of Veracruz; when Iturbide later removed him from the post, Santa Anna rebelled in December 1822 against Iturbide. Santa Anna marched from Veracruz to Tampico, then to San Luis Potosí, proclaiming himself “protector of the federation” and pledged his military forces to the protection of key areas. In May 1823, after Iturbide’s abdication as Emperor in March, Santa Anna commanded in Yucatan and became governor in 1828.

 In 1829, his forces defeated a Spanish invasion to reconquer Mexico which increased his popularity and consolidated the independence of the new Mexican republic. Santa Anna was declared a hero and styled himself “The Victor of Tampico” and “The Savior of the Patria” and “The Napoleon of the West.”

Elected president 1 April 1833, he desired the title but was not interested in governing. Vice President Gómez Farías governed while Santa Anna retired to his Veracruz hacienda. Mexico had an empty treasury and an 11M peso debt. As opinion turned against radical reforms, Santa Anna returned to the presidency, and Gómez Farías resigned. Conservatives reshaped Mexico’s government from a federalist republic to a unitary central republic.

Santa Anna formed a new Catholic, centralist, conservative government, preserving the Church’s and the army’s privileges, the Church promising a monthly donation to the government of 30,000–40,000 pesos. Conservative centralists moved to replace the federal constitution that gave power to the states with unitary power in a central government. Several states rebelled and formed their own governments, inc. the Republic of Texas. After defeating Zacatecas, he sought to march on Coahuila y Tejas to quell the rebellion supported by American settlers.

In 1835, Santa Anna repealed the Constitution leading to the start of the Texas Revolution. The Texas Department of the State of Coahuila y Tejas rebelled in late 1835 and declared itself independent 2 March 1836. Santa Anna marched north to bring Texas back under Mexican control with brute merciless force, confident that a show of force and a few massacres would have rebels begging for mercy. At the Battle of the Alamo, his forces killed 189 Texan insurgents on 6 March 1836 and executed 342 Texan prisoners at the 27 March 1836 Goliad Massacre.

 During the siege of the Alamo, the Texas Navy plundered Gulf ports and the Texian Army gained weapons and ammunition. Texians routed Santa Anna’s much larger army at the 21 April 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, shouting, “Remember Goliad, Remember the Alamo!” On 22 April, a small Texian force caught Santa Anna dressed in a private’s uniform, hiding in a marsh. Texas President Burnet and Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco recognizing Texas’ independence in exchange for Santa Anna’s guaranteed safety and transport to Veracruz. A new government declared Santa Anna was no longer president and the treaty with Texas was null and void. The Mexican Congress also rejected the treaty.

After some time in exile in the US, he was allowed to retire to Veracruz where he wrote a manifesto reflecting on his Texas experiences and his surrender. In 1838, Mexico rejected French demands for financial compensation for losses suffered by its citizens, and France sent forces to Veracruz in the “Pastry War”. The government gave Santa Anna control of the army and ordered him to defend the nation by any means necessary. During a retreat after a failed assault, he was wounded which required amputation of much of his left leg, which he ordered buried with full military honors. Despite capitulating to French demands, Santa Anna used his war service and visible sacrifice to re-enter politics and was made president for the 5th time, taking over a nation with an empty treasury. Commanding the army, he crushed a rebellion in Puebla then ruled in a more dictatorial way than during his 1st administration. He banned anti-Santanista newspapers and jailed dissidents to suppress opposition. In 1842, an expedition into Texas inflicted many casualties with no political gain, but Texans saw benefits to US annexation.

After the 1842 elections, the new Congress opposed him and Santa Anna stepped down and fled in December 1844. The buried leg he left behind in the capital was dug up by a mob and dragged through the streets until nothing was left of it. In January 1845 he was caught by some Native Americans who turned him over to authorities, and he was jailed then exiled to Cuba.

In 1846, Mexican and American troops moved towards the Rio Grande into the disputed Nueces Strip, Mexico rapidly losing major battles at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. President Paredes was overthrown 4 August, and Santa Anna returned 6 August, still popular among the people. Despite a history of double-dealing and corruption, he was seen as the most reliable person to get through obstacles and threats Mexico would face. He wanted to solely focus on aiding the military against the US.

Polk authorized an invasion of central Mexico to take the capital and force Mexico to negotiate. Santa Anna marched north, his forces outnumbering Zachary Taylor’s, but his troops were exhausted, ill-clothed, hungry, and with inferior weapons. When the armies met in the Battle of Buena Vista 22–23 February 1847, Santa Anna withdrew overnight just as complete victory was at hand, taking trophies as evidence of victory. With Scott landing at Veracruz, he moved to engage and protect the capital. US forces outflanked him and against strong odds defeated Santa Anna’s army at Cerro Gordo, allowing Scott to advance into the capital. Battles at Contreras, Churubusco, and Molina del Rey were lost. The Battle for Mexico City and the Battle of Chapultepec were hard losses and US forces took the capital. His most personal ignominious incident was the capture of his prosthetic cork leg during the Battle of Cerro Gordo.

Following defeat in 1848, Santa Anna went into exile in Jamaica, and in 1850 moved to Colombia. In April 1853, he was invited back by conservatives who overthrew a weak liberal government. Elected president 17 March 1853, he declared himself dictator-for-life with the title “Most Serene Highness”. His administration was dependent on loans from moneylenders and conservative elites, church, and army support. A major error was his sale of territory to the US, the Gadsden Purchase. His short-sighted deal netted the government $250,000 against credit of $650,000 going to the bankers. Liberals overthrew Santa Anna who went into exile 1855-74. In the 1850s, he went to NYC with a shipment of chicle which he hoped to sell for use in buggy tires. While he introduced chewing gum to the US, he did not make any money from it. Thomas Adams, who aided Santa Anna while he was in the US, helped found the chewing gum industry with his product, “chiclets”.

In 1865, he tried to return to Mexico during the French invasion but was rebuffed by Juárez. In 1874, a general amnesty allowed his return to Mexico. He died at his Mexico City home, buried with full military honors in Panteón del Tepeyac Cemetery.

Condition: Very good, faint age-toning, small  tape stains at left & right sides.

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