20 leaves of manuscripts and 22 leaves of mimeographed typescripts (many of them signed or annotated in manuscript), most about 13 x 8 1/2 inches or shorter; Zapata letter with faint damp staining down vertical fold, a few items with minor edge wear, but generally well-preserved. Vp, July to November 1912. Item #109370
Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919) was a key figure in the Mexican Revolution. Commanding the Liberation Army of the South (Ejército Libertador del Sur) from his home state in Morelos, he sought land reform and supported the 1911 overthrow of Porfirio Diaz. When Diaz's successor Francisco Madero also proved uninterested in land reform, Zapata continued the struggle. Offered here is a file relating to the Madero government's counter-insurgency efforts against the Zapatistas. The highlight of this lot is a Letter Signed from Zapata to the railroad offices of Mexico, and is a warning notice to the government, the railroad companies and their employs and the passengers of future-armed attacks on all trains leaving or entering Mexico City. Headed "Ejercito Libertador del Sur, Circular 210" and dated Morelos, 25 August 1912, it begins "A las empresas ferrocarrileras, a las comercianses y pasajeros de trenes. La junta revolucionaria del movimiento armado del sur y del centro de la República, en sesión verificada el día 15 del corriente acordó se haga conocer a las empresas ferrocarrileras como lo hago, que del día 10 de Septiembre serán atacados por mis fuerzas todo los trenes que salgan de la Ciudad de México a diferentes lugares de la República." It notifies all railroad employees and passengers that any trains leaving Mexico City after 10 September will be attacked by Zapata's revolutionary army. It closes "'Reforma, Libertad, Justicia y Ley." The body of the letter is in a secretarial hand, over his signature as "General en Jefe." Most extant Zapata signatures are from the 1914-19 period, and we are aware of no earlier signatures on the market since 1986. His signature is tighter and more tidy than his later efforts, but retains the distinctive hook swooping across from the penultimate "t". The remainder of the file consists of reports from field agents to the chief inspectors of the Mexican Police, Major Emiliano López Figueroa and Anastasio Bravo. They discuss attempts to infiltrate Zapatista bases in Morelos; investigations of Zapatista collaborators in Mexico City; and inspections of federal trains in search of smuggled ammunition and weapons. Several manuscript signed documents and typed documents (memorandums, reports, letters, etc.) from diverse police agents (agentes) reporting actions in train surveillance and apprehensions against members (including a priest in Mexico City) of the armed movement and raids in their operations centers. Some surveillance police memos report of trains coming from El Paso (Texas?) and crossing through the states of Puebla and Morelos (Los Reyes, Teoyolucan, Matamoros, Jujutla, Cuautla, Cuernavaca, etc.). Another manuscript document addressed to the “Inspector General de Policia” asks for a credential or a safe pass “So that they do not commit abuses or arbitrariness to my person, such as those committed in Cuernavaca” where despite working for the Government, he was subject to cruel treatment (six days tied in a room and 4 months in prison).