[POLK, James K. (1795-1849)]. Message from the President of the United States...December 7, 1847. 30th Congress, First Session, Executive Document no. 1. Washington: Wendell and Van Benthuysen, 1847.
8vo., (9 1/8 x 5 ¾ inches). (Light spotting and some browning throughout). 13 fine folding lithographed maps, including those of the major California and New Mexico battles; five folding tables (one or two short tears at mounts, some new folds). Contemporary half deer, marbled paper boards (front cover nearly detached, spine quite worn).
Provenance: Original official address label in manuscript to Dudley Marvin (1786-1856), U.S. Representative from New York, tipped in before the title page. Bookseller’s label to front pastedown: “Aldredge Book Store Fine Books Dallas.”
First edition. This is Executive Doc. No. 1, of the Thirtieth Congress, issued for the Senate, and it is a large document, consisting of 1369 pages, plus an appendix relating to the war with Mexico and other western affairs. In addition to the important maps, it contains diplomatic correspondence, military reports, statistical records, occupation records, and other papers relating to the conflict, as well as the reports of the Army’s Chief Engineer, the Superintendent of West Point, and the Chief of the Topographical Engineers. The first 500 pages alone is “a detailed military history of the Mexican War, except the opening operations of 1846 . . . accompanied by the reports of the officers in the field covering the military operations from the battle of Buena Vista to the capture of the city of Mexico. An appendix of 249 pages supplies further military reports, chiefly from subordinate officers” (Lamed 2014). The maps include: a “Plan of the Battle of Buena Vista,” “Battles of Mexico: Line of Operations of the U.S. Army under the Command of Major General Winfield Scott on the 19th and 20th of August 1847, Surveyed by Maj. Turnbull, Capt. McClellan and Lieut. Hardcastle Corps of Top Engineers, Drawn by Lieut. Hardcastle,” a “Sketch of the Battle of Sacramento,” and an untitled map showing Sierra Nevada and the Gulf of California. “One of America’s most successful conflicts militarily, the Mexican War added vast territories to the national domain. It also, however, provoked anti-Americanism in Mexico and contributed to the sectional tension that culminated in the Civil War. The conflict was an outgrowth of U.S. expansionism (expressed in the popular slogan ‘Manifest Destiny,’ coined in 1845). In an immediate sense, warfare erupted because of a dispute over the boundary separating Mexico and Texas, exacerbated by Mexico's defaulting in 1844 on payments to satisfy American citizens’ claims for losses sustained in Mexico. The U.S. government, after annexing the Republic of Texas in 1845, upheld Texas's claim to the Rio Grande River as its border with Mexico. Mexican authorities neither recognized Texas's independence from Mexico (achieved in 1836) nor its annexation by the United States; they also claimed that Texas extended only to the Nueces River. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, signed by U.S. negotiator Nicholas P. Trist with Mexican officials on 2 February 1848 and ratified by the U.S. Senate on 10 March, ended the war. It ceded to the United States some 500,000 square miles--including the disputed boundary area and what would become today’s states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming--in return for $15 million and the U.S. government’s assumption of up to $3.25 million in American claims against Mexico. The United States agreed to honor the property rights of current inhabitants of the ceded territories, though the process was unevenly applied, and most residents lost their land over time. The last U.S. forces evacuated Mexico in August 1848” (Robert E. May for ANB). Sabin 48113. Dudley Marvin was a lawyer and Representative from New York. In 1812 he served as lieutenant in the state militia and eventually became major general. He was elected as an Adams-Clay Republican to the Eighteenth Congress, and reelected as an Adams candidate to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Congresses (1823-1829). He developed and patented various mechanical improvements and continued to practice law. In 1847 he was elected as a Whig candidate to the Thirtieth Congress and served for two years, after which he resumed the practice of law in Ripley, NY until his death in 1856.