[HISTORIES]. ROA BÁRCENA, José María. Recuerdos de la invasion norte-americana 1846-1848 por un joven de entonces. Mexico City: Edición de la Librería Madrileña de Juan Buxó y Ca., portal del Águila de Oro, núm 5, 1883. , [i]-ii,  2-686 pp. 8vo (23.8 x 16.5 cm), contemporary half dark brown morocco over brown, yellow, and orange marbled boards, spine gilt lettered and decorated with raised bands, edges sprinkled. Light shelf wear, upper hinge open. Pp. 677/678 lack upper right corner. With several ink stamps of Antonio de Bosso, November, 15, 1883. An exceptionally fine, crisp copy.
First edition. Connor & Faulk 25: “Bancroft praised the book saying it was the result of study of both American and Mexican documents.” Garrett & Goodwin, p. 45: ”This work is considered basic to the study of the Mexican-American War, and it is among the best accounts by a Mexican author.” Griffin 4245: “The most impartial, detailed, complete, and well-written account on the North American invasion. Roa Bárcena’s thesis is that defending Mexican forces did not give such a bad account of themselves.” Haferkorn, p. 17. Harvard Guide to American History, p. 373. Howes R333. Palau 270660. Tutorow 3672: “Standard history of the Mexican War from the Mexican perspective.”
The author covers the entire war, from the opening battles of the Texas Revolution to the capitulation of Mexico City and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Throughout he does honor to the Mexican nation and its actions during that conflict, stating that even U.S. documents he has examined pay homage to Mexican troops: “Con agradable sopresa halló en ellos que la defensa nacional, tan menosapreciada por nosotros y que no careció de nobles esfuerzos ni de rasgos heroicos con que cualquier pueblo se ufanaría, era diversa y favorablemente juzgada por los mismos invasores” (p. [i]).
Roa Bárcena (1827-1908) would have been a mere twenty years old during the Mexican-American War, which explains the disclaimer on the present title page. The author was a prominent poet, translator, and polemicist, who cooperated with Maximilian, for which he was briefly sentenced to confinement. His history is one of the more important accounts of the war, written from a perspective of nearly forty decades and based on extensive and meticulous research.