Rifle Instruction in Spanish Published in New York
Práctica del tirador, ó sea, Tratado elemental sobre la teoría del tiro: Con armas rayadas especiales y las militares de ordenanza, comprendiendo la instrucción de las tropas y la descripcion del sistema moderno de retrocarga, sus proyectiles y cartucheria metalica
Notes: A guide to rifles and their use for civilians and soldiers, by a Mexican army general. Illustrated with plates documenting how to hold a rifle and the basics of ballistics. One plate specifically focuses on the use of a Remington rifle. An uncommon US Spanish-language imprint. This copy is bound with another scarce treatise on ballistics (see below).
In his introduction, Benavides mentions the recent troubles in Mexico, referring to the French invasion and the installation of Emperor Maximilian. Benavides played an important role in that conflict as the commander in charge of the decisive battle, the three-month siege of Veracruz. That experience proved to him that all citizens should become familiar with arms, be prepared to fight for liberty and independence, and be ready to defend the nation's borders.
"Un pueblo situado como el nuestro, bajo tan especiales circunstancias, no puede dejar de comprender la importancia de que todas los ciudadanos, ó al menos la mayor parte, se instruyan en los rudimentos del manejo de las armas, para ponerse en disposición de tomar parte, desde el primer momento y llegado el caso, en defensa de nuestras libertades, nuestras fronteras, y nuestra INDEPENDENCIA" (emphasis in the original). [A people placed like ours, under such special circumstances, cannot fail to understand the importance of all citizens, or at least the greater part, being instructed in the rudiments of the handling of arms, in order to be in a position to take part, from the first moment and when the case arises, in the defense of our liberties, our frontiers, and our INDEPENDENCE].
A very scarce Spanish-language imprint, written and published while Benavides was on a seven-year sabbatical from the army so he could recover from wounds received in the battle of Veracruz. On his return to Mexico, he was sent to the US border, to reduce tensions due to banditry along the frontier (see Smith, General Benavides and the Texas-Mexico Border Crisis of 1877, Southwestern Quarterly, 2009).
xi, 430, errata leaf. 5 plates, three of them folding. 4-3/4 by 7-1/2 inches.
Bound with Conferencias sobre teoría del tiro... by Pedro de Morales y Prieto. Barcelona: Revista Científico-Militar y Bibliotec Militar, 1886. 175 pages plus five tables and an errata leaf.
OCLC locates three copies of Benevides' book (UT, Columbia, and the American Antiquarian Society) and one copy of the second work (BNF).
Edition + Condition: First edition, first printing of both works, bound without the presumed wrappers. Bound in quarter calf and blue cloth bound in the early 20th century by Saul A. Alva. Some pages trimmed close to the text block; a few plates the tears, but generally very good.
Publication: Nueva York: Imprenta de "El Correo de Nueva York" 1874.
Item No: #362610
Status: On Hold