Montlong, Wilhelm von. Authentische Enthüllungen über die letzten Ereignisse in Mexico. [Authentic disclosures about recent events in Mexico]
Stuttgart: Hoffmann…, 1868. 230 by 160mm (9 by 6¼ inches). 19th century half red morocco, gilt spine, over marbled boards; vi, 232 pp. Text in German with some Spanish. Illustrated with 2 double-page plates (on Mexico City waterworks). Bookplates of “Clara M. Gilbert” on front and rear pastedowns, with the added name of “Skilton” in ink. Along with a newspaper article (see below).
Very good with hinges and edges rubbed, and a few small chips to the boards. Front bookplate with medium damage and back bookplate lightly damaged; some staining to plates.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire was very active in Mexico in the 1860’s (it was allied with France in the Second Franco-Mexican War), and this book is a German report on the French in Mexico.
Julius Augustus Skilton (1833–1897) was a physician, war correspondent, Consul-General to Mexico under President Grant, and businessman who lived in Mexico from about 1867 to 1884. Maximilian I, a member of the Hapsburg family, had been installed as Emperor of Mexico. Maximilian was executed in 1867 and Skilton was asked by the Mexican government to exhume and examine Maximilian’s body and return it to Austria. This book bears the two bookplates of Skilton’s daughter-in-law, Clara M. Gilbert (1872–1952).
The book includes a list of German and Austrian officers who served in Mexico and there are numerous pencil notations correcting some names and noting whether they had died. Also included is a contemporary newspaper article (in German) on the death of Maximilian, with numerous handwritten notations. It is unknown whether this book was a gift (or inheritance) from Skilton or whether Gilbert bought the book to read about her father-in-law’s activities in Mexico. A prior owner marked on the flyleaf “Skilton’s Copy
The papers of the Skilton family are at Cornell, including extensive correspondence with Gilbert. Additional papers are at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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