Oct 28, 2021 - Sale 2584

Sale 2584 - Lot 11

Price Realized: $ 2,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
"INDIVIDUALS OF MY COUNTRY HAVE MADE FOOLS OF THEMSELVES THROUGHOUT HISTORY" VILLA, FRANCISCO ("PANCHO"). Typed Letter Signed, in pencil, to Rodolfo Chávez, in Spanish, imploring him to search his conscience about whether Villa is right in what follows, explaining that anarchy has been the consequence of the upper classes supporting Porfirio Díaz and assassinating Francisco Madero, further pointing out that in war both the urban poor and rural farmer suffer, and that those who do not suffer should favor unity over selfishness or else bring ruin to everyone. 1 page, 4to, "Del General / Francisco Villa" stationery; faint scattered staining, short closed tear at left edge, remnants of hinging at upper edge verso, folds. Satevo, Chihuahua, 20 May 1919

Additional Details

"I am sending you this letter, not to ask a favor of you as my enemy, because despite your wealth, you need me more than I need you, but to see if you will abandon the ideas you have, which are the disgrace of the State of Chihuahua. . . . Bear in mind that during the government of Porfirio Díaz you were the brains for everyone in Parral and that when that government fell, all the rich such as you were unhappy . . . looking for a way to overthrow the people's Government . . . of Francisco Madero, so when he was assassinated all of you were very happy, but you . . . never understood that your dictatorial thoughts would turn the Republic into an anarchy . . . . [T]he intelligent individuals of my country have made fools of themselves throughout history and continue to do so with [Venustiano] Carranza. If . . . tomorrow, an invader intrudes upon my country, which also is yours, all the effeminate rich people . . . will be traitors, because they . . . don't know what it is to suffer, and one part of the poor people, who are unaware of the situation and are starving and unclothed, will be bought with clothes and flour while the other part, the rural folks, who are the fortune of a nation will die without any future for anyone . . . . [T]he intelligent people of my country, who should be thinking about unity, are thinking about egotism . . . ."
Although Villa had joined forces with Venustiano Carranza and others to successfully end the dictatorship of Mexican president Victoriano Huerta in June 1914, they were thereafter at opposite sides of the battlefield. In 1916, Carranza became president of Mexico, and by 1919, Villa's support had begun to dwindle. His army consisted in volunteers including both loyal friends, men who had suffered injustices of Carranza (some abused by his soldiers, others deserters from his army), or cattle ranchers whose herds were lost in the revolution. One month after writing this letter, Villa led his last major military assault in a raid against Ciudad Juárez; the Mexican Army called upon the help of over 8,000 American troops, who, together with the Mexicans, defeated the Villistas. The following year, Carranza was deposed and killed; whether Carranza's death was by his own hand or that of an assassin is not known.