Item #32167 An Appeal to Humanity. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC -- PUERTO PLATA -- BROADSIDE.
An Appeal to Humanity.
An Appeal to Humanity.

An Appeal to Humanity.

(DOMINICAN REPUBLIC -- PUERTO PLATA -- BROADSIDE).

Broadside. 4to (9½" X 12"). Near fine. Faintly age toned and with just the slightest bit of edgewear. Item #32167

Puerto Plata (also spelled Porto Plata) is the capital city of a province bearing the same name on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, and on the night of August 21, 1871, a fire engulfed that city's commercial district, crippling this remote district. On this occasion the province's governor, RAMON D. PACHECO, and the president of its Ayuntamiento (municipality council), FEDERICO M. LEYBA, signed (in type) this broadside, which consists of two side-by-side columns in English. In highly flowery language and twisted grammar, Pacheco and Leyba describe the fire and what it did to their city and its residents. In part: "Forty six buildings which encircled the only and most valuable, that held the greatest credit, that represented the complement of the towns welfare, the support of the majority of the population and, in short, were the prop of the Government, the guarantee of wealth, the fountain of labor, the stability of the present and rich signification of the future, have, in three hours, been converted into smoking ruins; horrible tomb of so many lives that moments before were agitating with overflow of stamina...." They plead for help from the international community: "Porto Plata knows that its appeal will be heeded and therefore does not falter but addresses readily all nations, brothers in sufferings; all peoples, sympathizers with distress; all the powerful, compassionate to misfortune, in search of the help it requires, to even prove after, that if it knows to beg, it also will know to fulfil and guard, in each bosom of its children, altars of lasting gratitude. For this end it directs its wailings to the representatives of the Republic...." Dated "Porto-Plata, August 23d 1871." At the bottom, between Pacheco and Leyba's bold typeface names, appears the large (2" diameter) official circular blind-embossed imprint of the Ayuntamiento of Puerto Plata. On the verso of this intriguing broadside appear four dockets -- seals and notarizing signatures from four consulates testifying to the truth of the devastation described in the broadside. "This is to certify," pens the first docket, "that the foregoing is a correct statement, and that Ramon D. Pacheco is Governor of this district and Federico M Leyba President of the Town Council. Porta Plata, August 25h, 1871. Theodore Farrington B.V. Consul." Alongside this is the circular blind-embossed seal of the British Vice Consul of Porto Plata. Below this appears the circular blind-embossed seal of the U.S. Commercial Agency of Puerto Plata, with the illegible signature of that official (plus title "U.S. V.C. Agt"); below that the circular blue inkstamped seal of the North German Consulate in Porto Plata and the illegible signature and title of that official; below that the circular blind-embossed seal of the Danish Consul at Puerto de Plata and the signature of G.L.H. Zeller with title; and below that the signature of "Charles Albert Neumann / Consul for Austria=Hungaria," who also pens "consular Seal" in lieu of a missing official Austro-Hungarian consular seal; and in a second column at right the illegible signature and rank of the French vice consul, who also pens "Consular Seal" in lieu of a missing official French consular seal. A provocative and rare broadside, uniquely docketed by six diplomatic officials on the verso. Ironically, that other great fire of 1871 would take place about one and a half months after this: the great Chicago fire of 1871, which caused far greater destruction and got far greater press attention. Accompanying this broadside is a 1930s vintage printed manila folder from pioneering Midwest autograph dealer Forest H. Sweet ("American Historical Material / Battle Creek, Michigan"), with his early catalogue description of this item affixed at center.

Price: $675.00

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