LEGS AND EGGS: PANCHO VILLA vigorously defends his conduct during an encounter with the proprietor of the Palace Hotel restaurant less than a month before the pivotal Battle of Celaya
Rare and desirable TLS, in Spanish, signed “Francisco Villa,” two pages, 8.5 x 11, March 24, 1915. Villa writes to to Enrique C. Llorente, “Confidential Agent of the Provisional Government of Mexico.” Villa vigorously defends himself and his conduct with the proprietor of the Palace Hotel restaurant. In part: “I suppose that my enemies have already had recourse to all kinds of intrigues and falsehoods…I have tried to always comply with my duty as a Mexican. The affair of the Palace Hotel in Mexico will surely be exploited by my enemies…I will give you the facts with reference to this subject. While in Mexico City one morning…to the Palace Hotel, with the intention of taking breakfast in the restaurant of that place. The proprietress of the establishment…burst into insolent jeers and loud laughter, and expressed herself in the most offensive terms against the revolution and especially against me personally. Justly indignant because of the strange attitude of the lady in question, I ordered that she immediately be removed to General Headquarters…and at the same time directed the French minister be requested to call…asking him to interrogate the lady in order that she might state whether she had any complaint against me or whether she, or any of her employees, had been the victims of any atrocity or injury on our part. The French minister was at once satisfied with my conduct, and offered no objection should the lady be imprisoned for say two or three days for the offense committed by her. It being, however, my desire to reassure society and to counteract the work of the enemies of the people and of the revolution, I ordered her immediately placed at liberty, whereupon the French minister departed, expressing his satisfaction, confidence, and esteem. Such is the truth of the affair.” Less than a month later, the Conventionist forces under Pancho Villa were badly defeated by forces under the command of Álvaro Obregón, who supported the presidency of Venustiano Carranza at the Battle of Celaya. The battle was a turning point in the future of Villa, the Revolution and Mexican history in the 20th century. Villa was never able to recover his losses, and with that lost most of his political and social influence. In very good to fine condition, with intersecting mailing folds, staple hole and creasing to top left, small stain to right edge and some light toning along left edge, and an office stamp to first page. In his 1995 reference History Comes to Life, Kenneth Rendell notes Villa’s autograph is rare and difficult to obtain in any form. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.