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"Memorandum dei ultimi dieci mesi dell Impero del Messico . . . Febraio 3: 1866"

Identifier: MSS-735-SC

Scope and Content

The volume comprising this collection is a handwritten, Italian translation of Dr. Basch's memoir, which was originally written in German. It is unknown who translated/transcribed this volume, which correlates closely, but not exactly with the 1869 published Italian version, Gli Ultimi Dieci Mesi Dell' Impero del Messico. Translated into English, the title page to this memoir reads, "Memorandum of the last 10 months of the Emperor of Mexico." The cover bears the label, " G.A. Moscheni, Trieste."

The title page of the memorandum is dated February 3, 1866, however, this volume begins at the end of Chapter 9, late-January 1867, when Maximilian is planning to lead his troops into Queretaro. Basch documents the ensuing historic events including the siege of Queretaro, suspicions and evidence of treason, the defeat of Maximilian's army at Queretaro, and Maximilian's capture through the first 20 days of his imprisonment. The volume ends with an empty entry for June 4 (Chapter 19), when plans for an escape are underway. The published versions end with Maximilian's trial. Dr. Basch's memoir does more than provide a first hand narrative of historic events, it also provides an account of Maximilian's personal thoughts and internal wranglings, from his confidante at the time.

The published English version of this memoir has the title, Recollections of Mexico.


  • 1867


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Due to fragility of the item, duplication is not permitted.

Biographical/Background Information

Ferdinand Maximilian Ferdinand Maximilian, born July 6, 1832, was the second son of Archduke Franz Karl and the Archduchess Sophie of Austria. His elder brother was the future Emperor Francis Joseph. In the mid 19th century a combination of Spanish, French and English troops were sent to Mexico to enforce the payment of debts owed by the Mexican Republic. Spanish and English support was quickly withdrawn and the French, under Napoleon III, were victorious, setting up a pro-French regime and imposing Ferdinand Maximilian as Emperor in October of 1863. Emperor Maximilian's regime began under the strain of civil war in Mexico and while the French soon achieved the upper hand, liberals and republicans were united under former President Benito Juarez. Internal turmoil continued and finding they weren't receiving the absolute support of France, Maximilian and his army left the capital, Mexico City, for Queretaro on February 13, 1867. There his army was besieged and on May 15th, betrayed by Colonel Lopez. Maximilian and those loyal to him, were tried and condemned to death before a military tribunal. On June 19, 1867, Maximilian and his generals Miramon and Mejia were killed by a firing squad.

Samuel Basch Samuel Basch (1837-1905), born in the Ghetto of Prague, in the Austrian Empire, studied medicine in Prague and Vienna. Basch volunteered for duty in Mexico under Emperor Maximilian in 1866. A short period into his service, he was chosen to be the personal doctor of Maximilian, who was suffering from malaria and intestinal difficulties. A companion and confidante, Basch kept daily notes about their visits, and when the two were captured at Queretaro, Maximilian requested that Basch chronicle the Emperor's final months.

Recollections of Mexico Recollections of Mexico is the English translation of Basch's chronicle, which was originally published in German, in 1868, under the title, Erinnerungen aus Mexico. Subsequently, it was published in Italian (1869, Gli ultimi dieci mesi dell'Impero del Messico); and in Spanish, translated from the Italian (1870, Recuerdos de Mexico). Later, French and English translations and various reprints were published, the most recent being the 2001 English translation by Fred Ullman, a descendant of Dr. Basch.


1 box (.04 cu. ft.)


This is a memoir of the 10 month imprisonment leading to the execution of Maximilian I of Mexico. The original memoir was written in German by Samuel Basch, who served as Maximilian's personal doctor during this time. This volume is an incomplete Italian translation of the original, handwritten by an unknown source.
Finding Aid of the "Memorandum dei ultimi dieci mesi dell Impero del Messico . . . Febraio 3: 1866," 1867
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Finding aid is in English

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  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131