University of Arizona

                                             Special Collections will be closed December 20, 2023 through January 1, 2024 in observance of the University Holiday break.

Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico Collection

Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand Maximilian of Mexico, undated

Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph (1832-1867), mainly referred to as just Maximilian, was archduke of Austria and the emperor of Mexico from 1864-1867. He was executed by the Mexican government after losing the battle to maintain his empire, which was restored to the Mexican Republic.

The collection consists of documents, letters, and visual materials related to Emperor Maximilian, Empress Carlota, and the people associated with them in the European intervention in Mexico (1861-1867). Printed holographic imperial appointments and awards are signed by Maximilian from 1864-1866. Other documents include letters and papers of Maximilian, Carlota, President Benito Juarez, and physicians Alvisio Miskey and Francisco Archer. Diaries and memoirs by others relate personal insights about the court and the political revolutions of the time. A diary by Charles Whitehead, mine owner and Mexico City resident, spans the years 1853-1865; an undated memoir "Les derniers jours de contre guerilla au Mexique" is by Jules de Rafelis-Saint-Sauveur; and a mimeographed copy of "My recollections of Maximilian" was written by Maria de la Fere, ca. 1907. 

Printed documents include magazine and newspaper articles from Mexico, the U.S., and Europe, from 1867 to the centennial remembrance in 1967 of Maximilian's death. Broadsides, decrees by officials such as the interim Governor Rafael J. Garcia, campaign notices, and proclamations about the war encompass the period 1855-1867. An 1895 protest, signed by 126 students, concerns the traitor Leonard Marques being allowed to remain in Mexico. Among the visual materials are cartes-de-visite photographs, photographic postcards, and photogravure depictions of many civil and military individuals. Ephemera include color stills from the 1939 Warner Brothers movie "Juarez." Other items are drawings by H. D. Nichols from photographs, color prints of Mexican locations of historic interest, and a composite photo of the scene before Maximilian and two of his generals, Miguel Miramon and Tomas Mejia, were executed.


Collection is mostly in Spanish; some material is in French, German and English.