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In his critique of For Want of a Nail ..., Mexican historian Frank Dana writes that "It is a work marred by minor errors," and truer words were never written. This page serves as an errata slip for For Want of a Nail ..., noting and correcting errors made by author Robert Sobel.

Frontspiece: Map of North America[]

Maryland and Delaware are assigned to the Southern Confederation rather than the Northern, but the text indicates that the latter inherited them from the proposed Central Confederation. (Though the text also indicates on p.58 that Maryland is in the SC.) The text also indicates that the boundary between Northern Vandalia and Southern Vandalia is the 40th parallel of latitude, while the map has an irregular boundary.

Chapter 1: Prelude[]

On p. 5, the name of Robert Ogden, a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress from New Jersey, is given as Charles Ogden.

On p. 10, the date of the (pre-POD) Boston Tea Party is given as 15 December 1773 -- it was 16 December.

Chapter 2: The Rebellion Begins[]

On p. 23, the dates of the (pre-POD) signing and ratification of the Declaration of Independence are given as 2 July and 4 July 1776. The Declaration was actually ratified on 2 July and signed on 4 July.

Chapter 5: The Wilderness Walk[]

On p. 47, John Morton is mentioned as a participant in the Wilderness Walk of 1780 - 1782. In fact, Morton died on April 1, 1777, seven months before the Battle of Saratoga.

On p. 49, Juan Vicente de Güemes, Count of Revillagigedo's name is given as Revillo Gigedo.

On p. 53, Samuel Johnston is mentioned as a former member of the Continental Congress. Johnston was not a member of the Congress during its existence from August 1774 to June 1778.

Chapter 6: The Trans-Oceanic War[]

On pp. 62-63, Juan Vicente de Güemes, Count of Revillagigedo's name is again given as Revillo Gigedo, and it is clear that Sobel believes this is his name rather than his title, since he refers to de Güemes several times as simply "Gigedo."

Chapter 8: The Crisis Years[]

On p. 84, footnote 18 gives 1935 as the publication date for Harnett's History of Slavery. The bibliography lists the publication date as 1930.

Chapter 9: The United States of Mexico[]

On p. 94 the year of the Mexico City Convention is erroneously given as 1819, although the text makes it clear that it must have taken place in 1820.

On pp. 97, Andrew Jackson's Secretary for Indian Affairs, Miguel Montanez, is referred to as Miguel Montez.

Throughout the chapter, Mexican revolutionary José Maria Morelos is erroneously referred to by the name "José Morales".

Chapter 10: The Taking of the West[]

On p. 99, the phrase "Under Liberal leadership" should be "Under Libertarian leadership".

On pp. 103 and 107, Sobel again refers to Miguel Montañez as Miguel Montez.

On pp. 106-107, President Andrew Jackson is said to have run unopposed for re-election in the 1827 Mexican elections. In fact, as noted earlier on p. 102, the Liberty Party nominated Governor Leslie Folger of Jefferson for president in 1827.

Chapter 11: California Gold[]

On p. 112, Hernando Montañez, the discoverer of gold in Santo Tomás, California, is referred to as Hernando Montez.

On p. 121, Secretary of the Exchequer William Wilson is referred to as Secretary of Finance.

Chapter 12: The Rocky Mountain War[]

On p. 129, General Francisco Hernandez' name is given as Franco Hernandez.

On p. 130, Winfield Scott is described as directing CNA strategy in 1850, whereas on p. 131 we learn that he was replaced as Governor-General in the late spring of 1849. The list of Governors-General on page 407 confirms the 1849 date.

On p. 131, the year of Minister of State Bruce Harrison's resignation from Winfield Scott's Cabinet is given as 1839, rather than 1845.

Chapter 13: The C.N.A.: The Corruption of Progress[]

On p. 138, King Ferdinand VIII of Spain is erroneously referred to as Ferdinand VII.

On p. 149, John Rockefeller's Pennsylvania Petroleum company was founded in 1870, but on p. 163 the same company was founded in 1875. Rockefeller's company is called Consolidated Petroleum of North America on p. 143, but perhaps this trust grew out of the original Pennsylvania Petroleum.

Chapter 14: The People's Coalition[]

On p. 150, the date of Burgoyne Willkie's election as first Governor of Southern Vandalia is given as 1887. In fact, the election was held in 1877, following the separation of Northern and Southern Vandalia, as noted on p. 140. Willkie's re-election as Governor is likewise given as 1892 rather than 1882.

Chapter 16: The Kinkaid Interlude[]

On p. 174, Guatemalan Senator Vicente Martinez' name is given as Vincenzo Martinez.

On p. 175, the city of Minatitlán is called Minatitión.

On p. 178, the vote total for President Omar Kinkaid in the table should be 3,570,883, but is given as 3,327,418 due to the votes from Durango being omitted.

On p. 181, it is stated that President George Vining named Senator Thomas Rogers as his Secretary of State. However, as noted on p. 207, Rogers remained the leader of the Liberty Party caucus in the Senate. It may be that Vining nominated Rogers, but that the Senate voted against his confirmation (presumably on Bernard Kramer's orders).

Chapter 19: The Crisis of Mexican Republicanism[]

On p. 208, Mexican President George Vining's name is given as Arthur Vining.

Chapter 20: The Mexican Empire[]

On p. 215, there is a reference to the border between Indiana and Mexico del Norte, which does not exist. Most likely the MdN border with Manitoba or Northern Vandalia is meant. Alaska is still Russian at this point.

On p. 216, Vicente Martinez' name is again given as Vincenzo Martinez.

On p. 218, Adolfo Camacho's meeting with the ambassador from Mexico should read ambassador from Spain.

Chapter 23: The Starkist Terror[]

On p. 256, Henderson Nelson is referred to as Clark Nelson.

Chapter 24: The Years of the Pygmies[]

On p. 261, Diego Cortez's name is given as Pedro Cortez.

On p. 265, the year the N.F.A. was established is given as 1884. As noted on p. 191, it was actually 1880.

On p. 270, Vicente Carminales's name is given as Vincenzo Carminales.

Chapter 26: A Time of Diffusion[]

On p. 285, the date of the founding of the League for Brotherhood is given as April 14, 1920. It was actually May 14, 1920.

Chapter 30: The Fuentes-Jackson Duel[]

On p. 332, Senator Alvin Silva is referred to as Councilman; also, vote totals for Mexico del Norte are omitted from the results from the 1932 Mexican elections.

Chapter 32: The Global War[]

On p. 349 the vote totals for Mexico del Norte are omitted from the results from the 1938 Mexican elections.

On p. 350 the monarch of the Ottoman Empire is referred to several times as the Shah, which is actually the title of the Persian monarch. This may not be an error if it is meant to indicate a dynastic union of the Ottoman and Persian royal families that resulted in a united Ottoman-Persian Empire under a Persian monarch.

On p. 351 it is stated that the British and Arabs are defeated in a series of battles by German troops in Arabia. Actually, the Germans were allied with the Arabs; it was the British and Turks who were defeated by the Germans.

Chapter 35: The Mercator Reforms[]

On p. 374 the vote totals for Mexico del Norte are omitted from the results from the 1950 Mexican elections.

Chapter 36: The New Day[]

On p. 382, Richard Mason is said to have become Governor-General in 1950 when he did not do so until 1953 according to Chapter 34 and to the table of GG's on page 407. The date of 30 November 1950 is given again immediately after, for the nationally vitavised speech where Mason introduced the phrase "New Day". Either Sobel got the date wrong twice, or the speech occurred before Mason was GG. Around 1950 (according to Chapter 34) he became the Liberal Party leader -- perhaps that is what was meant? But how, as opposition leader, could he have "doubled previous aid programs"? (The Mason article now has the speech as occurring in 1953.)

Chapter 37: The War Without War[]

On p. 391, the date of the signing of a non-aggression pact between the C.N.A. and Great Britain is given as April 1964. If this is meant to take place after the British atomic bomb test, then either the pact should take place in April 1965, or the bomb test should take place in February 1964.


"Philadelphia, Starkist terror in" should refer to page 252, not to page 284 which is about rioting there in the 1916 Friends of Black Mexico disturbances.