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    [Samuel H. Walker]. E. W. Taylor Autograph Letter Signed to Texas Ranger Francis M. Willingham in Waco Village. Two pages, 8" x10", Houston, December 29, 1847. This colorful letter reports how the city of Houston paid its respects to the remains of the heroic Texas Ranger Samuel Walker, killed at the Battle of Huamantla in October 1847. In part as written:

    "We have [Samuel] Walker's Remains here some 10 days since & I assure you the city done the decent up about right, the way they turned out. The body was taken to the Baptist Church where an address was delivered by Peter Grey Esq. The body was accompanied by the Odd Fellows, Masons, etc - through the City to the outskirts of the town, on the Austin Road - where all took a last long lingering look of the Box that contain the Brave Chieftain - and it passed on its way to San Antonio, there to be deposited by the side of the ever lamented Gillespie - and their bodies mingle together with the Mother Earth."

    The letter also discusses Taylor's envy of the life lived by his friend, Ranger Willingham: "I . . . almost envy you, the happiness that you must feel, surrounded as you are by those who are willing at any moment for you to lead them, when duty or honor directs, yet still free from all the restraints & puckering strings of civilized life. Truly you must be enjoying yourself to your hearts content."

    Francis Marion Willingham (1813-1852), son of early Texas colonist Archibald Willingham, served as 1st lieutenant in Captain Shapley P. Ross' Texas Ranger Company "G" with headquarters in Waco Village. Willingham died there in 1852. This letter is written in blue ink. With flattened folds, otherwise very clean and highly legible.

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    21st Saturday
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