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    Exceedingly Rare Contract of Colonization of Mercer Colony with Map, two conjoined sheets, 10.5" x 16.5", printed on three sides. [New Orleans, 1845]. First page: "The/Contract of Colonization,/of/Charles F. Mercer, et al./with/The President of Texas,/January 29, 1844." Signed in type by Sam Houston as President, Anson Jones as Secretary of State, and Charles P. Mercer. Second page (verso of first page): "The Agreement,/Between/Charles F. Mercer, Original Grantee,/of the/Republic of Texas,/and the/Stockholders of the/Republic of Texas./and the/Stockholders of the Texas Association." Blanks are not filled in. On the third page, opposite page two, is a detailed 9.25" x 8.75" lithographed map with original hand-colored shading (yellow) and outline (blue): "Map/of the/Mercer Colony,/in/Texas./May 1st 1845/Scale 20 Miles to an Inch." At bottom right: "Fishbourne's Lithog. 46, Canal St." [New Orleans] The map bears three small ink inscriptions: notation of "raft" on the Trinity River (with drawing of five horizontal lines indicating a blockage of logs at that point), addition of the exact date of the 5th Grant to C.F. Mercer ("29th" added to "Jany 1844"), and correction of the date of the 2nd (Peters) grant ("1843" changed to "1841"). First printing of an important colonization imprint relating to early settlement of Northeast Texas, with the first large-scale map of East Texas and perhaps the earliest printed map to name and locate Dallas, about 10 miles west of the Mercer Colony in the Peters tract.

    Mercer Colony, one of the largest empresario contracts in Texas, was located roughly between the Brazos and Sabine Rivers, east and south of the Peters Colony. The contract was possible under a statute enacted by the Texas Congress in February 1841, which restored the policy of empresario grants that had existed under Mexico. President Sam Houston granted Charles Mercer his contract on January 29, 1844. Mercer's contract was always controversial, particularly because Houston granted it after vetoing a bill that took away presidential authority to grant such contracts, and the Congress then overrode Houston's veto one day after the Mercer contract was granted. This contract dated January 29, 1844, and the agreement between Charles F. Mercer and the Stockholders of the Texas Association, the Articles of Association, are the fundamental documents for the Mercer Colony. Creased where formerly folded, mild toning in blank area above map. When the map was folded to approximately 3" x 4.75" to fit in one's pocket, two blank areas were then exposed. It is these two areas that are mildly toned. Very fine condition. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

    Reference: Streeter 1594: "The map which is on the large scale of 20 miles to an inch is of great interest, as it shows the boundaries of the first three grants to the Peters group, and of the fifth grant of January 29, 1844, to Mercer." Streeter locates only three copies of this first issue; there are four issues of the contract, but only two of them have the map; Streeter locates only one copy of the other issue with the map. According to Streeter, Theodore Garnett testifies that the map and contract were distributed by Mercer (his uncle) in May 1845.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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