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    A letter to comptroller James B. Shaw about the debt of the late Republic

    Jabez D. Giddings Autograph Letter Signed. One and a quarter pages with integral address cover, 8.25" x 10.5"; Brenham; January 12, 1848. A letter to comptroller James B. Shaw regarding the debt of the late Republic and the responsibilities of the state to its citizenry. In small part: "I hope you will recommend to the Legislature, some provision for auditing the accounts of clerks & sheriffs against the former Republic - for certainly it is to the interest of the state to know the amount its liabilities, and its officers are honestly entitled to pay for their services - and the state to her taxes. I have no wish to retain any of her funds in my hands but I wish to see some provisions by which I can some day at least have a prospect of obtaining what is due and especially what I have already paid out to advance the public interest & to aid in executing the law of the land. I am coming up to settle, and would like to see the state do what it can, at least acknowledge the claims of her own citizens. It is in your power and I think your position as comptroller demands it at your hands if you concur with me..." Shaw has docketed the letter on the same page as the address cover noting "no answer reqd."

    Giddings had first arrived in Texas in 1838 to collect his brother's bounty; his elder brother Giles died from wounds suffered at the battle of San Jacinto. Giddings played an important role in the founding and growth of Brenham, and served in minor posts; but this particular letter is written as a private citizen.

    James B. Shaw was elected comptroller in 1839 after having served for a year as chief clerk of the Treasury Department. Shaw remained comptroller until 1859, and during his tenure played a critical role in managing and settling the debts of the late Republic. Most notably, sale of lands in New Mexico and Colorado previously held by Texas, which resulted in $5,000,000. From the Robert E. Davis Collection.

    Condition: Flattened folds, with a small tear affecting a single word along the right edge of the first page. Integral cover has bits of paper loss along a fold, as well as wear the wax seal has been torn open. Lightly toned, with darker spots along external folds on integral cover.

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    24th Friday
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