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    [Alamo Defenders]. Thomas R. Miller and Eli Mitchel Report Signed. One page, 7.75" x 12.5", in Spanish, Gonzales, May 16, 1834. Gonzales Mayor James C. Davis has placed his signature alongside that of Alamo defender Thomas R. Miller and Eli Mitchel, the man who fired the first shot of the Texas Revolution, for the recommendation of three men nominated to the post of Chief of Police for Gonzales.

    The report reads, in full: "The Town Hall of the Town of Gonzales, in compliance with the provisions of Article 6 of the law of last March 18th, and the orders given in this regard to the Mayor of this town by the Political Head of the Department of Bejar on April 17, and the 13th of this month, presents this report in favor of three citizens as candidates for the appointment that must be made for the Chief of Police of the Department of Brazos to which this municipality belongs; and in accordance with the provisions of Article 147 of the Political Constitution, we submit to the supreme government the names of the following three gentlemen for said position: Tomas [sic] Jefferson Chambers, James H. C. Miller, Henry Smith. Said gentlemen all meet the qualifications set forth by the Constitution and have the necessary aptitude and capacity to perform said work, but we especially recommend the first of the three, because due to the fact that he is a lawyer by profession, he understands the law and functions in both Castilian [Spanish] and English." Smoothed folds. Chipping along the right edge. Binding holes along left edge. Light smudging of the ink at lower left with a small water spot at lower edge. Overall toning. Text and signatures remain bold and bright.

    None of the three men listed as candidates actually became Chief of Police, but all of them did play roles in the shaping of Texas. Thomas J. Chambers (1802-1865), the only foreigner licensed to practice law in Mexican Texas, was appointed chief justice of Texas in June 1834. During the Revolution, he was given a major general's appointment, though he was in the United States trying to raise troops and never commanded men in the field. He unsuccessfully ran for a number of government positions and served as an aide to an officer in Hood's Texas Brigade during the Civil War. He was assassinated in 1865. James H. C. Miller, following the formation of peace and war parties among the Texas colonists in the early 1830s, joined the peace party, going as far as recommending that those responsible for the Anahuac Disturbances be arrested. When war broke out, he was branded a traitor and fled Texas sometime in late 1835. Henry Smith (1788-1851), on the other hand, joined the Independence Party (the pro-war faction) and was elected by the Consultation of 1835 as the first American governor of Texas. Smith served as the secretary of the treasury during the first presidential term of Sam Houston.

    Thomas R. Miller (1795-1836) immigrated to Texas from Virginia in 1830, settling in DeWitt's Colony, where he owned a general store and the only hotel in Gonzales. In 1834, he was serving as the town's sindico procurador. He was one of the "Old Eighteen" who refused to give up to Mexican authorities the only cannon in Gonzales, leading to the Battle of Gonzales and the beginning of the Revolution. He joined the Gonzales Rangers, attached to the command of Colonel William B. Travis of the Provisional Republican Army, and entered the Alamo as part of the Gonzales Alamo Relief Force. He perished with the other defenders of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

    Eli Mitchel (1797-1870) came to Texas from Pennsylvania in 1824 as one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred." He moved to Gonzales in 1828 where he was elected the first regidor (officer) of DeWitt's Colony. When the only cannon in Gonzales was threatened with removal by the Mexican authorities, Mitchel had the cannon loaded onto his wagon. When they met the advancing Mexican troops, Mitchel fired the cannon, commencing the Battle of Gonzales and the Texas Revolution. Shortly thereafter, in the first major campaign of the war, he provided the much needed supplies to the Texas Army as they marched to lay siege to Bexar. Between 1850 and 1860 he served as Gonzales County tax assessor and collector.

    James C. Davis came to Texas in 1829, settling on a quarter sitio of land near the Lavaca River. He married Eliza DeWitt, oldest daughter of empresario Green DeWitt, and was killed by Indians in late 1834.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2013
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
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