Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Jim Bowie]. William King Autograph Letter Signed. One and one-quarter pages, 7.5" x 12", Claiborne County, Mississippi, October 14, 1828. This letter concerns a Louisiana land purchase involving the Bowie brothers, James ("Jim") and Stephen. It was written to "Dr. Bell" of Natchez, Mississippi, and delivered, according to the address panel, by the "politeness of Mr. S[tephen]. Bowie." In part:

    "Understanding from Mr. Stephen Bowie That you wished to purchase a Tract of Land of him and in addition thereto the Lower half of a Tract of Land sold by him to me in the month of March Last adjoining the same on the upper side have agreed with and sold to him the same but not being in the neighborhood of the proper authority to convey the same agreeable to the forms of Louisianna [sic]. I refer you to the articles between my Brother Richard King, who was a joint Partner with James Bowie in the Purchasing of this Tract of Land from Lemuel[?] Tanner. Should you purchase of Mr. Bowie and prefer having a conveyance from me I shall be in the Parish of Terrebonne sometime in next month."

    William's brother, Richard King, was not the Richard King who founded the immense King Ranch, but these King brothers were still involved with large amounts of land as speculators. Later, William speculated in Texas land, establishing Kingsborough (modern-day Kaufman).

    Jim Bowie (1796-1836) grew up in Louisiana. In 1815 at the age of nineteen, he settled alone in central Louisiana and began carving a plantation out of the wilderness. There, the future hero of the Texas Revolution gained a reputation for his recklessness and adroitness with a knife. He and his brother Stephen were soon involved in the more lucrative businesses of slave smuggling and land speculation which, in 1828, centered in southern Louisiana parishes like Terrebonne. When this letter was written, only eight years before his death at the Alamo, Jim Bowie lived in New Orleans. The letter bears toning and minor separation at two fold intersections.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    23rd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,897

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Oct 23, 2010 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 February 19 Americana & Political Signature Auction.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search