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    Description

    Texas Ranger Captain John J. Dix Horse Theft Archive, 1862. Interesting archive concerning horse theft charges leveled against Dix in a "gallows confession" offered by a criminal who was then hanged. Following this, more accusations against Dix were made by W.W. Wier, a fellow Ranger. Dix was determined to clear his name, and set about doing so by soliciting letters of recommendation from friends, neighbors, men who served with him, and other prominent Texans.

    Offered here is Dix's collection of documents relating to the charge, including the original "Statement made under the gallows," Wier's letter of accusation, an anonymous accusatory letter, 27 letters of recommendation and petitions, an Autograph Letter Signed by Texas Governor Francis R. Lubbock with his decision clearing Dix of all charges, and Dix's handwritten inventory of the archive.

    Of interest is an anonymous accusatory letter, which reads (errors intact): "You are harbouring Theaves Jackson & McNiel. There is a Secrit Commyty formed. You had better Look out... By the order of the President." In contrast, an Autograph Letter Signed by Assistant Adjutant General E.F. Gray offered the following positive comments: "At your request I have investigated the charges made against Capt John J. Dix, of your Company, and after the most diligent inquiries from among his neighbors, (many of whom candidly stating that they were not his personal friends, and therefore entitled to credence), I am thoroughly satisfied the charges as untrue, and have been the offspring of prejudice or malice or both. The most that any of his immediate neighbors charge him with, is that "he is the brother-in-law of the two McNeals" -- both notoriously 'bad men.' They have at times from this fact suspected him; but although numerous efforts & traps were set to try to implicate him, no one was ever able to find the first thing. This is what both his friends & foes tell me-- and they add, that he has staid among them & lived the old charges down when his life was hourly in danger, and they believe him now to be innocent, or the smartest rogue the state ever produced. In a word-- I think you may safely stamp the charge a base and malicious lie."

    Following the restoration of his good name, Dix returned to his home and joined a company of the Home Guard for a year. In July 1864, he enlisted in Colonel John Ford's Expeditionary Force, where he acted as quartermaster and served as Colonel Ford's adjutant. Returning to south Texas, Captain Dix settled in Duval County and began a long career as a land agent and surveyor. Dix also served one term in the House in the 22nd Texas Legislature (1891-1892), and then served as a clerk in the General Land Office in Austin (1894-1895).

    Captain John James Dix had a long a varied career of service in Texas. As a young man he worked as a horse drover for the Army quartermaster. In January 1860, Dix joined the Texas Rangers and was named second lieutenant in a special force under the command of Major John S. (Rip) Ford. During the Civil War, Dix raised a company of men and served one year as their captain in the Frontier Regiment (1862-1863).

    Items range in condition from very good to fine. We recommend that prospective buyers view the collection carefully before bidding.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 570

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