Description

    Irish Empresario James Hewetson

    [Power and Hewetson Colony] James Hewetson Autograph Letter Signed "Santiago Hewetson" in Spanish, one page, 8.25" x 10.5", Leona Vicario, April 25, 1838, writing to Jesus de la Garza, one of his creditors regarding his debts and the confusion surrounding his accounts. He refers to $17,783 in credit documents from the period 1821-1838, and is unable to determine which are paid off. He is heavily in debt, and although there is money owed him, he is unable to collect on any of them. In part: "... I am sorry to tell you that not a peso could I get of the 5640 loaned in pure pesos. He told me that in July he will pay half and with this I am somewhat disconsolate. I am thinking of going to the City of Mexico shortly for the month of June..." In a postscript five days later, he writes: "... they tell me that there are no buyers of notes of any type, and I fear that this depression will continue, especially since the ports are closed by the French blockade, depriving the government of the only resources on which I was counting..."

    Born in Ireland, Hewetson first arrived in Texas in 1821 as part of Stephen Austin's traveling party. He parted ways with Austin's group in Bexar and went to Texas where he established various successful enterprises. Along with other prominent Anglos such as James Bowie and Samuel Bangs, Hewetson would apply for and receive approval to become a naturalized Coahuiltexan. In 1826, Hewetson would enter into partnership with fellow Irishman James Power in an attempt to establish the Power and Hewetson Colony in Texas. Despite generous latitudes given by the authorities, the colony failed. Hewetson's continued ventures as a land empresario landed him in debt. This letter offers important insights into the financial difficulties he experienced as a result of his far-flung colonization schemes and the economic strains of the region as a whole. Although Hewetson had earned a headright in Texas, he chose to remain in Coahuila and took no part in the Texas Revolution. Near fine condition with a few foxing spots. A scarce autograph by one of the earliest empresarios in Mexico. From the Taking of Texas Collection.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    14th Saturday
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