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    Republic of Texas 1839 Letter. Three pages of a bifolium, 7.75" x 9.75", San Augustine, Republic of Texas; May 10, 1839. Written by W.D. Shelton to his brother, James R. Shelton, in Tennessee. Shelton was a young lawyer who had recently moved to Texas. The letter not only philosophizes about the values and culture of the young country, but also reports on current events, such as moving the capital from Houston to Austin. It reads in part:

    " ...No country probably under the sun affords so extensive a field for the lawyer as this...Though it is true that Texas sprang into existence under peculiar circumstances, and from her birth as a nation up to the present time, has been a secen [ sic] of wide and I may say wild speculations - a field for fraud and which in many instances have secured more cutler in a particular way than honor or justice would approve of, Texas is not exempt from the universal pressure which pervades the world though her pressure is less exceptional than many other Countries that have merged themselves into difficulties and almost to a total bankruptcy, through luxury and indolence. Yes Sir free from foreign invasions and an acknowledgement of sovereignty & with millions of surplus and yet the people are oppressed. But how will Texas stand only in her fourth year of her Independence...of a nation of wealth & reputed character, when the people of both Countrys are put upon a footing mearly [ sic] for the sake of compassion, you are satisfied of the wide difference between the two, and you must concede it in our favour apart from all local feelings, birth place &c. But this is not all, Texas owes her...state more to her own punctilious notion of national honor, probably, than, to any lack or want of a paying off her national debt... Commission have been appointed to locate the seat of government, in other words to select the most suitable sight to afix the capital of the republic upon the commissions time made their report at the city Huston is to be six miles above Bastrop at the foot of the mountains at a place called Waterloo on the Colorado River. The name of the city will be called The City of Austin...Judge Brooks has talked about the City of Austin and render you any assistance that he can. He wants to see you very much and has been looking for you all for some time..."

    The letter is also accompanied by an 1862 Confederate Army discharge form belonging to James R. Shelton. One page, 8.25" x 10.5", Baldwin; June 6, 1862. A disability discharge stating that Shelton suffered from chronic bronchitis, " from which at his advanced age (58 yrs) he is not likely to recover." With docketing on verso.

    Condition: Flattened mail folds, with light uneven toning throughout. Minor soiling throughout. Small spot of paper loss from red wax seal on verso.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2020
    22nd Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 598

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