Lt. Robert Calder Resigns His Commission the Day Texas Declares Its Independence

    Robert J. Calder Autograph Letter Signed. One page with integral address leaf, 7.75" x 9.75", Brazoria, March 2, 1836. Robert James Calder (1810-1885), a native of Maryland, arrived in Texas in 1832. In 1835, he joined the army of Stephen F. Austin as a second lieutenant and took part in the Battle of ConcepciĆ³n [October 28, 1835], the first major engagement of the Texas Revolution. He was promoted to third lieutenant of artillery in December, but a few months later, on March 2, 1836 (the very day the Convention of 1836 signed the Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos), he wrote this letter to then-governor Henry Smith resigning his commission, in full:

    "Circumstances render it necessary for me to retire from my connection at this time with the Regular Army of Texas. Your Excellency will therefore please to accept of my resignation of the commission under which I have for some short time acted in Texas. I shall still be in the field and aid in maintaining the Independence of Texas as a volunteer from the Jurisdiction in which I reside."

    The "circumstances" to which Calder refers are unclear, but he kept true to his word and rendezvoused with the army then at Gonzales, joining Co. "K," First Regiment of Texas Volunteers (General Edward Burleson's regiment) as a captain. In this capacity, he took part in the Battle of San Jacinto and was one of several men to deliver the results of the battle to the interim president of Texas, David G. Burnet.

    After the war, Calder served as marshal of Texas (an appointment given by President Burnet in 1836) and was later elected as sheriff of Brazoria County (1837), mayor of the town of Brazoria (1838), and twice as chief justice of Brazoria County (1844 and 1846). Following a move to Fort Bend County, he was elected mayor of Richmond (1859) and chief justice of the county from 1866 until 1869. Areas of minor separation at the intersection of the folds in places with no loss of paper. Damage to the address leaf has been repaired.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2014
    15th Saturday
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