Description[Republic of Texas Scrip]. Thomas Toby Texas Scrip Signed. Three partially printed pages, 10.5" x 17", August 8, 1836, New Orleans, "No. 142" issued to Samuel May Williams (1795-1858) of Quintana, Texas, for 640 acres. Here, Williams was acting as an agent for Lambert Gittings, a wealthy landowner in Baltimore, Maryland. On page two, Williams has transferred these 640 acres to Gittings. The transfer is dated December 6, 1836, and is signed by Samuel Williams, Henry H. Williams (Samuel's brother), and another "Henry P. Williams." Page three is a printed page outlining the articles governing the Texas Republic's commission of Thomas Toby as scrip agent. This page contains two printed signatures of David G. Burnet, who was elected ad interim president by delegates in March at the Convention of 1836. He served in this capacity until Sam Houston was elected president in October 1836. Texas Revolution participant William Christy has signed the bottom of page three as a notary public.
Samuel Williams had been employed by Stephen F. Austin as a clerk, translator, and aide. In 1833, he formed a partnership with Thomas F. McKinney to form the commission house firm McKinney and Williams, first located in Quintana. In 1838, the firm moved to Galveston. This rare Texas scrip has some paper loss due to ink burn that affects the William Christy signature on page three. Next to Christy's signature is a William Christy blind embossed seal. There is also some paper loss next to Thomas Toby's signature due to ink burn, though Toby's signature is unaffected. With folds and minor stains.
Throughout its time as a republic, Texas had a large amount of debt; it also had a large amount of public domain lands which it tried to sell to reduce its debt. One way to sell the land was through land scrip, which was issued by the Texas government for sale in the U.S. In June 1836, the Republic commissioned Toby and Brother Company of New Orleans, comprised of brothers Thomas and Samuel Toby, to begin selling Texas land scrip. "Toby scrip," as it was often called, was sold in the east by subagents employed by the company. In December 1837, the Texas Congress withdrew the Toby and Brother Company's commission. During the company's eighteen months as Texas' scrip agents, they sold over 100,000 acres.
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