Description

    David G. Burnet Document Signed "David G. Burnet," one page, 8.5" x 10.75". Austin, January 5, 1841. Partly printed, completed in manuscript. Headed: "In the Name and by the Authority/of the/Republic of Texas." In part, "Be it known, That I, David G. Burnet, President of said Republic of Texas, reposing special trust and full confidence in the honor, patriotism, fidelity, skill and capacity of Thomas William Ward do, by these presents, constitute and appoint him, the said Thomas William Ward, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to the office of Commissioner of the General Land Office, for the unexpired term of John P. Borden, Resigned..." The printed name "Mirabeau B. Lamar" has been crossed out in the first line and "David G. Burnet" has been penned over it. Burnet was provisional president of Texas following independence March 16, 1836 to October 22, 1836, when Sam Houston was inaugurated as first President. Lamar succeeded Houston, serving from December 10, 1838 to December 13, 1841. Burnet was Lamar's Vice President. By December 1840, Lamar had become too ill to serve as president and Burnet administered the duties of the presidency until the spring, but not the office itself as this document would seem to indicate. In 1841, Burnet ran for the presidency against Houston. The two men publicly attacked each other. Burnet called Houston "a drunk, coward, a bad lawyer and a bad general." Houston accused Burnet of "treason, fraud, cowardice, drunkenness and hypocrisy." When the votes were counted, Houston had soundly defeated Burnet with 75% of the vote. This appointment is also signed "Joseph Waples" as acting Secretary of State. Joseph Waples was Chief Clerk in the Department of State. He acted as Secretary of State for two intervals in 1840 and 1841. President Sam Houston had appointed John P. Borden the first land commissioner of Texas and he took office in August, 1837. Borden, brother of Gail Borden, Jr., faced the enormous task of acquiring and protecting numerous Mexican and Spanish land titles issued before independence. By 1840, the lack of funding and manpower needed for the land office now responsible for administering 216 million acres of Texas lands made Borden's job extraordinarily difficult so, in December 1840, he resigned. Thomas William (Peg Leg) Ward had fought at the siege of Bexar in December 1835. During the battle, at the head of an artillery company, Capt. Ward lost his leg to a cannonball. He returned to New Orleans to be fitted with a peg leg. Returning to Texas in the spring of 1836, Ward was commissioned as a colonel by President David G. Burnet. He served as Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas from 1841-1848. A complete, 2.5" diameter embossed blue paper seal is affixed at the lower left. Uniformly toned. Minor chipping at right edge. Fine condition. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
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