DescriptionJacob De Cordova Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 8.25" x 5.25", Austin; May 23, 1855. A letter to George B. Erath acknowledging the receipt of two hundred and seventy-five dollars: "... I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of the two Hundred and Seventy five Dollars therein Contained. It came very apropos as I was about starting for Galveston in the morning. Many thanks for your attention and I hope to one day be able to reciprocate. [signed] J. De Cordova."
De Cordova's ties to Erath began in 1848, when he hired Erath to survey and lay out the town of Waco. De Cordova played an important role in the fast growth and success of Waco. In 1850, he lobbied strongly for Waco to be the county seat when McLennan County was established; his efforts included donating roads and tracts for public use. From the Robert E. Davis Collection.
Condition: With flattened folds and some wear resulting in weakening along the center horizontal fold. Otherwise, good condition.
Jacob Raphael De Cordova (1808-1868), Texas land agent and colonizer, was born in Jamaica and was raised by an aunt in England. He settled in Texas in 1839 and lived in Galveston and later Houston, where he was elected a state representative to the Second Texas Legislature in 1847. He served for one term but lost re-election in 1849. De Cordova acquired large amounts of land to sell to settlers and at one time had a million acres in scrip or title. His land agency became one of the largest such agencies that ever operated in the Southwest. De Cordova and two other men laid out the town of Waco in 1848-49. De Cordova along with Robert Creuzbaur compiled the Map of the State of Texas, first published in 1849. Much of subsequent Texas cartography was based on this map.
George Bernard Erath (1813-1891) was a soldier, surveyor, and legislator, who was born in Vienna, Austria. He immigrated to the United States in 1832 and lived for a while in New Orleans and Cincinnati. In 1833 Erath moved to Texas, where he became a surveyor. In 1835 he joined a ranger company to deal with marauding Indian tribes, and on March 1, 1836, he enlisted as a private in Company C, 1st Regiment, Texan Volunteers, for service in the Texas revolution. Erath served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Eighth and Ninth congresses of the republic (1843-1845), and after Texas achieved statehood, he was elected to the First Legislature. In 1846 he returned to surveying and laid out the towns of Waco and Stephenville. He was elected to the Senate of the Seventh Legislature in 1857 and subsequently reelected to the Eighth and Ninth. In the Civil War Erath raised a company for the 15th Texas Infantry Regiment, but was discharged due to ill health and returned to his home at Waco.
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