Description

    Moses Austin Writ of Capias Ad Respondendum Signed. One page, 7.5" x 12.5", June 22, 1813, "County of St. Genevieve [Missouri]". This writ was served in the case of Billes, Associate of Luan, v. Austin. In part: "Know all men by these presents that we Moses Austin and Elias Bates are tied and firmly bound to H Dodge Sheriff of the County of St. Genevieve in the Kind sum of Twelve hundred Dollars lawful money of the Unites States to be paid to the said Dodge or his successor in office. . . . The condition of the above obligation is such that a capias ad respondendum has Issued from the office of the Clerk for the County cop[ie]d at the suit of Elijah Billes Jr. assoc[iate] Of John Luan against said Austin on which said suit bail is required for the sum of six hundred Dollars and the said Dodge has arrested the said Austin in this capacity as sheriff as aforesaid Now therefore if the said Mr. Austin do appear at the next court of Common Pleas to be held in at the town of St. Genevieve . . . and answer the said complaint and further if the said Austin should be cast in the said suit he will pay the cost and condemnation money or surrender his body in [?] for the same or that the said Elias Bates his bail will do it for him as witness our hands and seals this day and date as above written." A writ of capias ad respondendum commands the sheriff (or other proper public servant) to deliver the defendant, often under arrest, to answer the plaintiff. The amount of bail was usually included in these writs.

    In 1796, Moses Austin (1761-1821), the father of Stephen F. Austin, settled in Missouri, then part of Upper Spanish Louisiana. He mined lead in southeastern Missouri and shipped it from the Mississippi River port town of St. Genevieve, where this writ was served from. Austin's Missouri lead business venture, and his other business ventures, was not successful. He ran into trouble in 1813 and, later, in 1820 for not paying his debts, so he traveled to Texas in search of other opportunities. After receiving a grant to bring 300 colonists to Texas, he returned to Missouri to make preparations for the new Texas colony. Just two months after arriving back, however, he died, but not before requesting his son Stephen to carry out his plan to begin a colony in Texas. Sheriff Henry Dodge (1782-1864) later moved to Wisconsin where he served as a U.S. Senator. Toned with folds and docketing on verso. Near fine.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    21st Saturday
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