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    Birth of the Bexar Archives

    Ramon Musquiz Letter Signed as Political Chief of the Department of Texas. Bejar. March 11, 1833. Three pages, Folio sheet, folded. Penned in Spanish in an unknown hand. Concerns the important manuscript collection that is known today as the Bexar Archives.

    In this letter Ramon Musquiz informs the vice-governor of the state of Coahuila y Texas of his need for additional funds to organize and administer the archives at Bejar. Musquiz complains that he has only a secretary and a lone scribe to assist with the massive undertaking, and humbly requests permission to hire an additional scribe. Boldly signed by Musquiz on the final leaf, in the name of "Dios y libertad," with his decorative rubric alongside.

    Musquiz's appeal for more funds was no doubt prompted by the huge amount of material being produced by the emigration of American colonists to Texas. At the time of this writing Musquiz had been involved in the Mexican administration of Texas for some ten years. A supporter of colonization and a friend of Stephen F. Austin, Musquiz would become vice-governor of Texas in 1835.

    The Bejar Archives (now the Bexar Archives, housed at the University of Texas at Austin) were first organized in 1717 and administered by the ruling Spanish and Mexican authorities in Texas, whose goal it was to record every official document, letter, broadside, etc., that concerned the civilian, political, and most importantly, the military activities of the area. Today, it is known as the most complete and well documented reference of early Texas history. An interesting letter detailing the administration and growth of this important Texas archive. Enclosed in a brown half-calf case with tan cloth boards and gilt letting on spine. Two staples and a strip of opaque tape along vertical fold do not detract from this beautifully penned letter. In fine condition. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

    Reference: The Handbook of Texas Online.

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    December, 2007
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