Description

    Robert Triplett Texian Loan Autograph Document Signed "Robert Triplett" and "W.F. Gray," witnessed by "Thos. H. Hill," "Edward Hall," and "H.H. League/Judge," one page, 7.75" x 9.75". Harrisburg, [Texas], March 31, 1836. Completely in the hand of Triplett. In full, "Wm F. Gray & Robert Triplett agree that if any difficulty arises between the taking of the two loan contracts compromised with the Executive Government of Texas by Robert Triplett & Wm F Gray - the contractors in both cases representing each loan shall leave the same to arbitrators to be chosen by the two parties, and if they disagree by an umpire to be chosen by said arbitrators - the understanding being, that the whole bonus, is given as a whole consideration, and the government to have nothing to do with any dispute between the parties." Edward Hall was the Texas agent at New Orleans. Hosea H. League, one of the Old Three Hundred colonists, was the first judge for the Harrisburg jurisdiction, and he presided as election judge for the choice of delegates to the Convention of 1836. The historic month of March 1836 began with the convening of the Convention at Washington-on-the Brazos on the first and the declaration of Texas independence on the 2nd. Then came the fall of the Alamo on March 6th. Gen. Sam Houston arrived in Gonzales on March 11th and, informed of the fall of the Alamo, decided upon retreat to the Colorado River. He ordered all inhabitants of Texas to accompany him, including his army and the new republic's cabinet. As news of the Alamo spread, people all over Texas began to leave everything and make their way to safety in what has become known as the Runaway Scrape. By March 17th, Washington-on-the-Brazos was deserted. Triplett, one of the earliest contributors to the Revolution, was the major lender on the Texian Loan, lending $100,000 (half) of the first loan and $2,000 of the $50,000 second loan. William F. Gray had lent Texas $10,000 of the second loan and represented the other 17 lenders in this agreement. Only 10% in cash was paid down on the first loan and $46,000 was paid down on the second; the balance was to be paid upon ratification of the contract by the convention to be held in March 1836. The lenders had the right to take, as repayment, 500,000 acres of land (50 cents per acre) and there could be no private or public sales of land until their selections had been made. Additionally, the government was to survey and plot the land in tracts of 640 acres each. Before the convention met, there was considerable opposition by the Texas delegates to these terms. President David G. Burnet's cabinet refused to ratify the loans and proposed to refund the money. Then the Alamo fell. Texas was nearly bankrupt. The balance of the loan was desperately needed to pay mounting bills. The government realized that a compromise must be reached with the lenders. To protect the lenders in the event of any problems arising from the compromise, Triplett and Gray signed this document on March 31st requiring arbitrators to settle any disputes. On that day, Gray recorded in his diary that there is "some difficulty still existing about the loan contract. The Cabinet still has it under consideration, and some modification is suggested." The most eventful month in Texas history was now over. The next day, April 1, 1836, a compromise was reached. The right of prior location was surrendered by the lenders in return for a "bonus" of 32 leagues of land (142,000 acres). However, dissatisfaction arose over the form of the scrip which the government issued and before this could be adjusted, the government authorized Thomas Toby & Brother to sell 500,000 acres at the same price it was offered to the lenders. This destroyed the monopoly which Triplett expected to enjoy. A good deal of bickering followed on both sides, charging each other with bad faith. By acts passed in 1837 and 1838, the Republic of Texas finally made appropriations of about 295,000 acres to the lenders for principal and interest, closing the most important chapter in the finances of the revolution. The document is in apparent fine condition. There is light offset in the lower blank area from folding the agreement before the ink was dry. It is matted and framed to 17" x 26.75". A photocopy of a contemporary printing of the April 1, 1836 "Compromise Contract" is in a pocket affixed to the verso of the framed display. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed - with Glass, Medium (view shipping information)

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