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    Sam Houston offers favors to John Allen's widow

    Sam Houston Autograph Letter Signed as a U.S. Senator from Texas offering two favors to the widow of John M. Allen, an old friend from the Texas Revolution. Two pages, 7.75" x 10", December 24, 1857, Washington, to Mary Allen of Kinderhook, New York. Houston, who was in his eleventh year as a senator, offers to "prevail upon" Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey about the stationing of Mary Allen's brother. Houston also offers "aid" Mrs. Allen on the sale of her late-husband's landholdings. In full: "I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 21 inst. I will endeavor to see the Secy of the Navy, and prevail upon him to revoke the orders of your brother to the Coast of Africa, & order him to some station within the U.S. as you request. I shall be glad to aid you in the sale of your land if possible. I am inclined to think that it is worth more than the price you have been offered for it. Have you got the title to it perfect? I would suppose the land to be worth from one to three dollars, without knowing precisely where it lays. How near it is to Bexar? It will always give me great pleasure to gratify or aid the widow or orphans of my departed friend Major Allen."

    Texas Naval Captain John M. Allen (?-1847), had been a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Texas Revolution. Following the revolution, he had commanded the Texas privateer, the Terrible, which patrolled the Gulf. After being discharged from his military duties in December 1836, Allen was awarded a headright grant of one league and one labor, near 4,605 acres, which could likely be the land Senator Houston mentions. Allen became Galveston's first mayor in 1839. This letter was part of a scrapbook, likely begun by W. L. Rodman in 1872, which contained other important early Texas letters and documents. It is age-toned with minor light stains; it contains a large, bold signature of Sam Houston with paraph. Fine.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    21st Saturday
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