Sam Houston writes extolling the virtues of FreemasonrySam Houston Autograph Letter Signed as U.S. senator. Four pages, 7.75" x 10", "Huntsville, Texas, 18th June, 1851." Statesman, politician, and soldier Sam Houston declines an invitation to speak at a 4th of July celebration in Houston proffered by the members of the Holland Masonic Lodge, who wished to lay the "cornerstone of an edifice to be dedicated to Masonry and Education" on that day. Addressing his letter to "Brethren: Jno. L. Bryan, Jno. Dickinson, Robert Brevertin, Wm. J. Darden, & Wm. H. King," Houston assures his correspondents that "The day as well as the objects contemplated by your celebration have ever been and I trust will ever be dear to my heart. The day commemorates the establishment of national liberty and equality in America!"
Houston had long been a Freemason, having joined his friend Andrew Jackson's lodge, Cumberland Lodge No. 8, in Nashville, in 1817. On December 20, 1837, Houston presided over the convention of Freemasons that formed the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas, where they elected Anson Jones as the first Grand Master of Texas Masons. Many other famous Texans, including all of the Republic's presidents, were Masons; Stephen Austin, Davy Crockett, James Bowie, William Barrett Travis and Lorenzo de Zavala among them.
Senator Houston goes on to extol the virtues of Freemasonry: "The objects of Masonry are charity, benevolence, philanthropy, which all tend to the amelioration and advancement of man's social condition. Education is designed to enlighten, and inform the intellect, and enable us to comprehend, employ all the faculties of our minds, in the advancement, of our moral and social relations. These objects are worthy of the age, and country, in which we live." He closes by declining the invitation to speak: "If possible, it is my intention to meet you on that day, but I regret to say it will not be in my power to prepare such an address (from my engagements) as that occasion demands. I hope you will be able to select someone who will be enabled to do more justice to the subject than myself!" Large decorative signature with complex rubric below. Letter is lightly age toned, with occasional noticeable stains and soiling throughout. Fine condition.
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