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    Sam Houston, along with other senators, orders copies of his monumental senate speech

    Sam Houston Document Signed. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", ca. 1854, [Washington, D.C.]. In this document, Houston signs his name to receive 500 copies of his memorable senate speech given during the fiery debate of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. In full:

    "We the undersigned will take the number set against our names of the remarks made by Gen. Houston - on the rights of the Clergy to Petition Congress - to be published at 50 cts per hundred.

    H.[annibal] Hamlin 2000
    C. T. James 1000
    Truman Smith 1000
    Hamilton Fish 200
    Sam Houston 500"

    As the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was being debated in the Senate in March 1854, a petition was delivered to Congress on the 14th, signed by over 3,000 New England clergymen, protesting the bill. Immediately upon the petition's introduction by Massachusetts' Senator Edward Everett, two southern senators protested against the petition, claiming the clergymen were beyond proper limits. Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois joined the protest against the clergymen with a speech. As Charles Sumner of Massachusetts rose to defend the religious leaders against Douglas and the southern senators, Houston shouted, "Sumner, don't speak! Don't speak! Leave him to me!" Sumner deferred to Houston, knowing that the words of a southerner were needed in this situation to defend the clergy. Houston then rose and defended the rights of the clergymen to petition congress saying, "No man can be a minister without first being a man. He has political rights; he has also the right of a missionary of the Saviour, and he is not disfranchised by his vocation . . . ." The top left corner of the document is torn; also one small tear in text. On toned paper with smoothed edges; very good.

    Reference: Madge Thornall Roberts, The Personal Correspondence of Sam Houston: 1852-1863 (University of Denton, Texas: North Texas Press, 2001), 174; James L. Haley, Sam Houston (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004), 325.

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    November, 2009
    21st Saturday
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