DescriptionSam Houston Letter Signed. Two pages, 7.75" x 9.75", Cedar Point [Texas], August 15, 1862, to G. W. Frazer, "Provost Marshall [sic] of Harris County." Sam Houston was the governor of Texas when the Secession Convention voted to secede from the Union and join the fledgling Confederate States. Houston, for his part, was a vocal opponent of secession (though he himself was a slave holder and opposed to abolition), warning: "Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives you may win Southern independence, but I doubt it. The North is determined to preserve this Union." Refusing to take the new Confederate Oath of Loyalty, Houston was removed from office.
Whether Houston actually supported the Confederate cause (he often vocalized his support publicly) is unknown, but his Union views led some to challenge his loyalty. In this letter, Houston writes that he is aware that such inquiries have recently been made. He writes, in full: "Having heard thro' Col. William J. Mills and other persons that inquiries had been made of them, and I understood by you, for persons in the neighborhood of Cedar Bayou, who would be the most probable witnesses against me. This has left me to infer, that complaints or charges have been lodged against me, with you. Now Sir, I request you if I am rightly informed, to communicate to me the name of the author, or authors, who may have complained to you, or made any charges against my loyalty to the Government. If it were possible for me to leave home at this time, I would call on you personally. I hope you will be so good as to answer this letter by Mr. Parmer as he is acquainted with the contents. You will at once, I hope, perceive the propriety and fairness of my course. I claim no more than the humblest man in the community, and I am always ready to answer to the Laws of my country." Though his health was in decline, Houston's signature and paraph remain as bold as ever. Both vertical folds are weak and separating in places. The same is true for the horizontal fold, though the separation is confined to the edges. Top edge is chipped with some loss of paper. There are several spots of staining, mostly confined to the top half. On the verso, the upper portion of the vertical folds is soiled, as is the panel lying between the two.
Houston, his wife and children, left Cedar Point two months later, heading north to Huntsville. He became sick with pneumonia and died on July 26, 1863, having never seen the conclusion of secession and the ensuing war.
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