Bounty Land Ordinance issued at the Convention of 1836Samuel P. Carson Signed Period Fair Copy in the Hand of Elisha Pease of the Bounty Land Ordinance Issued at the Convention of 1836. Four pages of a bifolium, 7.75" x 9.75". Undated, but circa 1836. In part: Bounty Land Ordinance of Convention 1836. Whereas many individuals from the United States and elsewhere have left their homes of peace and comfort to volunteer in the service of this country and endured the hardships and perils of war in its struggle against Mexican tyranny; and have by their generous patriotism and gallant conduct in the field earned our warmest gratitude therefore - Resolved that bounties of land be granted to said volunteers as follows viz - To all who are now in service and shall continue in service faithfully during the War 1280 acres. To all who have served faithfully, or who shall continue in service faithfully for a period not less than six months 640 acres. To all those who have served faithfully for a period not less than three months 320 acres. To all who shall enter the service previous to the first day of next July and shall continue in service faithfully during the War provided the War shall continue for a period more than six months 760 acres. To all who shall enter the service after the first day of next July a quantity proportioned to their service and to be hereafter determined."
Additional resolutions establish claims by heirs of deceased soldiers, proof of service, and protocols for managing duplicate claims on land. Carson endorses and signs stating that this is "A true copy from the record of the convention. Sam. P. Carson / Secy of State."
The Convention of 1836 met on March 1, 1836. Convention delegates wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, named Sam Houston commander in chief of the military, and established the ad interim government. One of the most important resolutions passed would be the ordinance offered here which provided a means for the Republic to build an army. While loans were secured for the purchase of provisions, land bounties were used to pay volunteers as outlined by this ordinance.
Samuel P. Carson (1798-1838) attended the Convention as a delegate from Pecan Point. Originally from North Carolina, where he had served on the Senate, Carson had extensive experience in drafting legislation and played an important role at the Convention. He was elected secretary of state on March 17, 1836 and was sent to Washington to help raise funds for the new Republic on April 1. The fair copy offered here must date from that two-week period. Carson served as secretary of state for only a short period; he resigned his post in June after inadvertently learning from a newspaper article that he had been replaced as an agent for Texas.
Elisha Pease attended the Convention as secretary to the General Council of the Provisional Government and would have written out the ordinance in that capacity. From the Robert E. Davis Collection.
Condition: The document has been professionally de-acidified and stabilized; archival tissue is used to reinforce partial separations occurring folds at top of pages 2 and 3. Bit of paper loss resulting from ink burn affects 2 words. Adhesive staining and mounting remnants along the integral fold, and a few small stains from cello tape, now removed.
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