DescriptionThomas J. Rusk Land Application Signed "Tho J Rusk." One partially printed page, 7.5" x 4.75", "County of Nacogdoches," February 7, 1838. Thomas Jefferson Rusk (1803-1857) first came to Texas in 1834 in pursuit of crooked managers who had embezzled funds from a mining company in which Rusk had invested money. While he never recovered the money, he loved the country and decided to make it his home, becoming a citizen of Mexico and applying for a headright in the colony of David G. Burnet. He joined the Texian army shortly before the beginning of the Revolution, but left sometime around October 1835. He was named inspector general of the army for the Nacogdoches District, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, and returned to the army in time to take part in the Battle of San Jacinto, but not before being name provisional secretary of war. After the war, he was named commander in chief of the army of the Republic of Texas and followed the Mexican army as they retreated back across the Rio Grande.
Even with such prestigious credentials, Rusk had to follow protocol and apply for the land he was guaranteed when he first came to Texas. Rusk returned to Nacogdoches County and signed his name to this application (which included an oath that the applicant had not left Texas during the Revolution nor did he aide the enemy) which reads, in full: "Do solemnly swear, that I was a resident citizen of Texas, at the date of the Declaration of Independence, that I did not leave the country during the campaign of the Spring of 1836 to avoid a participation in the struggle, that I did not refuse to participate in the War, that I did not aid or assist the enemy; that I have not previously received a title more than one league of land, and that I conceive myself to by justly entitled, under the Constitution and laws, to the quantity of land, for which I now apply. one labor."
Unevenly toned with smoothed folds. Some chipping of the right edge; corners are bent. Small ½" hole near the right edge along the horizontal fold, but no loss of text. Ink burn at the bottom edge has caused separation of the right vertical fold. The heavy ink used has caused some ink to soak into the paper, creating a blossoming effect, but Rusk's signature is unaffected, and remains bold and bright. Ink bleed-through from the verso.
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