Description

    William T. Selkirk "Colonist" $50 Promissory Note Signed "William Selkirk" as Witness and "X" by Johnson Hensley, one page, 7.75" x 3". San Felipe de Austin, December 15, 1829. Printed document, in part, "Having been received by S.F. Austin, as one of the Settlers under his contracts with Government, in conformity with the terms published by him, 20th November, 1829; - I promise to pay to said S.F. Austin, or order, the sum of Fifty Dollars, in two payments...Ten Dollars on receipt of my title for land as a Settler, under said contracts, and Forty Dollars, one year after the date of said title; to bear interest at the customary rates of this Colony...I execute this note in this language, because I do not understand Spanish." [San Felipe de Austin: Printed by G.B. Cotton, 1829.] Stephen F. Austin had explicit condition of settlement in his colony including "the most unequivocal and satisfactory evidence of unblemished character, good morals, sobriety, and industrious habits...no drunkard, no gambler, no profane swearer, no idler...will be received." After an immigrant was accepted into the colony, he would select any unappropriated land and formally petition the commissioner for a title, paying the fees incurred. The final step was this promissory note. Hundreds of $50 promissory notes in Austin's papers at the University of Texas reveal that many of the colonists did not even make the initial payment on delivery of title. "No one was turned away, or ever waited for his title, because he was poor," said Austin who, at times, would lend them money to pay the surveyor and the commissioner. William Selkirk, one of Austin's "Old Three Hundred," was a surveyor in Austin's colony. Fine condition. From the collection of Darrel Brown.

    Reference: Streeter 10


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    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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