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    Travis vies for an appointment

    William Barret Travis Autograph Letter Signed "W. Barret Travis" as secretary to the ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin. Two pages of a bifolium, 6.25" x 8", in Spanish, San Felipe de Austin, May 13, 1834. Addressed to Don Ramon Musquiz, the political chief of the Department of Texas, Travis advocates himself for the position of chief of police of San Felipe de Austin, in full and in translation: "I judge that it is my duty to inform your Excellency that the foreigner J.H.C. Miller, who has been appointed by the government of this city as chief of police, is neither a settler nor a naturalized citizen according to the laws and is therefore not eligible for this post. No one has asked me to accept the position of chief, but if I were appointed, I would comply with all the laws and orders of the government to the best of my ability." Written in only one column on each page. Light ink bleed-through. Smoothed folds. Binding holes along the left edge.

    Travis, fleeing an order for his arrest for debt, arrived in Texas in 1831 and set up a law practice in Anahuac, but moved south to San Felipe following his participation in the Anahuac Disturbances of 1832, resuming his legal career. Earlier in 1834, he was elected to the position of secretary to the ayuntamiento and became involved in local politics, but it appears that he was not successful in acquiring the job of chief of police.

    The "J.H.C. Miller" that Travis mentions in his letter is likely Dr. James H.C. Miller, a physician who entered DeWitt's Colony sometime between 1831 and 1835, settling in Gonzales. A member of the Gonzales militia, he is said to have once led an expedition against the Comanche in response to the latter's attack on a Mexican-French pack train. An advocate for peace with the Mexican government, he was later accused of spying on the residents of San Felipe for Domingo Ugartechea, the military commandant of Coahuila y Tejas. He left Texas sometime in late 1835 and settled in Michigan.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2015
    14th Saturday
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