Description

    The "Declaration of Independence and Constitution"
    Signed by John T. Tinsley

    [Texas Laws, Statues, etc.]: Ordinances and Decrees of the Consultation, Provisional Government of Texas and the Convention, which assembled at Washington March 1, 1836. By order of the Secreta[r]y of State. (Houston: National Banner Office-Niles & Co. Printers, 1838). First edition. Twelvemo (8" x 4.75"). 156 pages. Raines, p. 229 (C). These are the Ordinances and Decrees enacted by the three bodies known as the Consultation, the Provisional Government and the Washington Convention. Among the vital documents herein contained are the Texas Declaration of Independence and War upon Mexico; the Provisional Constitution; the Legislation in relation to the Raising and Outfitting of the Texan army; the Establishment of the Texas Navy; the creation of Postal Service; Indian treaties; and the ad interim Constitution enacted by the harassed Washington Convention while the enemy were literally thoundering at the gates of the city. In the House Journal, Third Congress the report of November 5, 1838, of Secretary of State Irion on pp. 21--23 says that 2,000 copies of these ordinances and decrees were printed. Eberstadt, Texas 162:195: "Contains the 'Declaration of the People of Texas in General Convention Assembled' [November 7, 1835], and the 'Plan and Powers of the Provisional Government of Texas' [November 13, 1835]. Also the ad interim constitution enacted [March 16, 1836] by the harassed convention while the enemy was literally thundering at the gates of the town of Washington, Texas."

    [bound with]: Laws of the Republic of Texas, in Two Volumes. Printed by the Order of the Secretary of State. (Houston: Printed at the Office of the Telegraph, 1838). Twelvemo. 276, v [index]; 122, v [index] pages.

    [and with]: Laws of the Republic of Texas. Volume Third. By Order of the Secretary of State. (Houston: National Banner Press-Niles & Co, Printers, 1838). Twelvemo. 54 pages. Streeter 276. Official edition of laws passed at the adjourned session of the Second Congress, 9 April-24 May 1838.

    [and with]: Laws of the Republic of Texas, passed at the First Session of the Third Congress. In one volume. (Houston: Telegraph Power Press, 1839). Twelvemo. [ii], 145, vi [index] pages.

    Boldly signed in ink by John T. Tinsley on the front pastedown endpaper and at the top margin of page 268 in the first volume of the Laws of Texas. Additionally signed on the front board "Robert Tinsley" and also by T.M. Harwood (the book bears the bookplate of T.F. Harwood on the front pastedown endpaper). There is an obscured signature at the top of the first title page that appears that it might be also by Tinsley.

    Handsomely bound in contemporary calf boards, with an old and attractive reback to style in calf, with a printed paper spine label. Hinges reinforced with binders cloth. Binding soiled and worn, but still shows very well. Foxing, browning (heavy in places), and dampstaining to the sheets, which remain remarkably supple and readable. Altogether, a very good copy of an extremely rare grouping of imprints on early Texas law.
    "John Turner Tinsley, born circa 1809 in Sumner County, Tennessee, was probably the son of Moses and Elizabeth Turner Tinsley and migrated to Gonzales County from Kentucky in 1834. On September 19, 1835 Andrew Ponton deeded John T. Tinsley Lots 4, 5, 6, 7 in Tier 2 in the Outer Town East of Water Street near the creek. Hence the name Tinsley Creek which ran north and south in the 1300 blocks of Gonzales. Each twelve-acre lot was appraised at two pesos and seventy-five centavos. In Gonzales April 25, 1838 John T. Tinsley was granted a certificate to his league and labor of land. His application for pension stated that he took part in the "engagement at Gonzales in the month of September A D 1835.
    "Frontier Days of Texas by A.J. Sowell stated, "Dr. John T. Tinsley shot one Mexican who stopped to look back . . . (after the Alamo fell) . . . and General Sam Houston was in Gonzales, Gen. Houston made the Tinsley house his headquarters. When the army left Gonzales on the approach of the Mexican army under Santa Anna, Dr. Tinsley materially aided the cause of independence by making a trip to the coast after ammunition and intercepting the Army of Houston on its line of march with the powder and lead in time to be used in the famous Battle of San Jacinto, which was fought soon after.
    "Records showed that Dr. Tinsley served as alderman for Gonzales in 1848 and 1849, mayor in 1852, and Justice of the Peace 1850-1852. Minutes of one city council meeting in 1850 mentioned an "Act requiring B.B. Peck and John T. Tinsley to remove their houses from the public square." He died March 5, 1878 and was buried in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery. -Sons of Dewitt Colony Texas.

    Reference: Gilcrease-Hargrett, p. 362: "Highly important acts on the negotiations of treaties with the Cherokees and the Comanches." Howes T133. Rader 3056. Raines, p. 229. Sabin 94959. Streeter 246.


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