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    Hays and Walker visit a New Orleans Reading Room

    [John Coffee "Jack" Hays] and [Samuel H. Walker]. Page from the Commercial Reading Room with Texas Rangers Jack Hays and Samuel Walker as Registered Visitors. Following the capture of the city of Monterey [Mexico] on September 25, 1846, an armistice of eight weeks was granted by American General Zachary Taylor. The Texans, believing the conflict to be over and with their enlistment period expiring, asked for an early discharge. Taylor was all too eager to rid himself of the rowdy Texans. Colonel Jack Hays and Lt. Colonel Samuel Walker returned to the United States and paid a visit to New Orleans where they were treated as heroes.

    While in New Orleans, the pair paid a visit to the "Commercial Reading Room" where their names, along with the names of forty-two other visitors, were placed in a visitor book. The page, measuring 11"x 17" (height varies), contains the date of the visit (Hays and Walker arrived on November 13, 1846), name and residence of the guest, city, and "By whom Introduced." Subscribers to such reading rooms could "introduce" friends who were not residents of the city.

    Interesting to note are the names of five additional men who are noted as being headed to "Texas for the purpose of returning Major Ringold's [sic] remains to Baltimore." Major Samuel Ringgold (1796-1846) had both legs mutilated during the Battle of Palo Alto at the beginning of the Mexican War. He survived for three days before dying at Port Isabel, Texas, the first American officer to die during the war.

    The verso contains an additional forty-four names, including "Judge Thom. M. Duke / Texas," most likely Thomas Marshall Duke, one of Austin's Old Three Hundred and first alcalde of Austin's colony, and "J. W. Dallam / Matagorda [Texas]," presumably James Wilmer Dallam, a Texas author and newspaper publisher in Matagorda at the time.

    Large 6.5" x 1" piece cut from the lower edge. Areas of waterstaining and overall uneven toning. Ink smudging and bleed through are present. Chipped edges; 2.5" tear at right edge and a 2" tear at left edge.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 613

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