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    [Jim Bowie]. William King Autograph Letter Signed. One and one-quarter pages with integral address panel, 7.5" x 12". Claiborne County, Mississippi, October 14, 1828. A letter about a Louisiana land purchase involving the Bowie brothers, James ("Jim") and Stephen. William King writes to "Dr. Bell" of Natchez, Mississippi, and delivered, according to the address panel, by the "politeness of Mr. S[tephen]. Bowie." In part:

    "Understanding from Mr. Stephen Bowie That you wished to purchase a Tract of Land of him and in addition thereto the Lower half of a Tract of Land sold by him to me in the month of March Last adjoining the same on the upper side have agreed with and sold to him the same but not being in the neighborhood of the proper authority to convey the same agreeable to the forms of Louisianna [sic]. I refer you to the articles between my Brother Richard King, who was a joint Partner with James Bowie in the Purchasing of this Tract of Land from Lemuel[?] Tanner. Should you purchase of Mr. Bowie and prefer having a conveyance from me I shall be in the Parish of Terrebonne sometime in next month."

    William's brother, Richard King, was not the Richard King who founded the immense King Ranch, but these King brothers were still involved with large amounts of land as speculators. Later, William speculated in Texas land, establishing Kingsborough (modern-day Kaufman).

    Jim Bowie (1796-1836) grew up in Louisiana. In 1815 at the age of nineteen, he settled alone in central Louisiana and began carving a plantation out of the wilderness. There, the future hero of the Texas Revolution gained a reputation for his recklessness and adroitness with a knife. He and his brother Stephen were soon involved in the more lucrative businesses of slave smuggling and land speculation which, in 1828, centered in southern Louisiana parishes like Terrebonne. This letter dates to eight years before his death at the Alamo, when Jim Bowie lived in New Orleans.

    Condition: Even toning and minor separation at two fold intersections. Bits of paper loss occur along integral fold not affecting any words.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2017
    24th Friday
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