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    Description

    [Sam Houston]. Archive of Thirty-Two Letters and Documents Written to Houston. The majority of the letters are dated during the years that Houston served as U.S. Senator from Texas. Most notable is a four page letter with integral address cover, 7.75" x 9 7/8", Gallatin, Tennessee; January 6, 1854; from T. Barry to Sam Houston, concerning the 1856 presidential race and Barry's hope that Houston will be elected president. In part: "What will be done in 56 for Presidential candidates [?] I still have a very strong presentiment that God intends you to be Pres. of the United States. Can I in any way aid to bring about this happy result [?] I could conduct a paper better that the Washington Union is conducted and would go to any point to promote your and my country's interest....I will swear before my Maker I will vote for no man North of the Mason & Dixon line for President in 56....I was delighted the other day in the Supreme Court Room to hear some 5 or 6 men whigs and democrats all speak of you as their first choice in 56." Thomas R. Barry was a judge in Tennessee.

    The rest of the letters touch on many topics, including: seeking recommendation to secure appointments, requests for autographs, requests for changes to be made in mail routes. Also in the groups are period fair copies of poems. This archive was part of Houston's personal papers, and has remained with descendants and is appearing at auction here for the first time.

    Condition: Many of the documents in this archive have the usual folds and more than half have minor loss of paper due to fire damage, with minor loss of some text. Many of the documents also show water stains. Several of the letters are very fragile, with separations at the folds and tears.


    More Information:

    Included in this group:

    A letter from John C. Watrous to Senator Houston in Washington, D.C.; one page with integral address cover (canceled), 8 3/8" x 10.75", Galveston, Texas; April 22, 1848. Watrous recommends the appointment of William G. Hale as district attorney for the district of Texas and asks Houston to use his influence in getting this done. "Mr. Hale is a young man of extraordinary talents and attainments of great industry and unceasing attention to the business of his profession of perfectly good habits and one of the brightest ornaments of the bar."

    John Charles Watrous (1801-1874) was a lawyer who served as attorney general of the Republic of Texas (1838-1839) and subsequently appointed the first federal judge in Texas, appointed to that position in 1846 by President James K. Polk. Due to allegations that he attempted to validate forged land certificates in Texas led to impeachment proceedings in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1851, but the case was dropped after several investigations.

    Joel Henry Dyer letter to Houston and W. H. Polk. Two pages with integral address cover; 7.75" x 9.77", Trenton, New Jersey; January 28, [1853]. A letter requesting an appointment for his son and himself in the U.S. Army. Dyer added two postscripts to his letter, with the second promising President Pierce six more soldiers from his family if he gets an appointment. "Say to Genl. Pierce that I have six more Democratic soldier boys - and to appoint me and he can then have the services of all of them, as they arrive at 18 years of age."

    William Hawkins Polk (1815-1862), the younger brother of former president James K. Polk, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 6th District from March 1851 to March 1853.

    James Gilliam Letter to Houston Regarding a Debt. Three pages of a bifolium, 7.75" x 12.5", Doaksville, Choctaw Nation; December 14, 1853. Gilliam writes concerning a debt he is owed by a Colonel Smith, an agent for the Chickasaw Indians, and his hope that Houston will intercede on his behalf. Gilliam served as a blacksmith for the Chickasaw Indians.

    One page of a bifolium, 7.75" x 10", Augusta, Georgia; January 9, 1854. A letter from B. F. Hall to Houston in [Washington, D.C.] requesting his autograph.

    One page letter of a bifolium, 5" x 7 7/8", New York; January 9, 1854. A letter from [W.G. Snelhen?] to Houston, [Washington, D.C.] inquiring if Houston received his letter with paper by E. L. McLane "for presentation to proper Com. of Senate?"

    One page letter of a bifolium, 5" x 8", New York; January 10, 1854. A letter from James D. Burns to Houston requesting an autograph.

    Four page bifolium, 5" x 7.75", Rochester, New York; January 28, 1854. A letter from R. W. Van [Fopen?] to Houston to solicit the senator's "aid in the settlement of an account for services performed in the Surveyor Generals office at Detroit."

    One page of a bifolium, 7.5" x 9.75", Fort Washita, Choctaw Nation; January 28, 1854. Letter from N. Bart. Pearce to President James Knox Polk requesting a leave of absence for two years "with permission to leave the U. States." Nicholas Bartlett Pearce (1828-1894) graduated from West Point in 1850, commissioned a second lieutenant in the 7th U.S. Infantry, and stationed in Arkansas and the Indian Territory for most of his career before the Civil War. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

    Two pages of a bifolium, 7 5/8" x 9.75", Washington, D.C.; January 31, 1854. A letter from a woman, B. E. Hume, to Houston requesting a letter of recommendation for a position in the U.S. Patent Office.

    Two pages of a bifolium, 7 4/8" x 9.75", Lavaca, Texas; February 1, 1853 [1854]. A letter from R. J. [Alm?] to Sam Houston in [Washington, D.C.], informing Houston of the recent drowning death of General Alexander Somervell, Collector of the District of Saluria, Texas, and recommending "a mutual friend of ours .Major J. W. Maulding" be appointed in his place. Alexander Somervell (1796-1854) died on January 20, 1854 under mysterious circumstances; his body was found lashed to the timbers of a capsized boat carrying a considerable amount of money. The letter is dated 1853, but this must be a mistake due to the date of Somervell's death.

    One page of a bifolium, 7.75" x 9.8", Gallatin, Tennessee; February 2, 1854. A letter from T[homas] [R.] Barry to Houston complaining that he had not received responses to two previous letters, claiming that no response to letters "is not following after our model man Gen. Jackson. He always answered letters. I shall not trouble you again unless I am answered."

    One page of a bifolium; 7 3/8" x 9.5", [?]; February 3, 185[4]. A letter to Sam Houston, requesting a copy of the Patent Officer Report for 1853.

    One page of bifolium, 5" x 7.75", Providence [Rhode Island]; February 8, 1854. A letter from Fayette P. Brown to Houston, Washington, D.C., forwarding "a copy of resolutions passed by the Franklin Lyceum, Monday evening 6th February." Brown was secretary of the Franklin Lyceum, which was founded in Providence in 1831 as a learned society. Resolutions are not with letter.

    One page of a bifolium; 5" x 7.5", Williamstown, Massachusetts; February 10, 1854. A letter from Samuel Williams to Houston requesting an autograph.

    One page of a bifolium; 5" x 7.5", Syracuse, New York; February 17, 1854. A letter from S. Harrison Pheney to Houston requesting an autograph.

    One page of a bifolium; 5" x 8", Middleborough, Massachusetts; February 21, 1854. A letter from Walter S. Alexander to Houston requesting a copy of the senator's resent speech on the "Nebraska bill." On February 15, 1854, Houston delivered a speech in the U.S. Senate against passage of the Kansas Nebraska bill that would repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and open up the Western territories to slavery. He was one of the few Southern senators to speak out against the bill, which later passed both chambers of Congress. Alexander may have been Walter Scott Alexander (1835-1900) a college student who later became a Congregationalist minister.

    One page of the bifolium, 5 1/8" x 8", Ashland Hall, West Bloomfield, New Jersey; February 22, 1854. A letter from Carnot B. Meeker to Houston requesting an autograph. Carnot Bolton Meeker (1836-1911), a New Jersey farmer and politician who served in the Union Army during the Civil War, was a student at Ashland Hall, a college preparatory school, at the time he wrote this letter.

    One page of a bifolium, 5" x 7.75", Ashland Hall, West Bloomfield, New Jersey; February 22, 1854. A letter from Charles T. Arnoux and Henry E. Dulyea to Houston requesting an autograph. Arnoux and Dulyea were students at Ashland Hall, a college preparatory school in West Bloomfield, New Jersey.

    Two pages, 8" x 9.75", New York; February 24, [1854]. A letter from [J. S. Snelhen?] to Houston commending him on his Kansas-Nebraska speech.

    Three pages of a bifolium, 6 7/8 x 8.5", Marengo, Alabama; March 1, 1854. A letter from Jane R. Adams to Houston requesting his aid obtaining financial compensation due her late husband, "an old Texian," for service in the Mexican War. "I therefore entreat you to use your great influence, to secure to my children the compensation to which you think their father was entitled."

    One page, 7.5" x 10", Meriden, New Hampshire; March 8, [1854]. A letter from C. L. Hutchins to Houston requesting a copy of his "last speech on the 'Nebraska Bill.'"

    One page of a bifolium, 4 3/8" x 7.25", Baltimore, Maryland; March 9, [1854]. A letter from M. F. Conway to Houston requesting a copy of his speech on the Kansas-Nebraska bill and a copy of the Congressional Directory. M.F. Conway may have been Martin F. Conway (1829-1882), who was a lawyer, U.S. congressman, consul to France, and an ardent abolitionist who moved from Baltimore to the Kansas Territory in 1854.

    One page, 7.75" x 10 7/8", New Orleans, Louisiana; January 21 18[?]. A letter from Thomas C. Sh[?] to Houston to aid him in getting appointed U. S. Consul to Genoa.

    Two pages of a bifolium, 7 5/8" x 10", Summit Cambria Co[unty, Pennsylvania]; March 7 [18??]. A letter from T. G. Pomeroy to Houston asking his aid in resisting the proposal to get "the mail route changed, so as to cross the Trinity River at Sulpher Spring bluff, instead of Cincinnati. Should this be effected it would materially depreciate the value of the Ferry at Cincinnati, which belongs to my Brothers Estate."

    One page of a bifolium, 7 7/8" x 10", Centerville, Leon County, Texas; [January ?]. A letter from J. M. [Capsham?] to Houston requesting help in increasing mail service to Centreville.

    Two pages of a bifolium, 7 7/8" x 9.75"; Senate Chamber, Providence, Rhode Island; [1854?]. A letter from F. M. Dimond to Houston concerning the possibility of working out some kind of arrangement for Dimond's son in relation to Houston's estate. Francis M. Dimond (1796-1859) served for a time as U.S. Consul to Port-au-Prince and the Mexican port city of Veracruz and as Lieutenant Governor (1853) and Governor (1853-1854) of Rhode Island.

    Two pages [incomplete], 7 7/8" x 10", [Galveston?]; [no date]. A letter from an unidentified writer to [Houston?] asking for the establishment of a mail route from Lynchburg to Galveston.

    Two pages; 7.5" x 12", [n.p.]; [no date]. This appears to be a draft of a letter in an unidentified hand addressed to an unnamed recipient instructing them to discuss with Mexican authorities the negative impact of relations between the two countries over the issue of harsh punishment of "either Texans or citizens of the United States" accused of a breaking the law in Mexico.

    Four page bifolium, 7.75" x 10.5", USS St. Louis, Alexandria, Egypt; November 26 [1853?]. A letter from a crew member [D.L. Brown?] to Houston concerning his wish for a promotion and the latest news of the USS St. Louis' activities at Smyrna, Turkey, in which the vessel's commander demanded that the Austrian frigate Husser release Hungarian refugee Martin Koszta. Koszta had immigrated to the United States with the intention of becoming a citizen and been arrested in Smyrna while there on business.

    Two poems. "Lines composed during a residence on the Pascajola bay" and "The cerenade." Two pages, 7.5" x 12", May, 1835. The poems, in unidentified hand, are docketed as "Poetic Effisions, etc., etc., etc." 32) Poem entitled "Impromptu on reading the 'Mournful heart' by 'Amelia'" Two pages, 7.75" x 9.75", [circa 1845]. Poem consisting of ten stanzas, in unidentified hand, was inspired by the poem "Mournful Heart" by Amelia B. Welby (1819-1852), which was published as part of a Welby's collected poems in 1845.



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    24th Friday
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