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    [Moses Austin]. Message from the President of the United States to both Houses of Congress. 8th November 1804. Read, and ordered to be referred to the Committee of the whole House on the State of the Union. Washington City: Printed by William Duane & Son, 1804. 12mo, 22 pages. Bound in plain wrappers. Containing the extract of a letter from Don Pedro Cevallos to Charles Pinckney, with translation, and a letter to Secretary of State James Madison from the Marquis of Casa Yrujo, with translation, assuring the president of Spain's lack of opposition to the impending Louisiana Purchase.

    Also included is A Summary Description of the Lead Mines in Upper Louisiana: Also, an Estimate of their Produce for Three Years submitted by Moses Austin informing President Thomas Jefferson of "the number, extent and situation of the Lead Mines in Upper Louisiana, with an estimate of the average quality of mineral produced, and the number of hands employed at each mine; with the probable quantity which may be annually produced, when the country becomes populated so as to afford workmen sufficient to occupy the mines to advantage" for ten mines: Mine á Burton, Mine á Robuna, Old Mines, Mine Ranault, Mine á Maneto, Mine á la Plate, Mine á Joe, Mine á Lanye, Mine á la Mott, and Mine á Gerbore. Each mine is given specific treatment concerning its geographical location, the quantity and quality of mineral raised, a short history of each, and, in some cases, the amount of manpower needed to work the mine. Austin states that "no country yet known furnishes greater indications of an inexhaustible quantity of lead mineral, and so easily obtained." He concludes by providing an estimate for the production "of the several mines" and adds: "This calculation, perhaps, by some, may be deemed incredible, but the riches and extent of the mines justify the calculation." This is the only printed item containing original material by Moses Austin.

    Having already established himself as a pioneer in lead industry while working in Virginia, where he simultaneously immersed himself in debt, Austin set his sights on the rumored lead deposits in what was then Spanish Upper Louisiana (modern-day Missouri). Acquiring a grant to Mine á Burton, he quickly gained control of all smelting in the area. Initially successful, he ran into trouble after 1812 for not paying his debts, so he traveled to Texas in 1820 in search of other opportunities. After receiving a grant to bring 300 colonists to Texas, he returned to Missouri to make preparations for his new Texas colony. Just two months after arriving back in Missouri, however, he died, but not before requesting his son Stephen to carry out his plan to begin a colony in Texas.

    The booklet contains ink notations throughout the first portion titled President's Message, November 8th, 1804. This copy once belonged to Congressman Samuel W. Dana of Connecticut who has placed his signature on the title page. Moderate to heavy foxing throughout. Evenly toned. An overall fine copy. TSHA member donation. All proceeds, including Buyer's Premium, will go to support TSHA.

    Reference: American Imprints, 7551. Graff 4405. Howes A401 (under Austin). Sabin 2419 (under Austin).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2012
    3rd Saturday
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