DescriptionW. P. Ballinger. To the Citizens of the Counties of Galveston, Harris, Liberty and Chambers. One page broadside, 7.5" x 11.75", printed on blue paper, Galveston, October 29, 1861, regarding a law passed under an Act of the Confederate Congress on August 20, 1861, whereby "All the lands, tenements and hereditaments, goods and chattels, rights and credits, within the Confederate States, and every right and interest therein, held, owned, possessed or enjoyed, by or for any alien enemy, since 21st May, 1861...are thereby sequestrated by the C.S., and shall be held for the full indemnity of the citizens or residents of, or other person aiding the Confederate States in the present war, against losses by the seizure, condemnation or confiscation of their property, under any act of the United States, or any State thereof, authorizing the same."
The law describes "alien enemies" as "All persons...who have a domicil in any of the United States, whether citizens or not. Thus, 'the subjects of Great Britain, France and other neutral nations who have a domicil, or are carrying on business or traffic, within the States at war with this Confederate States, or aid or abet the United States in the existing war.'"
W. P. Ballinger was appointed Receiver by "the Judge of the Confederate Court of this District" to carry out the execution of the law. All citizens were required to report "all such property, rights, credits, &c."Grand Juries of the Confederate Courts were obliged to "report all property, &c., held by or for alien enemies." In addition, those persons "indebted to alien enemies become the debtors of the Confederate States, and are required to render a written statement of all such indebtedness."
Mildly toned along the folds with one half inch tear at the top edge. Light staining at the bottom left corner. Else fine. From the papers of B.A. Shepherd.
Benjamin Armistead Shepherd was born in Virginia on May 14, 1814. Due to the poor conditions of the land and a dwindling family fortune, he left Virginia in the 1830s and arrived in Galveston, Texas. He married Mary Dobson in 1841 and settled in the growing town of Houston. A personal friend of General Sam Houston (whom he had met at age 19), Shepherd established himself as a prominent landowner and one of the foremost citizens of Houston, involving himself in many entrepreneurial adventures before founding and serving as president of the First National Bank of Houston in 1866. In 1875, he arrived in the newly formed San Jacinto County where he organized the town of Shepherd along the proposed Houston, East, and West Texas Railway. He died in Houston in 1891.
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