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    Henry Smith. Governor's Message Broadside Together with a Letter Addressed to Smith. A rare broadside printed in three columns, 15.75" x 12.5", San Felipe, November 16, 1835. This is Smith's first pronouncement after being elected governor by Consultation. It is believed that 500 copies were ordered and printed by Baker & Bordens, San Felipe de Austin in 1835. Streeter lists only two other copies of this broadside in existence: one is at the Texas State Library in Austin, and the other, formerly from Streeter's personal collection, is now at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University.

    Henry Smith was the first American-born Governor of the Mexican territory of Texas, serving from 1835-1836, and briefly presided over the Revolution. Smith had previously been elected Alcalde in 1833 before being appointed as the head of the newly established Department of the Brazos in 1834. When the Declaration of November 7, 1835, declared Texas independence from Mexico, Smith was named governor due to his position as a leader of the Independence, or War, Party. Later, he served as Secretary of the Treasury during the first Sam Houston administration. The broadside reads, in part:

    "To the honorable the President and members of the Legislative Council of all Texas, Gentlemen, - Called upon to discharge the duties of the supreme executive of the free and sovereign State of Texas, I commence the task, not without mistrust of my abilities; but relying chiefly upon your support, and the indulgence of an intelligent and well disposed people, I am inspired with confidence, and cheered by the hope that our united efforts to promote the public good, will not prove unavailing.

    I trust that there is not one of your body insensible to the many dangers that threaten, surround, and overhand our adopted country; that there is not one who does not feel the importance of the great trust confided, and who is not aware of the heavy responsibilities which necessarily devolve upon us.

    In the onset, in the very beginning, -ere one error is committed, or one act performed, I call upon you to summon to your assistance moral courage, to throw around you the impenetrable shield of honesty, to march onward in the pathway of duty, and undauntedly to meet the dangers and obstacles which chance or design may throw in your way. If we cower or sink beneath the task, shame and disgrace await us, and ruin irretrievable, our adopted country, Contemplate the task before you; the dangers to be encountered, and the obstacles to be removed or surmounted, and the decline the task, or make a beginning with a fixed determination faithfully and fearlessly to perform your duties. I thus take the liberty to admonish you, because no common duties devolve upon you. You have to call system from chaos, to start the wheels of government, clogged and impeded as they are by conflicting interests, and discordant materials; without funds, without the munitions of war, with an army in the field contending against a powerful foe: there are the auspices under which we make a beginning..."

    This broadside was accompanied by a letter, Jackson County, September 25, 1833. addressed to Smith from his brother-in-law, Michael Rice. Rice writes from Missouri, sharing family news. He finishes the letter by writing, "I have written more particularly about things in my former letter and thairfore [sic] shall not write much in this. I want all about Texas, in your Letter that I expect to bet by Mr. Isbell on his return it is probable that James will pay you a [illegible] after a while he takes something like it at this time. Nancy wishes one of her sisters to write to her. She wishes to here [sic] from you all By the same conveyance. She gives her kind Love to you all. She is in better health and spirits then she has been for several years. You will please direct your communications to me to Independence Missouri." Michael Rice married Nancy Gillet in 1821 in Howard County, where Henry Smith had married Elizabeth Gillet in 1820.

    Condition: Both documents are toned throughout and fragile. Broadside has some separations and paper loss where document was folded, areas have been professionally reinforced on verso with archival material. Affects a minimal amount of the text. Small amount of creasing at lower left corner. Letter has light foxing throughout and some areas of light dampstaining. Separations have occurred along multiple folds, with small areas of paper loss. Affects a minimal amount of the text, ink is bold and legible.

    Reference: Streeter 97.


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