Letter from a father in Alabama to his son in the Republic of Texas discussing his plans to emigrate therel and establish a large cotton plantation. Nathaniel Davis to Nathaniel Hart Davis.
Letter from a father in Alabama to his son in the Republic of Texas discussing his plans to emigrate therel and establish a large cotton plantation

Letter from a father in Alabama to his son in the Republic of Texas discussing his plans to emigrate therel and establish a large cotton plantation

Madison County, Alabama via New Orleans, Louisiana, to Montgomery Court House, Texas: Christmas Eve, 1840. Unbound.

This four-page stampless folded letter, dated “Xmas Eve 1840,” measures approximately 16” x 9.5” unfolded. It bears a circular blue “Huntsville / Ala” postmark dated “Dec 26,” a blue “25” cent manuscript rate mark (postage from Huntsville to New Orleans), a brown “56” cent manuscript rate mark (50 cents for distances >100 miles plus 6.25 cents for receipt of ships mail), a blue “PAID” handstamp, and a black “SHIP” handstamp. In the lower left corner, it has a manuscript annotation that reads, “Care of Messrs / Bowe & Crenshaw / New Orleans.” A black oval handstamp on the reverse reads Wm Bryan / New Orleans / Agent of the Texian Post Office (See ASSC, v.1, p.382.) There are splits along the folds, some partially mended with what appears to be archival tape; the repairs should probably be redone. A transcript will be provided. Good. Item #009286

In this letter, a father poses numerous questions about Texas to his son and makes it clear that he dearly wants to use his slaves to get rich, either by hiring them out to wealthy planters or by establishing a large plantation of his own perhaps near “Legrange, Bastrope, Austin, Braxoria, or any other western town not too near the Coast”. He also expresses a confident concern that if necessary, he could defend his family and property against Mexicans, Comanches, and other western threats:

“What inducements have the wealthy planters to settle on the [flooded] Colorado [River] at the probable low price of cotton as long as Slavery exists the profits of growing that staple will be destroyed entirely by a land carriage of any but a very short distance either on railroads, turnpikes or wagons. . . . it will be highly desirable that I make some money out of my negroes and . . . I should go to some flourishing healthy town where I could hire my negroes out by the month & keep a boarding house & perhaps a livery stable . . . to make an honest living until I could resume the planting business upon a scale more flattering to my bride than what I have done in Ala. . . . You have thought proper in some of yr former letters to allude to the probability of another Mexican invasion. . . . If I . . . perish in heroic battle there is no place on earth should have my preference over Texas. . . . I have bot me a highly finished German 30 inches steel barrel . . . carrying ½ Oz ball percussion lock & double triggers, will shoot level across Tennessee. . . . I have sworn to kill a baffaloe and I may perchance shoot at a Comanchy I have contracted with Taylor . . . to make me . . . a bowie knife.”

All in all, a terrific letter with a rather scarce “Texian” postal marking from an especially eager emigrant who planned to become rich once he relocated to the Republic of Texas.

Price: $400.00