Important Archive of Unpublished Sam Houston Material
Descended from the Houston Family
225. HOUSTON, Samuel. Archive of 21 letters and documents. Various places, 1815-1848. The collection consists of either materials written to Houston or of his retained copies. None of the items appear in The Writings of Sam Houston. Highlights of the documents include Houston’s description of conditions at the Cherokee Indian agency preceding the tribe’s march west to Indian Territory; a holograph letter from Texas Declaration of Independence signer Samuel Price Carson; an early, interesting description of Charles Edwards Hawkins, who later commanded the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution; and a petition to Houston from the citizens of Milam County asking for help in suppressing Native Americans who have just conducted a raid in the county and killed Peter M. Mercer, a man who survived the Goliad Massacre and fought at San Jacinto. Three printed item accompany the 21 documents. Early materials concerning Houston’s life are extremely rare. All these materials descended through Sam Houston’s family. All are creased where formerly folded. Condition is rough and the papers need to be conserved properly.
Samuel Houston (1793-1863), “one of the most illustrious political figures of Texas” (Handbook of Texas Online) was influential in Texas history for a lengthy and pivotal period, achieving Texas Independence at the Battle of San Jacinto and serving at various times as U.S. Senator and state Governor up until the Civil War period. The present collection of correspondence offers new light on his early life in the South, his military service in Florida and Tennessee, and his activities during the Republic period and as late as 1848.
The collection consists of the items listed below (in chronological order):
STRONG, Joseph. ADs, 1 p. 4to (25.5 x 20 cm). Knoxville, Tennessee, June 20, 1815. Statement from Strong stating he has examined the wound Sam Houston received at the Battle of the Horse Shoe, and since the wound is not sufficiently healed, his recovery would be delayed if he stayed in the present climate. [Verso] Robert Butler. ADs, 1 p. Knoxville, Tennessee, July 4, 1815. Grants Houston a two-month furlough. Docketed on verso in Houston’s hand. Very good. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend took place on March 27, 1814. Despite the Knoxville addresses, Houston was at New Orleans at the time. One of the wounds he received never satisfactorily healed. It was at this battle that Houston’s valor won the attention of Andrew Jackson.
LEA, Luke. ADs, 1 p. 12mo (13 x 20 cm). Knoxville, Tennessee, August 21, 1815. Deposit receipt acknowledging that Houston has deposited $160 in the Bank of the State of Tennessee in favor of U.S. Paymaster Robert Brent. 2 identical copies docketed in Houston’s hand and with later pencil docket by his son Andrew Jackson Houston. Lightly waterstained, otherwise good.
WILLIAMS, Will. ADs, 1 p. 12mo (15 x 20.3 cm). New Orleans, Louisiana, April 7, 1816. States that Houston has not yet recovered from his wound and recommends a six-month furlough. [Verso] G[eorge] Croghan (Fort Croghan in Burnet, Texas, was named for George Croghan). ADs. New Orleans, April 8, 1816. Approves Houston’s furlough. Endorsed by Andrew Jackson. Docketed by Houston and Andrew Jackson Houston. Browned. Excellent confluence of the signatures of Sam Houston and his mentor, Andrew Jackson.
JESSUP, Thomas J. ALs, 1 p. 4to (24.5 x 19.5 cm). Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 1, 1816. To Robert Butler stating that Lieutenant Rodgers has declined the open position in Butler’s office but that Houston would probably be interested were it offered. States that he does not know Houston personally but that others speak highly of him. Docketed in pencil in the hand of Andrew Jackson Houston. Missing small piece from upper blank margin, otherwise very good.
BUTLER, Robert. ALs, 1 p. 4to (25 x 20.5 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, [December 18, 1816]. To Sam Houston offering him a position. Date from docket in Houston’s hand. Waterstained, voids at folds touching some letters, left margin damaged with loss but not affecting text.
HOUSTON, Samuel. “Return of Clothing for a Detachment of U.S. Infantry (Stationed at Nashville) under the command of Lieut. Sam Houston.” ADs, 1 p. 4to (19 x 31.5 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, February 18, 1817. 2 copies, noted as “signed duplicates,” one of which is docketed in Houston’s hand and by Andrew Jackson Houston. Waterstained.
[HOUSTON, Samuel]. “We the subscribers do acknowledge to have received from Lieut. Saml. Houston of the 1st Regiment U.S. Infantry the several articles of clothing [damaged] and accoutrements, set opposite our names respectively.” Ds, 1 p. 4to (31.5 x 38 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, February 26, 1817. Probably completed by Sergeant Samuel E. Corbett, who signs on the right side. Docketed by Houston on verso. Waterstained, folds damaged with loss of a few letters.
HOUSTON, Sam Houston. ADs, 1 p. 12mo (12.7 x 19.8 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, April 18, 1817. Certifies that Samuel Jones has received the equipment listed herein. Browned.
HOUSTON, Samuel. Ls, 2 pp. on a bifolium. 4to (24 x 19 cm). Cherokee Agency, [Tennessee], December 14, 1817, to The Secretary of War [John C. Calhoun]. In a secretarial hand but signed by Houston and with corrections in his hand. Reports on the state of supplies and the Native Americans served by the agency. Also reports that he intends to issue them blankets, but only those of inferior quality that will barely serve the purpose (i.e., their march to new lands in the trans-Mississippi west). Waterstained, browned, bifolium separated, causing loss of some letters, split at one fold affects a few letters. Docketed by Houston. Houston was appointed agency sub-agent in late 1817 but resigned in early 1818 because of difficulties with Calhoun.
PARKER, D. ALs, 1 p. on a bifolium. 4to (25 x 20 cm). [Washington, D.C.], February 14, 1820, to Sam Houston acknowledging receipt of his militia return. Docketed by Houston and annotated by Andrew Jackson Houston. Waterstained, margins chipped, fold split affecting salutation.
HOUSTON, Samuel. ALs, 1 p. on a bifolium. 4to (25 x 20 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, January 1, 1822, to General Samuel H. Williams, ordering the record of the court martial of John Mills, who has appealed, be sent to him. Docketed by Houston and Andrew Jackson Houston. Left side and one fold damaged affecting a few letters. With another copy also docketed by Houston and Andrew Jackson Houston. Waterstained, heavily damaged on left side costing several words, right side chipped affecting text.
CALHOUN, J[ohn] C. Ls, 1-1/4 pp. on a bifolium. 4to (25 x 19 cm). [Washington, D.C.], April 22, 1822, to Andrew Jackson. Entirely in a secretarial hand and marked “Copy.” Reporting on a favorable decision concerning Houston’s compensation. Docketed by Houston. Heavily waterstained, split with loss. Poor condition.
PARRISH, Joel. ADs, 1 p. Folio (32 x 19.5 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, July 2, 1822. An order stating that John Wilkes’ appeal of his court marshal is granted and setting up the procedure to do so. Docketed by Houston. Waterstained.
HOUSTON, Samuel. Ls, 1 p. Folio (32 x 19 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, July 9, 1825, to J.B. Reynolds, assuring him that he believes Reynolds’ political and personal conduct have been of the highest caliber and restating his friendship for him. Docketed by Houston and Andrew Jackson Houston. Waterstained, splits at folds affecting a few letters.
CARSON, Samuel Price. ALs, 4 pp. on a bifolium. 4to (25 x 19.7 cm). Pleasant Gardens, North Carolina, June 18, 1828, to Sam Houston. A warm, newsy letter covering many personal topics and arranging the introduction of W.N. Davis to Houston. Docketed by Houston and Andrew Jackson Houston. Browned, waterstained. Carson (1798-1838), a North Carolina native, moved to Texas in 1836 and was promptly elected a delegate from Pecan Point to the Convention of 1836. He was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and briefly the Republic’s Secretary of State. See Handbook of Texas Online: Samuel Price Carson.
GRAHAM, Daniel. ALs, 3 pp. on a bifolium. 4to (25 x 20 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, October 20, 1829, to Sam Houston at Cantonment Gibson, Arkansas. Warm, personal letter mostly discussing their mutual acquaintances and politics. Docketed by Houston and Andrew Jackson Houston. Waterstained, fold splits and minor losses affecting some words. This is a very rare piece of correspondence to Houston while he was living in self-imposed exile among the Cherokees in the Indian Territory.
SEARCY, J.G. ALs, 4 pp. on a bifolium. 4to (25 x 20 cm). Tallahassee, Florida, March 10, 1830, to Sam Houston. Discusses Houston’s continued reputation in Tennessee. Includes a long, detailed discussion of Charles Edwards Hawkins (d. 1837), at the time an officer in the Mexican Navy and being confined for murder but who eventually rose to be commander of the Texas Navy during the Revolution. Searcy describes Hawkins, about whom Houston has inquired, as “a high minded honourable man, as brave as a bear, and as independent as old Hickory.” He also mentions that he has just published a map of Florida. See Handbook of Texas Online: Hawkins.
HALLETT, W.R. ALs, 1 p. 8vo (24.5 x 19.5 cm). Mobile, April 29, 1839, to Sam Houston, requesting his presence at a dinner. Browned, fold splits affecting address.
WINFREND(?), Joseph F. ALs, 1 p. on a bifolium with integral address leaf. 4to (24.5 x 19 cm). Nashville, Tennessee, June 22, 1839, to Sam Houston informing him that he has been elected a member of the Agathenedan Society of Nashville University. Docketed by Houston and another hand. Browned and badly faded.
MILAM COUNTY CITIZENS. “To his Excellency Sam Houston President of the Republic of Texas.” Ds, 2 pp. on a bifolium with integral address leaf. Folio (32 x 20 cm). Caldwell, Texas, June 22, 1844. Signed by sixteen citizens requesting assistance in avenging the murders of Mercer, Orr, and several others during a Native American raid, which is described. Docketed by Andrew Jackson Houston and an unknown hand. Slightly soiled, waterstained. This petition refers to the June 17, 1844, murder of Peter M. Mercer, who managed to escape the Goliad massacre and then fought at San Jacinto. Until 1846, Texan emigrants’ hold on Milam County was tenuous at best. This is a superb document.
GAINES, E.P. ALs, 1 p. on a bifolium with integral address leaf. 4to (24.2 x 19 cm). Milam, Sabine County, Texas, January 23, 1848, to Sam Houston, requesting his assistance in getting himself established as a sutler under General Gaines. He requests that Houston forward a letter (not present) to Gaines himself. As the letter states, the writer is the son of General Edmund Pendleton Gaines. Docketed in an unknown hand. Lightly stained.
Also included are three imprints, the third of which is not from the Houston family:
[HOUSTON, ANDREW JACKSON]. Memorial Services Held in the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States, together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Andrew Jackson Houston, late a Senator from Texas. Washington: GPO, 1944. [1-10] 11-<54> pp., frontispiece (Houston’s portrait). 8vo, Original cloth. Good.
WHARTON, Clarence R. The History of Texas. 1930. Not collated. Disbound, water damaged, overall extremely poor, but has some manuscript notes and corrections in the hand of Andrew Jackson Houston.
WHARTON, Clarence R. The Republic of Texas: A Brief History of Texas from the First American Colonies in 1821 to Annexation in 1846. Houston: C.C. Young, 1922. [1-6] 7-255  pp., frontispiece, 8 photographic plates. 8vo. Original leatherette. Hinges split, overall good. Author’s presentation copy.
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