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An Improbable Confluence of California & Texas Signatures

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162.     DE CORDOVA, Jacob Raphael, William H. Rhodes, William H. Baker & John Henry Brown. Two autograph legal documents, both very fine condition, consisting of:

DE CORDOVA, Jacob Raphael, et al. Printed deed form completed in manuscript in which John H. Brown sells De Cordova land in the Milam District in Texas, signed by De Cordova and attested by William R. Baker. Houston, December 19, 1850. Also with printed filing certificate for Somervell County, June 18, 1900, signed by William Shields, Jr. 2 pp. on a bifolium, folio (32 x 19.5 cm), grey paper.

RHODES, William H. Document signed on William H. Rhodes’ printed letterhead being a power of attorney from John H. Brown to Jacob De Cordova to handle a land sale in Texas, signed by Brown and William H. Rhodes, with the latter’s signed certification and personal seal as Commissioner for California. San Francisco, April 21, 1855. 2 pp. on a bifolium, folio (32 x 19.7 cm), light blue paper.

     De Cordova (1808-1868), a native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, educated in England, came to Texas in 1839 where he became a prominent colonizer, and mapmaker (see Items 161, 162 & 287 herein). He also tirelessly promoted Texas in speeches and in his written works. He not only put Texas on the map, but also sold Texas to the world.

     North Carolinian Rhodes (1822-1876) graduated from Harvard and moved to California in 1850 where he practiced law, after living in Texas for several years. He was also a prominent author known especially for “The Case of Summerfield,” an early science fiction work based on the premise that a villain by the name of Black Bart plans to destroy the world by setting the oceans on fire. Anthony Boucher in the summer of 1950 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, referred to Rhodes as “one of the great pioneers of modern science fiction.”

     Baker (1820-1890) was born in New York but moved to Texas in 1837. He became wealthy as a land dealer and held several offices, including being elected Mayor of Houston and State Senator.

     Zamorano Eighty author Brown (1810-1905) began his career in the west as a fur trapper and at one time worked at Sutter’s Fort. Woods in Z80 describes Brown as “fur trader, bartender, citizen-soldier, hotel builder, capitalist, man of affairs, and author.” He gradually rose in wealth and prominence in San Francisco. He is well known for his 1886 Reminiscences and Incidents.


Sold. Hammer: $200.00; Price Realized: $240.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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