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“Should Texas remain an independent nation?”

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216.     HANCOCK. Essays on Texas, by Hancock [pseudonym]. New York: Printed by Thomas W. McGowran, 1837. [1-3] 4-20 pp. 8vo (19.8 x 13.2 cm), disbound. Slightly soiled and one small spot on title, otherwise fine. Uncommon.

     First edition. American Imprints (1837) 658. Eberstadt, Texas 162:383. Rader 1760. Sabin 30194 (incorrectly attributing authorship to Jonathan Russell). Streeter 1276: “This is a series of short papers, each signed Hancock, that advocate the annexation of Texas. Jonathan Russell of Massachusetts, who died in 1832, used the pseudonym Hancock in an address entitled The Whole Truth, Boston, 1808, and he is given as the author of these essays in one or two catalogues, the 1832 date of his death having apparently been overlooked. The actual author is unknown.” Vandale 84.

     The anonymous author emphasizes the commercial potential of Texas while minimizing the slavery issue. In lofty terms, the section entitled “Texas. Its Annexation Strengthens the Union” enthuses:

This is not a question of territory. Had we millions more, still Texas should be ours, on account of her peculiarized locality and its profound results. Distance of place is not now what it has been. Internal improvements are hourly contracting space; and the two extremities of which I speak, would soon be identified and familiarized with each other. What was once Cicyon became Greece. Spurn not the bold and laurel crested stand of this young and salient republic. The banners of Mexican conquests and the beaks of the Anglo Saxon eagles may float back upon the north. This infant Hercules may one day awake your quiet, may extract your strength, divide and conquer. This republic may now be made to you the germ of wealth and the sinew of war. Friendship in adversity, is a gem of great price and inspires lasting gratitude. Let us remember that the time may come, when we may look to the strength, wealth and resources of Texas with anxious solicitude. Let not the North American policy and strength of this continent, south of the United States, become separated. Let us now by annexation lay the foundation of that friendship and national strength, which will do more for us than foreign nations can undo, and consolidate our peace by putting at defiance their power, menaces or intrigues.

The last section of the pamphlet asks: “Should Texas remain an independent nation?”


Sold. Hammer: $250.00; Price Realized: $300.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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