Don’t Dismember Texas & Voting Rights for People in Texas (1869)

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172. HAMILTON, A[ndrew] J[ackson]. Address of A.J. Hamilton [text commences] To the People of Texas. Fellow Citizens—Impressed with the belief that it was the wish of a large portion of the citizens and voters of Texas, I have presented my name as a candidate at the approaching election for the Governor of the State under the New Constitution. It has been, and is my wish and intention to meet and confer personally with as many of the people in different sections of the State as may be practicable between this and the time which may be fixed for the election. But the vast extent of our territory, and the absence of facilities for rapid travel, preclude the possibility of my visiting all of the different counties of the State within the limits of an ordinary canvass.... [ads at end: two administrator notices re estates in Travis County and Wm. Sauer’s notice of missing horses and cattle with illustration of a steer offering compensation for return to Austin and describing his brand] [date at end] Austin, March 18, 1869. [Austin, 1869]. Folio broadside printed in six columns: Sheet size 46 x 40.2 cm. A few minor splits where formerly folded, a bit of light chipping to blank margins, overall very good.

     First edition. Winkler 2078 (locating copy at Austin Public Library; we had a copy in our last auction). Sabin (29993 & 29994) lists two of Hamilton’s broadsides, but not this one. In the election of 1869, Texas Reconstruction Governor Davis ran against Andrew J. Hamilton in a controversial and hotly contested election. In this address Hamilton states that he is a supporter of a new constitution and denounces his Democratic opponents as divisive. He remarks he believes everyone of any race should be allowed to vote and that he will defend the rights of people of color. He is especially opposed to disenfranchising those who sympathized with the South. He finally states that at this juncture all people will suffer if any element in society is slighted and that the populace needs to pull together for their mutual prosperity. He mentions incidentally that he is opposed to establishing a new state in West Texas. Hamilton does not pass up the opportunity to take jabs at the patriotism and motivation of Edmund Jackson Davis. (Texas had long had the right to divide itself into several states.)

     Andrew Jackson Hamilton (1815-1875) served as governor of Texas after holding a series of more minor political positions. A Union sympathizer, he had a stormy career in post-Civil War Texas politics. See Handbook of Texas Online. One of the finest swimming holes in Texas, Hamilton’s Pool, about thirty minutes northwest of Austin was named in his honor. For more on Hamilton and the 1869 election, see: Dale Baum, “Chicanery and Intimidation in the 1869 Texas Gubernatorial Race,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 97 (July 1993): 36-54; and John Leroy Waller, Colossal Hamilton of Texas: A Biography of Andrew Jackson Hamilton, Militant Unionist and Reconstruction Governor (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1968).


Auction 23 Abstracts

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