1839 Texas Letter ''will be called The City of Austin'' For Sale
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1839 Texas Letter ''will be called The City of Austin'':
Exceptional 1839 letter on the Republic of Texas by one of its citizens, who not only philosophizes about the values and culture of the young country, but also reports on current events, such as moving the capital from Houston to Austin. W.D. Shelton, a young lawyer who recently moved to Texas to pursue his destiny writes to his brother, James R. Shelton, in Tennessee, in part, ''Republic of Texas / San Augustine May 10, 1839 / Dear Brother, I have thought proper to inform you my present prospect as well as give you an idea of the situation of the country...feeling determined in my own mind to be a citizen of Texas...No country probably under the sun affords so extensive a field for the lawyer as this...litigation plenty...Though it is true that Texas sprang into existence under peculiar circumstances, and from her birth as a nation up to the present time, has been a secen [sic] of wide and I may say wild speculations - a field for fraud and which in many instances have secured more cutler in a particular way than honor or justice would approve of, Texas is not exempt from the universal pressure which pervades the world though her pressure is less exceptional than many other Countries that have merged themselves into difficulties and almost to a total bankruptcy, through luxury and indolence. Yes Sir free from foreign invasions and an acknowledgement of sovereignty & with millions of surplus and yet the people are oppressed. But how will Texas stand only in her fourth year of her Independence...of a nation of wealth & reputed character, when the people of both Countrys [sic] are put upon a footing mearly [sic] for the sake of compassion, you are satisfied of the wide difference between the two, and you must concede it in our favour apart from all local feelings, birth place &c. But this is not all, Texas owes her...state more to her own punctilious notion of national honor, probably, than, to any lack or want of a suffering...by paying off her national debt...as regards the most favourable time for you to come to this country to amass a fortune...Commission have [sic] been appointed to locate the seat of government, in other words to select the most suitable sight to afix the capital of the republic upon the commissions time made their report at the city Huston [sic] is to be six miles above Bastrop at the foot of the mountains at a place called Waterloo on the Colorado River. The name of the city will be called The City of Austin...by September the congress will meet and hold the regular session...Judge Brooks has talked about the City of Austin and render you any assistance that he can. He wants to see you very much and has been looking for you all for some time. The judge will go as a member to congress from here if nothing serious takes place...Your brother, W.D. Shelton''. Three page letter measures 7.75'' x 9.75'' on card-style stationery, with integral address on fourth page, postmarked Nashville on 23 May. Small spot of paper loss from red wax seal, overall very good condition with bold writing. Letter is accompanied by the Civil War discharge document of Shelton's brother, to whom the letter is addressed.
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