Auction Date:2011 Nov 17 @ 18:00 (UTC-5 : EST/CDT)
Location:5 Rt 101A Suite 5, Amherst, New Hampshire, 03031, United States
Very rare DS, one page, 5.25 x 4.75, September 4, 1826. Unissued colonization certificate for a portion of Edward’s Grant, Texas, certificate No. 45. In full: “This shall entitle…or bearer to two leagues of land in my grant, upon condition of settling a respectable family upon each league within three years from the date hereof, possessing the qualifications required by the Colonization Law, and paying the expenses of surveying, conveyancing, &c. The selection to be made at the discretion of the holder on any lands in the Colony not previously entered; the titles to which will be issued ni [sic] the name of government, by their commissioner.” Crisply signed at the conclusion “Haden Edwards.” A central horizontal crease, a few stray ink marks, and some scattered mild toning, otherwise fine condition.
This document—notable in never having been used—sheds light on an ill-fated independent Texas republic that lasted for a little more than a month.
Republic of Fredonia founder Haden Edwards didn’t set out to be the father of a sovereign state. Rather, he wanted to be a traditional empressario, setting out to attract 800 families to his colony near Nacogdoches in 1825. This proved to be an unrealistic goal due to the number of preexisting settlement claims within his territory, the presence of the hostile Cherokee, and charges of nepotism following his son-in-law’s election as alcade.
Mexican authorities were alarmed by development in Edwards’ colony and, on December 11, 1826, dispatched Lt. Col. Mateo Ahumada with twenty dragoons and 110 infantrymen. Edwards calculated that the only way to preserve his investment was to separate from Mexico; a declaration of independence was signed on December 21, establishing the Republic of Fredonia. He appointed his brother Benjamin commander in chief, appealed to the United States for help, and secured Cherokee military support to defend the fledgling republic. After 41 days of quasi-indepedence, military action led, in part, by Stephen Austin, ended the Republic of Fredonia.
This remarkable document remains blank perhaps because of the perceived undesirability of Edwards’ colony by potential settlers…or else it was useless once the colony ceased to exist. The Robert Davis Collection.
ALS - Autograph Letter Signed
ANS - Autograph Note Signed
AQS - Autograph Quotation Signed
AMQS - Autograph Musical Quotation Signed
DS - Document Signed
FDC - First Day Cover
Inscribed - “Personalized”
ISP - Inscribed Signed Photograph
LS - Letter Signed
SP - Signed Photograph
TLS - Typed Letter Signed