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James Bowie

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Autographs Start Price:NA Estimated At:10,000.00 - 15,000.00 USD
James Bowie

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Auction Date:2011 Nov 17 @ 18:00 (UTC-5 : EST/CDT)
Location:5 Rt 101A Suite 5, Amherst, New Hampshire, 03031, United States
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
Original oversized image of a painted portrait of Bowie, by Washburn of New Orleans, 10 x 12.5, and affixed to its original 12 x 15 mount. Written on the reverse, in an unknown hand, is “James Bowie. This portrait was presented to Maj. John Henry Brown of Dallas, Texas by the immediate relatives of this hero—the Bowies of New Orleans. At the same time they sent Maj. Brown the historian a portrait of the brother of James Bowie, Rizen P. Bowie.” In very good condition, with scattered light soiling, foxing, streaking, surface marks, and spotting to image, and old tape remnants, toning, soiling, and damp staining to reverse.

This rare early print was presented to one of Dallas’ most beloved mayors by immediate relatives of the Alamo martyr’s family. Based on the only known oil painting of Bowie done from life-probably painted by William Edward West circa 1820-few early impressions exist, though a companion print hangs in the Texas Capitol.

In addition to being a public figure of note, the portrait’s recipient, Maj. John Henry Brown, was also a prominent early Texas historian. The Bowie portrait was probably presented to Brown as he was writing works such as Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas. While codifying the narrative of early Texas history, Brown wrote extensively about Bowie and established him as a seminal figure of legendary stature.

Brown was an eyewitness to many of the topics he wrote about. In 1854, he was elected to the Texas legislature and, later, the mayor of Galveston. As the Civil War neared, he proposed a resumption of the slave trade and advised slave owners to “whip no abolitionist, drive off no abolitionist—hang them, or let them alone.” In 1861, he presented Texas’ articles of secession. Serving in the Confederate army, he was an advisor to Brig. Gen. Benjamin McCulloch. After briefly relocating to Mexico following the Confederacy’s defeat, Brown returned to the Texas and served as Dallas' mayor from 1885 to 1887.

This scarce early print presents a unique opportunity for collectors to own a piece of Bowie family history…and one that once belonged to one of Texas' most prominent citizens. The Robert Davis Collection.