SOLD! for $3,472.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
- Low Estimate: $300.00
- High Estimate: $350.00
- Realized: $3,472.00
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A group of about 70 letters from 1828-1850s related to Howell Tatum Davis (b .1813-d. 1861, brother of John Davis, son of Frederick Davis, who moved to Texas circa 1840s). The letters are addressed to Davis in various parts of Texas and were likely returned to his family upon his death, as he had no known descendants. The letters mainly focus on life in pre-Civil War Texas in the state's third-oldest city, Matagorda and environs. One letter from Robert Clark reads "I received a letter from you wanting to know whether I wanted your Negro boy again this year. I should like to have him upon the same time I had him last year, he is well. I am now on my road to Houston with a load of cotton…". One letter mentions the journey of Edward Hicks II (Howell's great-nephew) from Texas to California during the gold rush – Joseph Blount Robertson, also a nephew of Howell, writes in a letter dated May 13th, 1850, "I fear that Ed's frail constitution may not be able to endure the hardships of the journey. But I suppose that he has enough Davis blood to bring him out after a while if only he can stand the first few weeks." A letter from Edward Hicks II, dated July 14th, 1854, lightly scolds his uncle for not writing more often, stating "Not having heard from you for sometime, I have concluded to write to you an see if I could not wake up "Old Rip Van Winkle"." Davis also received letters from John Duncan, a student at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill. One letter, written just after Duncan was accepted into the university, dated July 20th, 1855, reads "I think that Chapel Hill is a very fine institution one of the best in the south. There are near four hundred students in this place. Some of them are very fine young men but most of them are hard to beat in doing mischief. The college is situated upon the top of a very high hill sloping on all sides and there never was a prettier and better situated place for a college in the south than this place." A letter written by R. Caldwell, accompanying a letter from Master Jack Duncan and John Duncan, dated August 2nd, 1846, reads "After the excitement produced by the Mexican War that subsided, the tedium of the people of Matagorda was relieved by some of the largest parties there, give in correspondence of the marriage of the following parties. Charles Power to the Sister of Maj Genl. Sam Houston…". A letter dated Nov 24th, 1828, written by William D. Hardeman, a student at UNC Chapel Hill, describes life on campus, including "…a very shocking affair…amoung four or five of the students. They got to fighting with bouring [sic] knives and the affray ended in four being cut, two lying at the point of death, one from a cut in the forehead, the other from a cut in the right lung." Many letters are business (farming, cotton) related while some tell of deaths and births in Nashville. Some letters retain old envelopes and postage stamps. Most date from the late 1840s through the 1850s. Provenance: the estate of Sarah Hunter Hicks Green, formerly of Historic Devon Farm, Nashville, Tennessee. CONDITION: Overall good condition with some expected toning and foxing, a few with tears at fold lines.