1836 Stephen Austin-Signed Texian Loan
Well, my dad was an architect out of Houston. In 1970 we all made a family decision to get a horse ranch in Brenham, outside of... by the middle part of Texas. And then he was an antiques buff, specifically things of early Texas. And he just bought a lot of documents, a lot of things like this to decorate the ranch with.
Well, what you have is called a "Texian loan." It's dated 1836. It's signed down below by Stephen Austin, who's considered the Father of Texas. It's made out in this case to a guy named Robert Triplett. In the early 1830s, there were many disagreements with Mexico about whether Texas was part of Mexico or part of the United States. And Stephen Austin was one of the main emissaries between the United States and Mexico to try to establish Texan independence or at least that America should be annexing Texas. And he was going around Texas trying to secure loans from people to establish Texas as a republic unto itself and establish its independence. And he had secured a lot of money already, mainly because of this guy, Robert Triplett, who put up $100,000 all by himself as a loan for Texas. So this is one of many documents that were probably signed over to Robert Triplett, himself an early Texas financier and impresario, by Stephen Austin. While he was doing this, Stephen Austin heard that there was an official declaration of Texas independence and that it was now the Republic of Texas. And he rushed back to put in his name as first president of the Texas Republic. He lost out to Sam Houston, who was the first president. But as a consolation prize, Sam Houston made him the first secretary of state, and he was very happy about that. Only it didn't last very long because by December 27, 1836, only a few months after this Texian loan was issued, he was dead of pneumonia. So this is a great, early Texas document. At auction, these things do pop up. And in recent years, it has sold for between $2,800 and $4,000. Similar loans to this also signed by Stephen Austin. So I would put its value somewhere in that range: $2,800 to $4,000.
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