Mar 10, 2020 - Sale 2533

Sale 2533 - Lot 231

Price Realized: $ 422
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(TEXAS.) Cruger, Jacob W. and James F. A pair of lively letters from Houston insiders, offering fresh gossip on the Republic's leaders. Autograph Letters Signed as 'J.W. Cruger' and 'Jas F Cruger' to friend Henry Haight Collier of St. Catherine's, Canada. Each 4 pages, about 10 x 8 inches, on a folding sheet, with address panels on final pages each bearing New Orleans and Canada postmarks and inked '10' stamp; moderate wear, first letter with separations at folds and tape repairs. Houston, TX, 2 December 1845 and 6 February 1846

Additional Details

The brothers Jacob W. Cruger (1819-1864) and James F. Cruger (circa 1822-1874) went from Danville, NY to Texas in 1836, and together published the Houston Morning Star, among other activities. Their correspondent Henry Haight Collier (1818-1895) was also a New York native, had worked in the Texan State and Treasury departments from 1839 to 1845, and had recently returned north to Canada to run a general store. The first of these letters was written mostly by Jacob Cruger with a short postscript by James. Jacob describes the state of the government buildings during a recent visit to Austin: 'The buildings are all re-roofed and undergoing thorough repairs. Every old house, shed and shanty are occupied. . . . The War Department is on the hill, formerly the Commissary Genl's house or office; the State Department where Judge Burnet lived.' Re the Land Office commissioner Thomas William Ward, he wrote 'Peg Leg has an heir, a boy about 6 months old. He is as proud of him as a man can possibly be.' He also discusses unpopular President Anson Jones, hoping that after the next meeting of the Legislature, 'he will retire again to that obscurity from whence he was so unwillingly brought, and which place he is so well capacitated to fill.'
The second letter was written mostly by James Cruger, with a short postscript by Jacob. James describes the new wife of their friend Doctor William McCraven as 'not hansome nor very intelligent, but they say she has the Kentucky attainments—that is to say, the Negroes.' He also notes that 'we purchased a Negro boy yesterday at last, gave $550.'