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(TEXAS.) Miller, Thomas R. Political letter by a future defender of the Alamo. Autograph Letter Signed as "Thomas R. Miller" to unknown recipient. One page, 9 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches; even toning, minor edge wear. Gonzales, TX, 27 October 1832
In 1830, Thomas Redd Miller (1804-1836) left Virginia for Gonzales, TX, where he ran a hotel. In 1835, he was one of eighteen men who defended the town's "Come and Get It" cannon from being repossessed by the Mexican government, which sparked the first skirmish of the revolution. On 1 March 1836, he was one of 32 Gonzales Rangers who rode out to help defend the Alamo. Accompanying him was his ex-wife's second husband John B. Kellogg. Both of them died at the Alamo five days later. This letter was written at an important moment in Texan history, four years before the Alamo fight. On 1 October 1832, 55 delegates from various Texan towns held a convention in which they demanded statehood. The meeting was regarded as illegal by the Mexican government, and was an important step toward an independence movement. This letter discusses elections held in the wake of the convention: "I was very glad to learn you had concented to become a candidate for the office of Col. I will certanly youse all of my influance in this place and its vicinity. I have know doubt but you will get very nearly every vote in this place. We have heard of know other candidate for that office but your self." We haven't been able to determine which election is being discussed here, but it would seem to relate to a militia colonel or tax collector. Stephen Austin had apparently already been chosen as a colonel a couple of months earlier. Any letters by Alamo defenders are quite scarce, and this one has some additional significance for its discussion of early Texan politics.
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