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Sale 2486 Lot 382
(TEXAS.) Manning, James M. Survey and map of land on the Nueces River done for the notorious crook Monroe Edwards. 2 manuscript pages, 10 x 7 3/4 inches, plus integral blank with docketing; folds and minor wear. San Patricio, TX, 29 January 1839
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500
Monroe Edwards (1808-1847) was a notorious slave smuggler and swindler who arrived in Texas in the late 1820s. Among his misdeeds, he once sold an entire plantation of slaves he did not own to an abolitionist who had intended to free them. He was finally convicted for an elaborate and lucrative cotton-broker forgery scam in 1842. Offered here is a land survey for "one third of a league of land for Monroe Edwards situated 10 miles below San Patricio on the west side of the Nueces River." It includes a small inset manuscript map of the property. Texan politician Alexander Russell is mentioned as a neighbor. This is a certified 1839 copy of a January 1838 survey, drafted and signed by James M. Manning, the original surveyor. Below Manning's signature is an additional attestation by a county surveyor dated 1840 which has been crossed out. We don't know what sort of weaselry Edwards was attempting here, but it seems unlikely to be a routine clean land transaction.