News-Antique.com - Mar 08,2011 - Boston, MA – Artfact.com partners with Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas to offer live online bidding at an exciting auction of historical materials and memorabilia from the state of Texas. Included in the auction is a wide variety of rare and important books, documents, maps, works on paper and more, with a primary focus on the region’s Civil War-era history. Highlights include letters from General Robert E. Lee and Sam Houston, a watercolor by Arthur Tracy Lee and a rare volume on the history of the range cattle industry. For additional information, or to bid live online through Artfact Live! please visit www.Artfact.com.
Highlighting the sale is a Civil War era letter from well-known Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The document contains Lee’s response to Confederate Congressman John R. Baylor’s request that a group of soldiers known as the Texas Brigade replace Lee’s current forces in the retaking of the Arizona territory. Lee’s response, a resounding “no”, is conveyed in the letter, which describes the prospective switch as “injurious to the service” by bringing an “unorganized body of men…of little value” into his Army of Northern Virginia. The historic letter, penned and signed by Lee, is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
Also featured is an exceedingly rare volume titled History of the Cattlemen of Texas. The book includes 61 pages giving a history of Texas ranching, followed by 58 biographic sketches of the era’s cattlemen. The book was originally sold in a very limited run to subscribers and is considered to be one of the most important and least known books on the range cattle industry. The book boasts 55 illustrations, is in near fine condition and is estimated at $18,000-$25,000.
Fine art offerings include a watercolor by Arthur Tracy Lee. Titled Capt. Jordan’s Quarters, the painting depicts a cabin at the first Fort Davis, established in 1854 and in existence until 1862, when it became occupied by Confederate forces. The original fort was an important outpost for protecting emigrant trains on their way to California and other points west and for defending the area against hostile Native Americans. A man of many trades, Arthur Tracy Lee was a U.S. Army officer, painter, poet, musician, historian, egineer and landscape architect. This excellent example of an early Texas view rendered by an accomplished eyewitness artist, is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
A letter from 19th Century statesman, politician and soldier Sam Houston is also offered. The letter, dated December 2, 1841, was written 11 days before Houston was sworn is as the third president of the Republic of Texas. Houston wrote the letter to Mayor Thomas G. Western, notifying him of his inauguration. The inauguration marked Houston’s second, non-consecutive term as president, having been the very first to hold the position in 1836. Because Texas presidents could not serve consecutive terms at the time, Houston was forced to wait until the 1841 race to throw his hat back in the ring, and won the election handily against his opponent David G. Burnet. The letter, signed