wife on Dec. 4, 1847, Trist wrote, "Knowing it to be the very last chance and impressed with the dreadful consequences to our country which cannot fail to attend the loss of that chance, I decided today at noon to attempt to make a treaty; the decision is altogether my own."
Trist got what he wanted. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed at the main altar of the old Basilica of Guadalupe at Villa Hidalgo in Mexico City on Feb. 2, 1848. Unknown at the time, the treaty came nine days after the discovery of gold in California.
Trist sent the document to Washington, but no one could foresee how the Polk administration would receive an agreement negotiated by a then-unofficial agent. Since the treaty met the minimum demands set forth by Polk, the president forwarded the accord to the Senate, where it was ratified on March 10, 1848. However, Trist was immediately fired from public service. Expenses from Trist's time in Texas went unpaid until 1871, leaving him in financial ruin.
Trist has another significant connection among American historical figures. He married Virginia Jefferson Randolph, granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson. Trist lived and worked at Monticello, Jefferson's home, and acted as the former president's secretary and co-executor of his estate.
Aumann Auctions will offer the quill and lap desk as a single lot during the Sept. 7 sale. The live auction will be simulcast on the Internet. Multiple photos, additional information, terms of the auction, and bidding registration are available at www.AumannAuctions.com.
Aumann Auctions, a MarkNet Alliance member, is celebrating its 50th year in the auction business. The company credits its success largely to referrals and repeat business with satisfied clients. Through the MarkNet Alliance, Aumann Auctions provides clients with a local and national presence, cutting-edge technology, an unmatched base of proven buyers, and worldwide exposure through strategic marketing.
For more information about the Sept. 7 auction of the Trist quill and lap desk, visit www.AumannAuctions.com, phone Kelly Aumann at (888) 282-8648 or email Kelly@AumannAuctions.com.
CUTLINE: These two pieces of American history will be sold on Sept. 7. Offered by Aumann Auctions are a quill and the brass-bound lap desk used by Nicholas Philip Trist to write and sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848.