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    Sale 1922

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    3 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 117

    CROCKETT, David (1786-1836). Autograph letter signed ("David Crockett," with flourish) as Tennessee Congressman, to "Messrs. Cary & Hart" (his publishers in Philadelphia), "at home Weakley County Tennessee," 8 July 1835.

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    CROCKETT, David (1786-1836). Autograph letter signed ("David Crockett," with flourish) as Tennessee Congressman, to "Messrs. Cary & Hart" (his publishers in Philadelphia), "at home Weakley County Tennessee," 8 July 1835.

    1½ pages, 4to, on a single sheet, even age toning, left-hand edges slightly irregular but without loss.

    EIGHT MONTHS BEFORE THE ALAMO: "JACKSONISM IS DYING...[JACKSON] HE WILL BE THE MOST UNPOPULAR MAN...THAT EVER HAD ANY PRETENSIONS TO THE PLACE HE NOW FILLS""

    A superb political letter. Crockett has been on the stump in Tennessee, campaigning hard to win a fourth term in Congress, representing west Tennessee. His energetic "electionaring canvass" -- as Crockett terms it -- would ultimately fail, a disappointment that helped to precipitate the discouraged frontiersman's fateful decision to join the fight for Texas independence. There, eight months after this unduly optimistic letter, he fought in the heroic 13-day defense of the Alamo and fell, bullet-ridden, when the citadel was over-run by Mexican troops under Santa Anna. By this date, Crockett had already attained notoriety, in part from his sensational--and heavily ghost-written--Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, published by Carey & Hart.

    Crockett offers an optimistic assesment of the campaign: "Gentlemen, I have just returned from a two week Electionaring [sic] Canvass, and have spoken every day to large concourses of people with my competitor I have him Badly Plagued his name is Adam Huntsman..." he reports. "I tell him in my Speech that I have great hope of writing one more Book," Crockett jokes, "and that shall be the second fall of Adam."

    Crockett had a long history of opposition to Andrew Jackson and his policies. "I handle the administration [of Jackson] without gloves, and I do believe I will double my competitor. Jacksonism is dying here, faster than I ever saw I do believe he will be the most unpopular man in one more year that ever had any pretentions [sic] to the place he now fills [the presidency]."

    He adds that he has received Carey & Hart's note for $350 "and will go to town tomorrow to get it negotiated. I hope it will answer my purpose -- four weeks from to morrow will end the dispute in our Elections...." He sends greetings to friends including "Mr. Biddle" Nicholas Biddle, 1786-1844, of the Bank of the U.S.) and asks that they be told "I am going a head and expect to see them and you this fall...."

    Letters of Crockett, especially of political content, are now uncommon.


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    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN