Lot #19
James K. Polk Autograph Letter Signed as President

President Polk confers with his Treasury Secretary preceding the annexation of Texas
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Estimate: $3500+


President Polk confers with his Treasury Secretary preceding the annexation of Texas

ALS as president, one page, 8 x 10, June 15, 1845. Handwritten letter to "Hon. R. J. Walker, Sec. of the Treasury," in full: "I have an important letter from…Maj'r Donelson, of the 4th Inst.—Can you call on me at Coleman's before 11 o'clock this morning?" In fine condition, with a short split to the end of one of the intersecting folds.

Andrew Jackson Donelson, the adopted son of President Andrew Jackson, had been instrumental in helping Polk to win the Democratic nomination for president in 1844. He was then appointed as the US charge d’affaires to the Republic of Texas, with the aim of aiding America’s annexation of Texas. On June 4th—as Polk mentions in this letter—Donelson wrote to report Mexican troop movements on the Rio Grande, indicating that he believed an invasion of Texas would follow immediately upon Texas’ ratification of the annexation resolution. In a letter written by Polk to Donelson on the same day as this one, June 15th, he instructed him to let the Texas Convention vote for annexation on July 4th, promising to defend it: ‘The people of Texas, may be assured…that when she becomes a member of our Union, we will not only defend her but do her full and ample justice.’ Texas indeed voted for annexation on July 4, 1845, setting the stage for the Mexican-American War a year later.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Sports
  • Dates: #614 - Ended August 11, 2021

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