A New Hampshire auction house is selling a letter that Davy Crockett penned less than six months before his death at the Alamo. With nine days to go in the auction, bidding on the historical document has reached $27,121.
In the letter, dated September 30, 1835, Crockett accepts an invitation to a public dinner but said he did not want the evening to turn into a political one. (Crockett had sworn off politics after losing a reelection campaign to represent the state of Tennessee in Congress.)
“I have anounced [sic] through the news papers that I never expect to offer my name again to the public for any office is one great reason of my acceptance of your kind offer. I hope to spend the evening in a social manner leaving politics out of the question, as I hope never again middle my former political course is known to the public and I have not changed,” the letter said.
“This letter kind of reflects that particular attitude Crockett is known to have shown after he was beaten at the polls,” Bobby Livingston, vice president of sales and marketing with RR Auction, told Scott Huddleston of the San Antonio Express News. Twenty bids had been placed as of May 8.
Back in 2008 in TEXAS MONTHLY, Gregory Curtis questioned the Texas Historical Commission’s decision to purchase a different Davy Crockett letter for $550,000.
In that letter, dated January 9, 1836, Crockett wrote to his daughter, describing the natural beauty of Texas. “I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world the best land and best prospect for health I ever saw is here and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here,” Crockett wrote. The problem, however, was that the letter was a copy.
“It’s neither genuine nor a forgery. It’s a copy made in the years after the original letter was written. In Crockett’s day, it was common for family documents with either real or sentimental value to be copied by hand for various family members. Crockett rarely wrote letters to any of his six children. It’s not surprising that when he finally did, copies were made,” Curtis wrote.