The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 53
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Life and Service of John Birdsall
the family burying ground in this country. Truly has it been
said that "Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow." Volumes,
however, could not express the real worth of the deceased, or the
regret which the community feels at his departure. "He lives
in the hearts of his countrymen."8
Some of the more important official letters and opinion of Bird-
[December 2, 1837.]
To the Hon. Secy of State
Sir,-In reply to the legal quere of Mr. Reid propounded in
his letter to you of Sep. 2nd counting [concerning?] the right
of alien Representatives to inherit the estate of decedents in
Texas, prior to our revolution, I can only offer the opinion I have
already given to my own clients on the same point, which is that
as to all estates derived under the Colonization Laws the kindred
representatives of the deceased, though aliens may inherit.
The question is one of construction as yet, an open one in the
country, and must therefore abide the contingency of judicial
Although Spain and probably Mexico seemed to have followed
the general practice of modern nations of excluding aliens from
the privilege of holding the land of the country, yet I think the
special provisions of the Colonization Laws on this subject, taken
in connextion with their peculiar policy which was to invite and
favor foreign emigration and their necessary tendency to leave
many estates without heirs in the country, and therefore lost to
the family and friends of the emigrant, unless aliens can hold
them will justify a construction enabling them to hold.
Mr. Reid does not state in his letter whether the legal repre-
sentatives of the deceased and [are?] his children or more remote
relations. If they are his children the laws of Nations gives them
the benefit of their father's domicil for all the purposes of rep-
resenting the sucession or inheritance. His Domicil is thus if
he was a Citizen of Texas at his death they are Citizen heirs, and
alien heirs though yet resident in a foreign Country. This is a
general principal [sic] of international Law.
Very Respectfully yours etc.
'This notice of the funeral was copied by the Telegraph and Texas Reg-
ister, July 24, 1839, verbatim, and in abbreviated form by the Richmond
Telescope and Register, July 31, 1839.
4Record No. 49. Correspondence Secretary of State, Republic of Texas,
1836-1841, p. 108.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/59/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.