The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 513
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A Letter from Sa Amtoiio de ear i /136
Contributed by RALPH W. STEEN
WILLIAM R. CAREY, captain of artillery, was one of the
men who died at the Alamo. A portion of the bounty
land awarded to Carey's father, Moses T. Carey, was
sold to James Polk of Baltimore. In 1861 Polk's title to the land
was challenged and he obtained from Carey's sister a letter which
Carey had written from the Alamo on January 2, 1836.
The Carey letter was copied by Polk, "verbatim, literatim et
punctuatim," in a letter of April Io, 1861, to his Texas attorney,
D. T. Chamberlin of San Antonio.
Polk retained title to the land, and there is no reason to doubt
the authenticity of the Carey letter. The envelope, which was
also copied, shows the letter to have been addressed to Carey's
brother-in-law, William F. Oppelt, and to have been mailed at
Natchitoches on February 7, 1836.
The Polk letter was preserved through the years by Miss Tom
Pearl Smith, Eldorado, Texas, and is now in possession of Mrs.
T. R. Spence of Bryan, Texas. A photostatic copy of the Polk
letter has been placed in the archives of the Texas State Historical
Association, and the Carey letter is presented here exactly as Polk
ST. ANTONIO DE BEXAR
Jan. 12, 1836
DEAR BROTHER & SISTER
To give you any satisfaction about my situation at present I should
have to give you a history of Texas and the Mexican Government,
but let me commence by saying that I am in the volunteer army of
Texas. I arrived at Washington on the 28th of July. This is a small
town situated on the Brazos river 8e there I intended to take up my
final residence, but the unsettled state of affairs between Texas & the
Mexican Government, I was called to the field. Movements on the part
of the Mexicans aroused our suspicions. They want to establish
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/610/?rotate=90: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.