O. Henry Collection - Browse

Bexar Scrip 2692
Land Grant file for land issued to the Houston & Texas Central Railway Company in the Bexar Land District. Includes a folder jacket with table of contents and notes about the land grant (filed July 12, 1928); field notes by M.J. Doyle, Deputy Surveyor, Bexar Land District for Section 21 Block 20 (January 13, 1873); the affidavit of ownership of S.N. Allen (July 12, 1928); and a note by Land Commissioner J.H. Walker indicating that the file has no relation to the O. Henry story of the same name (December 4, 1933). O. Henry’s story tells the tale of a Railroad baron taking a poor homesteader’s land by stealing this file. Walker notes that although the file was missing for a period, due to office procedures the land fraud could not have occurred.
[Copies of unsigned publishing contracts]
Two unsigned copies of publishing contracts by two different publishing houses: H. H. McClure and Co., and Phillips Publishing Co. McClure reads: "It is understood that you will write for us a series of at least twelve sketches or articles, each from 1,500 to 2,000 words in length, and that you will let us have a copy weekly, beginning not later than November 15th, 1907. We are to pay you $300.00 each for these articles on delivery of the copy. It is also understood that you are not to do any other work for newspaper publication while the above mentioned series is being used, and that we have the option on any work you may do for newspaper publication following the said series. Your acceptance and acknowledgement of this letter will, we take it, constitute a proper agreement between us. Very sincerely yours, H. H. McClure and Co." Phillips reads: "It is our understanding that you will write for the American Magazine, six short stories for publication during 1908, and that we are to pay you for these stories at the rate of fifteen cents (15) a word. The stories are to be not more than 5,000 words each in length, the preference being for a length of 2,500 to 3,500 words. You are to deliver the first story to us by January 1st, 1908, and you are to give us the first opportunity on stories you may write for magazine publication, after November 1st, 1907, until the six stories herein arranged for have been delivered. Your acceptance and acknowledgement of this letter will, we take it, constitute a proper agreement between us. Very sincerely yours, The Phillips Publishing Co."
Patent 87, Volume 40-A
This document was issued to the Houston & Texas Central Railroad Company as the final instrument in the land grant process, assigning ownership to the railroad company for 640 acres in Tom Green County, section 21, block 20, as described in the patent. A patent is the original deed given by the state to the person or organization who receives first title to the land. It is the legal instrument by and through which the state surrenders title to land. O. Henry wrote a fictional account of illegal proceedings concerning a land certificate, Bexar Scrip 2692, in the short story "Bexar Scrip 2692.” This is the patent that ultimately gave land ownership to the railroad via that certificate.
O. Henry to illustrate "Indian Depredations in Texas"
Negative image of affidavit concerning Jossiah [sic] Willbarger employment of O. Henry to illustrate "Indian Depredations in Texas," 10 November 1932, signed by N.A. Rector