Auctions | March 21, 2016

James Polk Letter Anticipating the Annexation of Texas Sold for $32,540

3354301_1 copy.jpgBOSTON, MA - (March 18, 2016) A rare letter written by James K. Polk anticipating the annexation of Texas sold for $32,540 according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The four-page letter signed as president, on two adjoining sheets, dated June 5, 1845. Letter to the retired Andrew Jackson at his Hermitage estate. In part: I rejoice that all is well in Texas.—I hope her Congress and Convention may accept our proposition without change or modifications. If the times are not so liberal to Texas—as the friends of annexation in this country desired, or as Texas—expected,—It should be remembered that it was with great difficulty that my proposition—could be passed through Congress last winter.—If Texas accepts our proposition, she may confidently rely upon having full justice done to her in the next Congress. I have no hesitation in saying that I will recommend and urge such a course, and I have not the slightest doubt that Congress will cooperate with me.—I will maintain too her boundary; to the extent to which she claims it.—Our old friend [Sam] Houston from whom I have just received a letter,—is probably now with you, as he writes me that he would leave New Orleans in a day or two—to visit the Hermitage. You can assure him of the liberal aims, which I entertain toward Texas, in the event of her acceptance of our propositions without modifications or change.

A long piece of correspondence from one president to another, Polk describes his first months in office as a busy time sorting through official appointments and contemplating the future of Texas. Polk was elected to the presidency in part because of his determination to annex Texas, which he made part of his campaign platform. When writing this letter the process had already begun: the US Congress had passed a joint resolution for the annexation of Texas, and on June 23 the Texan Congress accepted. By the end of the year it was officially admitted as one of the Union’s states.

“Given Polk’s adherence to Jacksonian Democracy, this is an especially desirable letter,” said Robert Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited by:

William Henry Harrison vellum signed appointment document, sold for $74,938.

James Madison signed letter to a recently unseated governor of Massachusetts, sold for $54,256.

Thomas Jefferson letter that commends the Quakers’ efforts, sold for $34,073.

Charles Guiteau letter found in the assassin’s pocket after shooting President Garfield, sold for $27,872.

Abraham Lincoln letter to promote members of the Irish Brigade, sold for $23,874.

Online bidding for The Presidential Collection of Everett Fisher from RR Auction began on March 10, 2016 and concluded on March 17, 2016. More details including results can be found online at

Image Courtesy: RR Auction