David Crockett's "Garden Spot of the World" Letter, Period Manuscript Copy Descended Directly in the Crockett Family

Near-contemporary copy of David Crockett's last known letter, 2pp, 8 x 10 in., lined paper, written in an unknown hand.

On January 9, 1836, approximately two months before his death at the Alamo, Crockett penned a letter to his daughter and son-in-law, Margaret Crockett Flowers and Wiley Flowers. The original manuscript has never been located, but the text of that letter remains iconic. As the last known piece of Crockett correspondence, and because in the document the celebrated frontiersman famously heralds the state of Texas as "the garden spot of the world," the January 9 letter reigns as one of the most noteworthy in Western Americana. This copy of that final letter descended directly in the Crockett family and has never before been offered at auction.

After a stinging re-election defeat in his 1835 US congressional campaign, Crockett determined to embark for new adventures and explorations in Texas. On November 1, 1835, his journey to Texas began alongside William Patton, Abner Burgin, and Lindsey K. Tuttle. The foursome traveled via river and overland through Arkansas, the northern boundary of Texas, across the Red River, then through Clarksville and Nacogdoches until ultimately reaching San Augustine where Crockett penned his last known letter. "Saint Agusteen Texas / 9th January 1836 / My Dear Sone & daughter" the letter begins, "This is the first I have had an opertunity to write to you with convenience. I am now blessed with Excellent health and in high spirits..." Crockett goes on to describe the warm welcome he has received in Texas, and extolls the virtues of the landscape with his now famous description of Texas as "the garden spot of the world."

Having signed an oath to the provisional government of Texas, Crockett then headed to San Antonio and ultimately to his death at the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Presumably Crockett was at ease with his decision to leave Tennessee having noted in his last letter that "I am rejoiced at my fate I had rather be in my present situation than to be elected to a seat in Congress for life." He closes his letter with words no doubt intended to bring comfort to his children, "Do not be uneasy about me I am among my friends...." 

The letter offered here has exceptional provenance having descended directly through Tennessee-area Crockett  descendants up to and including the current owner. It is encased in a plastic-like enclosure with sewn leather edges, and is accompanied by several additional Crockett family documents: an 1860 letter written to Mrs. Margaret Flowers by her friend Martha Jane House; a typewritten copy, ca 1920s, of an original 1879 letter penned in Granbury, Texas, by David Crockett's son R.P. Crockett, to his niece's husband, George Glisson, in which R.P. Crockett references the 1836 letter written to Margaret; a forensic analysis of the typewritten letter; and ca 1950s newspaper clippings discussing the public presentation of the January 9 letter (incorrectly identified in the articles as the original 1836 manuscript document).


Letter with expected toning but easily legible. Completely separated at center, vertical fold and with multiple additional paper separations along fold lines and elsewhere. Repaired unprofessionally with adhesive tape. Minor loss to bottom right corner not affecting text. See photos for detailed images of letter and condition issues.

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  

Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 

For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com.