VERY FINE. A RARE COMPLETE LETTER FROM TEXAS DURING THE SPANISH COLONIAL PERIOD WITH THE LARGE "BEXAR" STRAIGHTLINE. PROBABLY NO MORE THAN FIVE COMPLETE POSTMARKED LETTERS FROM SPANISH COLONIAL TEXAS ARE IN PRIVATE HANDS.
The recipient of this letter, Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamante (1753-1823), served as acting governor of Coahuila (1797-98), governor of the same province (1798-1817) and acting governor of Texas (1805-08). He relocated from Monclova (in Coahuila) to Bexar in 1805 at the start of his term as governor of Texas. He ruled Texas until November 7, 1808, when he was replaced by Manuel María de Salcedo.
This letter to Cordero has the red "BEXAR" straightline (this Texas town was later renamed San Antonio). The letter is not marked "Royal Service" and was charged "3" reales postage. It is similar to a letter in our Camina sale (Sale 757, lot 2). Vince King reports that only four complete Spanish Texas letters are in private hands. We record a total of five, which includes one in the J. P. Bryan collection (no. 5), which is likely to remain institutionalized: 1) "BAHIA" and "FRANCA" handstamps, to Cordero in Bexar, Aug. 11, 1807 (King collection); 2) "BEXAR" black handstamp, to Cordero in Monclova, ca. 1801-05 (King collection); 3) "BEXAR" red handstamp, to Cordero in Monclova, 1803 (or 1808-09), offered in this sale; 4) "BEXAR" red handstamp, to Don Jose Juoqine in Monclova, Apr. 27, 1808, ex Camina (Siegel Sale 757, lot 2); 5) "FRANCA/EN BEXAR" red handstamp, to Cordero in Monclova, May 1, 1810, ex Camina (Siegel Sale 757, lot 3, now in the Bryan collection, likely to be institutionalized). In addition to these complete letters there are a few recorded cover fronts, and of course markings used after Mexican independence (1821).