Shelby Co., Republic of Texas: 13th January 1838. Partly printed document, completed in manuscript. 12 x 19 cm. Horizontal fold, some scattered foxing and toning, a few shallow chips to right margin. Edward Wallis declares he was a resident of the Republic of Texas in 1836, and that he "did not leave the country during the campaign of the Spring of 1836 to avoid a participation in the struggle, that I did not refuse to participate in the War, that I did not aid or assist the enemy....." Wallis was applying for his quantum of land by rights of his said residency, as allowed under the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Texas. Signed by Wallis, and witnessed by G.V. Lusk, Chief Justice and Notary Public of the County. Three other names appear in ink on the verso: Wm. Daniel, F.L. Green, and Jordan Smith. Item #66690
The Republic of Texas declared itself to be an independent, sovereign state on March 2, 1836. Delegates to the 1836 convention quickly drafted a Constitution which included a provision whereby all citizens residing in the state at the time of independence [African Americans and Native Americans excepted] could receive a portion of land in the state "in like manner as colonists... every head of a family shall be entitled to one league and labor of land, and every single man of the age of seventeen and upwards, shall be entitled to the third part of one league of land." Any citizen who left the Republic "for the purpose of evading a participation in the present struggle" would forfeit his rights of citizenship and land. The convention also required their male citizens ages 17 to 50 to serve in the military, offering land bounties of 320 to 1280 acres as incentives.