Four sheets of letterhead stationery from the Office of L.M. Buie, County Judge of Jones County, used by S.M. Swenson to pen his letter from New York City to Messrs. Jones & Cunningham, Anson, Texas. Four pages, 24 x 15 cm., approx. 375 words, in a neat, legible hand. Swenson is responding to correspondence from Jones & Cunningham regarding their proposal to help him avoid paying taxes due to Jones County on his property in Texas. He says he sees nothing wrong with the assessments the county has made and concludes that it was honestly done. "[A]lthough there exist irregularities as to the proper time to levy said taxes and the other unimportant requisites as prescribed by the letter of the law yet I believe that any court will rather be governed by the spirit than the letter of the law and sustain the action of the county court in performing their duty to levy and assess as well as to collect taxes." Swenson considers it important that the county have the money it needs to operate and requests that Jones & Cunningham not connect his name to any efforts to the protest the payment of the taxes. Item #67343
S.M. Swenson emigrated from Sweden to the United States in 1836. By 1838 he was in Texas working in a mercantile business belonging to John Adriance in the town of Columbia. Over the next decade he acquired property in Texas and began to promote the settlements there to other Swedes back home. By 1850 he had established a mercantile business in Austin, invested in the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railway, and continued to buy land, becoming one of the largest landowners in Texas. He established the SMS Ranch in West Texas which his sons continued to run for the family. Swenson did not support secession and eventually left Texas during the Civil War. By 1865, he had moved his family to New York City. He died there in 1896, still owning extensive property in Texas. [see his brief biography in the Handbook of Texas online].