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2021-01-06 21:53:11
Texas]. [Oil]
Archive of Correspondence and Records Related to Speculative Claims on the Spindletop Estate]
[Various places, mostly Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, 1932. Eighty-five typed and manuscript letters, including thirty mimeographed copies of a form response. Moderate chipping and wear to a few letters, most previously folded but otherwise in strong condition. A fascinating collection of correspondence relating to spurious Depression-era claims on the famed Beaumont estate of Pelham Humphries (1810?-1835?). In 1834, Humphries, a colonist in the disputed lands along the US border with Mexico, filed a claim for a league (some 4,428 acres) of land to the west of the Neches River, a few miles south of what is now Beaumont in Jefferson County, Texas. The land, a patchwork of swamp and grassland good only for grazing, was deemed valueless until oil was discovered there in 1901, by which time it had become known as Spindletop, and the area became the epicenter of the Texas oil boom. No one made more money than William Perry Herring McFadden (1856-1935), a rancher who had bought Spindletop in 1883, but ownership of the land was in dispute when he made the purchase. Humphries had died in obscurity, possibly killed in a gunfight or perhaps hanged for stealing horses, and there was no clear transfer of title. The first suit over the Humphries Land Grant was filed in 1880. McFadden purchased the rights of both parties in the suit, but later claimants argued that neither had had a legitimate interest. When geologists stuck oil, hundreds of people discovered their fortunate genealogy, as a story swiftly spread that the heirs to the Humphries estate were due a share in the pr … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: McBride Rare Books LLC [New York, NY, U.S.A.]
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