Publication: 1874, Oakville (?)
14" x 8 1/2" sheet, folded to 3 1/2" x 8 1/2,” signed by William Harman and witnessed by David Hayman, an official of Live Oak County, Texas, along with his seal. This rare document is a contract giving James (?) Wells of Atascosa (?) County, authority "to sell Merchantable Beeves belonging to me (William Harman), for the market value at the time of sale," with seven sets of brands and earmarks listed. In a handwritten provision he is authorized to "use said cattle in any way that he may deem proper." It also provides for Wells "to make Bills of Sale and deliver said Beeves to any or all persons …." This document would have been used by a trail boss when he took the cattle "up the trail" on a trail drive in order to show his right to sell the cattle at the end of the drive. The great Texas cattle drives started about 1865 and lasted until the mid-1890's, as Texas cowboys herded about 5 million cattle to markets up north. As the Texas Almanac online notes: "The trail boss obtained documentation from each rancher noting the owner's brand, earmark and number of cattle." Has stains and discoloration, primarily at the folds. Very good.
Inventory Number: 49057