APPOINTMENT OF BARNARD BEE AS SECRETARY OF WAR OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS.
Document Signed ("Sam Houston"), partially printed and accomplished in manuscript, 1 p, 4to, Houston, TX, January 28, 1838, appointing Barnard E. Bee as Secretary of War, with red wax, white wafer seal, page heavily toned, chipping and loss to edges, 1/2 inch loss at lower margin just impinging on "S" of Sam, cello tape reinforcements and mounting remnants on verso, housed in doubled sided glass frame.
Barnard Elliiot Bee [1787-1854] was born in Charleston and spent his early career as an aide to South Carolina Governor James Hamilton. After the Battle of San Jacinto, Bee moved to Texas and settled near Houston, offering his services to the new Republic. Bee was soon appointed Secretary of the Treasury and later Secretary of State in the interim government of David G. Burnet [March 17 to October 22, 1836].
Bee is most famous for having loaned money to Texas' mortal enemy--which not surprisingly, he never got back. Bee accompanied General Santa Anna to Washington after the Battle of San Jacinto, loaning the General $3,000 in return for a draft on the General's Mexico City bank. When Bee attempted to cash the draft, however, Santa Anna refused to honor it, saying he'd been forced to sign it under duress.
In 1837 Bee joined Sam Houston's administration as Secretary of War, for which position this document was produced. In part: "In the name and by the authority of the Republic of Texas ... I Sam Houston, President of said Republic of Texas, reposing special trust and full confidence in the honor, patriotism, fidelity, skill and capacity of Barnard E. Bee, do by these presents, constititute and appoint him the said Barnard E. Bee to the office of Secretary of War By and with the advice and consent of the senate given November 13th, 1837...." Annotated in an unknown hand at left margin: "Appointed in August 1837 / entered into duties 23rd August."
Bee was actually Houston's third Secretary of War. Houston's first appointee, Thomas Jefferson Rusk, resigned after just a few weeks. Houston then appointed William Gordon Cooke as acting Secretary of War, replacing him in August of 1837 with Bee. Bee served until 1838, turning the job over to Albert Sidney Johnston, the head of the Army of the Republic of Texas.