THE LETTER OF PHIL. M. CUNY TO JUDGE JOHN C. WATROUS, IN REPLY TO THE ASPERSIONS CAST UPON THE WRITER, THE LEGISLATURE, AND THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS, BY JUDGE WATROUS, IN HIS ANSWER TO THE MEMORIAL OF JACOB MUSSINA, FOR HIS IMPEACHMENT, BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE U.S.

Austin: Printed at the Southern Intelligencer Book Office, 1858. 17, [1 blank] pp. Stitched into modern plain wrappers, a bit dusted and lightly worn, Very Good.

Watrous was a lawyer, land speculator, and former Texas Attorney General. He resigned the latter position in 1840 "because of conflicts between private professional engagements and public duties" [2 Webb, Handbook of Texas 869]. At the time of his 1846 appointment as Texas's first federal judge, he was counsel to the Texas Land and Emigration Company. He continued to engage in land speculation after his appointment. "The alleged relation of Watrous to an attempt to validate forged land certificates resulted in the Texas Legislature's passing a resolution in 1848 asking the judge to resign. Impeachment proceedings against him began in the United States House of Representatives in January, 1851..." [Id]. The case lingered through most of 1858, spurred on by additional charges. It was finally dropped; bad feelings remained.
The Southern Intelligencer's prefatory remarks here refer to the author, a major Texas slave plantation owner, as "Gen. Cuny." He signed 'Cuny' as a member of the Constitutional Convention of Texas in 1845; frequently his name also appeared as 'Cuney.' In any event, "Cuny, a former State Senator and militia general, strongly attacks Watrous for that notorious gentleman's attack on Texans, expressed in his reply to Mussina's memorial to have Judge Watrous impeached." The Intelligencer says Cuny not only defends himself and his Texas brethren here, but he also "carries the war into [Watrous's] territory and exposes the corrupt combination and acts in a manly, fearless effective style."
Jacob Mussina, identified as a Galveston Jew in 'The Jewish Encyclopedia's' entry on Texas, had charged Judge W. with seeking illicitly to influence a New Orleans lawsuit in which Mussina was a party. He claimed Watrous had a personal financial interest in the case. The charge fueled the rage of both Watrous and his enemies.
FIRST EDITION. 162 Eberstadt 230. Winkler 1017. Sabin 17978. Not in Raines. OCLC 2534530 [10] [as of January 2016]. Item #30654

Price: $1,500.00

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