CSA 1, 5¢ green, tied by SAN ANTONIO TEX PAID APR 21 CDS with second strike at right, on fresh cover to Joseph H. Polley, Sutherland, Wilson Co., Texas, slightly reduced at right. Ex Ralph Swap. $350.
Joseph Henry Polley (1795-1869) was a rancher. He was born in Whitehall, New York. He joined Capt. Samuel Brown's company of New York Militia as a teamster in the War of 1812, then moved to Missouri. He traveled with Moses Austin to Texas in 1820 and as a member of Stephen F. Austin's expedition the following year, settled on a headright in that Brazoria district. He married Mary Augusta Bailey in 1823. They opened their home, Whitehall, as one of the earliest public houses. Polley became the first sheriff of the Austin colony. While living by the Brazos River, he accrued land and slaves through homesteading, purchase, and his wife's inheritance. He tried to grow cotton, but quickly refocused his efforts on cattle. Officers from the San Antonio Garrison, including Robert E. Lee and John B. hood, were frequent guests at the Polley house. He reluctantly supported secession after Lincoln’s election; two of his sons fought for the Confederacy.