Texas Wants to Authenticate Purported Crockett Letter

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AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas Historical Commission has backed away from the contention that a letter from Alamo hero Davy Crockett is authentic.

The commission will seek expert authentication of the letter the state plans to buy for $550,000.

State officials last week announced a plan to buy the letter, claiming "99.9 percent" certainty that it's real.

But the commission has since retracted the statement, after skeptics raised questions.

The letter was presented as Crockett's last, written January 9th of 1836 before he and about 200 other Alamo defenders were killed by Mexican forces.

The letter was to his children.

The purchase from Simpson Galleries of Houston is conditioned on authentication within 120 days.

Rare book dealers say published facsimiles of the letter bear little resemblance to Crockett's poor spelling, bad grammar and uneven penmanship.