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Manuscripts Collections

Manuscripts collections

Manuscript collections document the cultural, political, social, and economic growth of Texas and its residents. The Texas State Archives’ manuscript collections include the papers of private individuals and public officials, as well as records of churches, businesses, social and welfare agencies, and organizations. Collections range in size from single items to several thousand documents, and may include other items, such as maps, photographs, and memorabilia.

The Texas Digital Archive includes only digitized items from collections. Full collection information is available in the finding aids.  https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/findingaids/msfindingaids.html.

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36th Infantry Division Association Papers, 1857-1954

Souvenir Edition of The Trail Log: Official Publication of the 131st (2nd Texas National Guard) Field Artillery

Souvenir Edition of The Trail Log: Official Publication of the 131st (2nd Texas National Guard) Field Artillery

Creator: 36th Infantry Division Association
Title: 36th Infantry Division Association papers
Dates: 1857-1954
Abstract: The Thirty-Sixth Division Association was founded in January 1946 at a meeting in Brownwood of veterans who served with the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division during World War II. The papers include correspondence, reports, military records and scrapbooks, dating 1857-1954. Records relate to Texans experience during World War I, railroads in Texas and the San Jacinto Monument. This collection is unprocessed and only a part has been digitized. No online finding aid is available.

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Richard Bachman Collection, 1825-1983, undated

25th Anniversary of J. Bachman Grocery store

25th Anniversary of J. Bachman Grocery store

Creator: Bachman, Richard
Title: Richard Bachman collection
Dates: 1825-1983, undated
Abstract: The Richard Bachman collection is an assembly of papers, ephemera, photographs, and other materials that document the lives and activities of several Texas families from 1825 to 1983, bulk 1840-1920. The families represented, related by marriage, are Elmore, Miller, Obenchain, Wall, Rugeley, Bachman, Hawkins, Guinn, and Pigford. The collection has a wide variety of documents, from receipts, business documents, and wills and deeds, to correspondence and a family Bible. Major Texas events documented include the Texas Archives War, annexation to the United States, and the Civil War, especially regarding the Battle of Galveston. Notable items in the collection include documentation of the Colorado Navigation Company, an early Rand McNally Texas map (1880s), a proclamation by Republic of Texas President Anson Jones, and an extensive selection of deeds and wills. Photographs make up a significant portion of the collection and cover nearly 130 years of family and photographic history. The collection contains images in a variety of photographic formats, including cased images, card photographs, snapshots, and Polaroids. The variety of images include a young Confederate soldier, Company C of the Texas Rangers, various family members, and several unidentified individuals.

Only the photographs in this collection have been digitized. The photographs are organized into eight subseries: Elmore family, Hawkins family, McHenry-Guinn family, Obenchain-Wall family, Rugeley family, Bachman family, and miscellaneous.

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Jacob de Cordova Letter Book, 1851-1856

Jacob deCordova letterbook front cover

Jacob deCordova letterbook front cover

Creator: De Cordova, Jacob, 1808-1868
Title: Jacob de Cordova letter book
Dates: 1851-1856
Abstract: Jacob Raphael de Cordova was a Texas land agent and colonizer. The Jacob de Cordova letter book contains copies of outgoing correspondence from de Cordova relating to his business as a land agent, dating from 1851 to 1856.

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Erminia Thompson Folsom Papers, 1856-1965, undated

 Erminia Thompson Folsom to Mrs. Jennie Boonhower

Erminia Thompson Folsom to Mrs. Jennie Boonhower

Creator: Folsom, Erminia T., 1878-1967
Title: Erminia Thompson Folsom papers
Dates: 1856-1965, undated
Abstract: Mariana T. Folsom and her daughter, Erminia T. Folsom, were deeply involved in the woman’s suffrage, peace, and temperance movements in Texas and nationally. Mariana Folsom was also a minister in the Universalist church, while Erminia T. Folsom was active in prison reform and the Herbert Hoover presidential campaign of 1928 and had an interest in Universalism. The Erminia Thompson Folsom papers contain correspondence, literary productions (including lectures), minutes, printed materials, financial documents, and memorabilia, dating 1856-1965 and undated. Although the personalities and careers of these two women can be elucidated to some extent by these papers, particularly through the correspondence and the lectures, fully five-sixths of the collection pertains to the movements themselves, especially suffrage and temperance. The papers document the organization, membership, principles, and activities of these reform movements. The strongest bodies of materials are those dealing with woman’s suffrage (1856-1919) and temperance (1909-1964). The material relating to prison reform (1917-1932) and the peace movement (1866-1960), although small, is rich.

The Erminia Thompson Folsom papers are organized into four groups. Three groups have been partially digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

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German Diary found in Austin, Texas, September 1843-September 1844

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Graham (R. Niles) Collection, 1846-1958

Richard Niles Graham

Richard Niles Graham, at a banquet, 1955

Creator: Graham, Richard Niles, 1881-1959
Title: Graham (R. Niles) collection
Dates: 1846-1958
Abstract: The R. Niles Graham collection documents the lives and business interests of Richard Niles Graham and his immediate family. The materials in the collection date from 1846 to 1958, with the bulk of the material dating from 1895 to 1958. The Grahams were prominent members of Texas business and society in Austin in the first part of the 20th century and descended from the state’s 19th century governing aristocracy. The collection sheds light on the family’s history, social activities, interests, and business transactions and consists of personal and inter-family correspondence, family estate papers, and business correspondence and other business records for the Enfield Oil and Petroleum Company and the Enfield Realty and Home Building Company, such as mineral rights leases, title deeds, financial records, maps, and architectural plans. The collection also contains a large cache of memorabilia, ephemera, and printed matter collected by the Graham family over the course of their lives, including scrapbooks, newspapers, magazines, programs, and travel brochures documenting their personal interests. Graham also compiled a large collection of photographs that speak to his interests and document the activities of himself and his family.

The photographs are organized into five groups: People, Places, Subjects, Miscellaneous, and Modern prints. For ease of web-browser use, images have been divided into 100 item increments based upon the photograph identification number.

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John Hancock Diary, November 28, 1864-June 30, 1865

John Hancock Diary

John Hancock Diary inside cover page

Creator: Hancock, John, 1824-1893
Title: John Hancock diary
Dates: November 28, 1864-June 30, 1865
Abstract: John Hancock was a congressman, judge, and lawyer who made his home in Austin, Texas. In 1851 Hancock was elected district judge of the Second Judicial District. In 1860 he was elected to the Texas legislature as a Unionist Democrat. He was expelled from the legislature in March 1861 when he declined to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States. He remained a conscientious objector throughout the Civil War and continued working as a lawyer. He left Austin for Mexico in 1864 to avoid conscription in the Confederate army. Several months later he moved to Union-held New Orleans, Louisiana, and spent his time helping “Texas Refugees”—those who had fled Texas due to Union sympathies or who had deserted from the Confederate army. Hancock kept this personal diary, dating November 1864-June 1865, during the time he was in New Orleans. He recounts daily life, news of the war, the struggle to obtain and sell cotton and livestock, meetings with prominent Texans and the Louisiana legislature, and his sadness at being separated from his wife and child. The collection consists of one diary with entries in chronological order.

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August Watkins Harris Drawings, September 26, 1957

1853 Limestone Capitol front elevation

1853 Limestone Capitol front elevation

Creator: Harris, August Watkins
Title: August Watkins Harris drawings
Dates: 1957 September 26
Abstract: August Watkins Harris was an Austin-based architect who designed buildings throughout Texas; several buildings he designed are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Harris also authored two books on Austin architecture as well as the 1957 Specifications of the Repair and Renovation of the Old General Land Office Building for the State Building Commission. The Harris drawings consist of two diazotype prints dating September 26, 1957, of the 1853 Limestone Capitol building, which Harris calls the “Texas Colonial Capitol.” Harris’ book Minor and Major Mansions in Early Austin, in three editions, contains drawings created by the author based on his research. One of the buildings featured in the second edition of this book is the 1853 Limestone Capitol and includes these drawings.

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General John A. Hulen Papers, 1887-1960, undated

Signal Corps Photo. Boy fishing from bridge with troops, Bayell, France

Signal Corps Photo. Boy fishing from bridge with troops, Bayell, France

Creator: Hulen, John A. (John Augustus), 1871-1957
Title: General John A. Hulen papers
Dates: 1887-1960, undated
Abstract: Papers documenting the military career and life of Brigadier General John A. Hulen, who commanded the 72nd Infantry Brigade (1917-1919) and the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard (1922-1935), consist of correspondence, photographs, and scrapbooks, dating 1887-1960, undated. The correspondence mainly relates to recruitment activities in 1917 and includes letters and other documents. Photographs cover most of General Hulen’s life, from his years in military school in the late 1880s to his retirement in the 1950s. Photographs from the 36th Division begin with the First World War and extend to 1960 and document military training, camp life, and early airplanes. Also present are aerial photos and official portraits of military personnel in the interwar period. The scrapbooks contain photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, telegrams, and printed materials that cover the course of General Hulen’s military career, from 18

The papers are organized according to record type into three series of which the following have been partially digitized: Photographs.

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J.R. Hunnicutt Collection, 1882-1966, undated

Texas Ranger J. R. Hunnicutt. (about 1919)

Texas Ranger J. R. Hunnicutt. (about 1919)

Creator: Hunnicutt, J.R., 1894-1973
Title: J.R. Hunnicutt collection
Dates: 1882-1966, undated
Abstract: The J.R. Hunnicutt collection primarily documents Hunnicutt’s education and career, especially his service as a Texas Ranger, U.S. Customs Service Agent, and in the U.S. Army Medical Administrative Corps. The collection consists of correspondence, personal papers, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks of Hunnicutt and his family dating 1882-1966 and undated, bulk 1913-1966. The oldest materials are photographs and papers of Hunnicutt’s family.

The collection is divided into three series; only the photographs series has been digitized. The photographs were originally arranged first by people in alphabetical order than then by place names in alphabetical order. In the original numbering convention, 1966/029-288 thru 547 were left unidentified. These images have now been described and most identified as to person, place, or activity. Several identical images had been given separate numbers and have now been consolidated. For ease of web-browser use, images have been subdivided into 100 item increments based upon photograph identification number.

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Calendar of the Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar Papers, 1756-1859, undated

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 1798-1859

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 1798-1859

Creator: Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859
Title: Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar papers
Dates: 1756-1859, undated
Abstract: Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, second elected president of the Republic of Texas, was a statesman, soldier, historian, and poet. These are Lamar’s personal and official papers as well as material gathered by Lamar as a collector of historical documents with a particular interest in the histories of Texas and Latin American republics. Documents include correspondence, historical manuscripts, clippings, drafts, notes, editorials, poems, maps, reports, legal documents, histories of Texas and Mexico, and biographies of prominent regional figures. Dates are 1756-1859 and undated, bulk 1821-1859. The 1982 publication Calendar of the Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar includes a detailed chronological listing of the papers.

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Jean Laffite Collection, 1773-1986, undated

Julius (Jules) Laffite, 1858

Julius (Jules) Laffite, 1858

Creator: Laffite, Jean
Title: Jean Laffite collection
Dates: 1773-1986, undated
Abstract: Jean Laffite, along with his brother Pierre, engaged in piracy and smuggling in New Orleans, Louisiana, and then Galveston Island, Texas, during the 1810s-1820s. The Jean Laffite collection has two components. One component consists of original journals, documents, photographs, and publications allegedly written or owned by Jean Laffite or other Laffite family members. These materials were in the possession of claimed Jean Laffite descendant John A. Laffite. The second component consists of documents, photographs, postcards, maps, publications, clippings, research materials, manuscripts, and artwork that were collected by former Texas Governor Price Daniel Sr. The collection pertains to Jean Laffite’s career as a pirate/privateer, his alleged post-1820s life in the United States, Laffite family history, John A. Laffite’s activities and communications concerning his alleged Laffite family materials and his sale of the materials, and Price Daniel’s purchase of and interest in the Laffite materials. Photographic formats include tintypes, cartes-de-visite, and prints. Material dates from 1773 to 1986, and undated, with the bulk dating 1845-1979. Photocopies of some material contain information that originally dates from 1608 to 1980. Portions of this collection have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

The collection is organized into nine series, of which the following have been digitized: Government and other official documents, Journals/Diaries, and Photographs.

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National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) Organizational Materials, 1974-2018, undated

NAGARA logoCreator: National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators
Title: National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators organizational materials
Dates: 1974-2018, undated
Abstract: Through institution-based membership, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) encourages the exchange of information, cooperative approaches, and professional development and standards, and promotes awareness of government records issues. As an outgrowth organization from its predecessor, the National Association of State Archives and Records Administrators (NASARA), NAGARA was founded in 1984 to meet the needs of the government archives and records administration profession on all levels of United States government. These materials document the history and activities of NAGARA’s organizational pursuits with local, state, and federal governments as well as late NASARA endeavors with state governments. The NAGARA records include administrative files, correspondence, events files, meeting minutes, project and grant files, and records concerning relations with professional organizations, dating 1974-2018, undated, bulk 1984-1996.

These records include some born-digital materials and have had portions digitized.

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George Washington Smyth Papers, 1833-1865, undated

Record of Land Titles Signed by George W. Smyth

Record of Land Titles Signed by George W. Smyth

Creator: Smyth, G. W. (George Washington), 1803-1866
Title: George Washington Smyth papers
Dates: 1833-1865, undated
Abstract: George Washington Smyth was a surveyor, land commissioner, judge, and congressman in the early days of both the Republic of Texas and the United States governments. As a member of the Texas Convention of 1836, Smyth co-wrote and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and signed the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in early March 1836. The George Washington Smyth papers relate chiefly to his time as a surveyor and land commissioner at the eastern boundary of Texas, near Nacogdoches. The bulk of the papers consist of documents and correspondence created during Smyth’s work with the boundary commission. Documents include boundary commission accounts, purchasing inventories, meeting minutes, a land title, and memoranda, dating 1833-1856, undated, bulk 1836-1841.

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Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records, 1971-1978

Prize quilt, Gertrude Gibson, Colleen Collier (1977)

Prize quilt, Gertrude Gibson, Colleen Collier (1977)

Creator: United States. National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year. Texas Coordinating Committee
Title: Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee records
Dates: 1971-1978
Abstract: The Texas International Women’s Year (IWY) Coordinating Committee, also known as the Texas Coordinating Committee, was created by Congress in December 1975 with the passage of Public Law 94-167 (HR 9924, 94th Congress, 1975-1977) for the purpose of holding state meetings to elect delegates and adopt resolutions that promoted equal rights to be presented at the National Women’s Conference. The committee planned and held the Texas Women’s Meeting in Austin from June 24 to 26, 1977, where participants voted on delegates and resolutions for the National Women’s Conference held in Houston later that year. Records of the committee are attendee registration forms, correspondence, delegate nomination forms, memorandums, interviews, resolutions, publications, press material, minutes, photographs, rules and procedures, reservations, budgets, audio and video recordings, résumés, voting tally sheets, maps, buttons, exhibit panels, photo negatives, and slides, dating 1971-1978, bulk 1977.

The records are organized into eight series, of which the following have been digitized: Public relations committee files, Program committee files, and Nominations committee files.

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Frank S. Tillman Collection, 1915-1939, undated

War Diary 1st Battalion 144th Infantry Aboard U.S.S. Pretoria

War Diary 1st Battalion 144th Infantry Aboard U.S.S. Pretoria

Creator: Tillman, Frank S., 1888-1939
Title: Frank S. Tillman collection
Dates: 1915-1939, undated
Abstract: The Frank S. Tillman collection contains printed material, diaries, rosters, lists of wartime deaths, and assorted material produced between 1915 and 1939, documenting and describing the participation of Texas soldiers in World War I. The material, created by both participants and commentators of the events they describe, concerns the recruitment, composition, training, transportation, combat service, casualties, occupation duties, and demobilization of Texas soldiers and military units between 1917 and 1919. The bulk of the collection concerns the Thirty-Sixth Division while the remainder deals with the Ninetieth Division, the Adjutant General of Texas, and other Texas soldiers. Major Frank S. Tillman was a veteran of the Thirty-Sixth Division.

The collection is organized into three subgroups, of which the following have been partially digitized: Thirty-Sixth Division papers, and Texas Participation in World War I printed materials.

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Samuel Hamilton Walker Papers, 1836-1905, about 1982, undated

Samuel Hamilton Walker, 1817-1847

Samuel Hamilton Walker, 1817-1847

Creator: Walker, Samuel Hamilton, 1817-1847
Title: Samuel Hamilton Walker papers
Dates: 1836-1905, about 1982, undated
Abstract: Samuel Hamilton Walker served as a Texas Ranger and in the Mexican War. His papers include correspondence, military orders, quartermaster invoices and receipts, social invitations, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings of Samuel Hamilton Walker and his family, dating 1836-1905, about 1982, and undated. The correspondence is from family, social, business, and military sources. The bulk of the papers are from the last few years of Walker’s life and focus on his military activities in Texas, beginning with several letters in 1843 when Walker was in Mexican prisons after the Mier expedition. Afterwards, most of the papers are from Walker’s service in the Mexican War, 1846-1847. During this period, there is correspondence with Samuel Colt on the development of the Walker-Colt revolver. A biographical sketch of Walker dates about 1982.

The papers are arranged numerically according to accession number. It is recommended that users consult the inventory on the online finding aid to identify records of interest in the TDA.

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Horald V. Watson Collection, 1917-1920s, about 1940, 1954, 1957, undated

Grady Barnhart and four men in Batson, Texas, oilfield

Grady Barnhart and four men in Batson, Texas, oilfield

Collector:  Watson, Horald V., 1901-1977
Title: Horald V. Watson collection
Dates: 1917-1920s, about 1940, 1954, 1957, undated
Abstract: The Horald V. Watson collection includes one set of Daisetta water control records, two prescription sheets from Bell’s Pharmacy and Drugs, an official pocket seal, and photographs of Batson, Hull, Daisetta, and Galveston, Texas, dating 1917-1920s, about 1940, 1954, 1957, undated.

Only photographs from this collection have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

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Minnie Sneed Wilcox Collection, 1920-1945, undated

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