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Manuscripts collections

The Texas State Archives holds the papers and other documents of a number of individuals and organizations in the Private Manuscripts Collection.  (“Private” in this case meaning not a “public” or government agency.)  Some of these private collections may contain official government records.  Bodies of material range in size from single items to several thousand documents.  Many individual collections originally contained not only manuscript material but other items, such as maps, photographs, and memorabilia.

The manuscript collections in the Texas Digital Archive represent only the collections, or parts of collections, that have been digitized.  More of the collection may exist in paper or some other format.  For more information on the non-digitized parts of collections, review the available finding aids on our website –

Please contact our Archives Reference staff at for more information regarding requests.

(Click on the image to enter the collection.)


Souvenir Edition of The Trail Log

36th Division Association Papers

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.

Richard Bachman

Richard Bachman

Richard Bachman collection
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. . . 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. The photographs in this collection have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Erminia Thompson Folsom to Mrs. Jennie Boonhower

Erminia Thompson Folsom to Mrs. Jennie Boonhower

Erminia Thompson Folsom papers
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. A portion of the records have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Richard Niles Graham

Richard Niles Graham at a banquet, 1955

Richard Niles Graham Photograph Collection:
This collection of photographs document the family, social, and business life of R. Niles Graham and his family, both at home in Austin and in travels domestically and abroad, dating from 1893 to 1937 and undated. This series consists of 855 photographs, 507 postcards, 17 photoengravings, three tintypes, 10 copy photographs, 21 steel engravings, and 22 engravings. The subject matter of the photographs is fairly disparate and covers a wide geographical area.

John Hancock Diary

John Hancock Diary inside cover page

John Hancock Diary
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.

Signal Corps Photo 30599

Signal Corps Photo 30599

General John A. Hulen papers
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 records in the Texas Digital Archive include only a subset of the photographs series.

Hunnicutt, J. R., 1894-1973

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

J. R. Hunnicutt Photograph Collection
Collection consists of photographs documenting the life of J.R. Hunnicutt from the late 19th century to the early 1960s. Among the numerous subjects and events represented are the Hunnicutt family, Marlin High School Athletics, student life at Texas A&M University, the Capitol Lands Resurvey Project, his service with the Texas Rangers, his participation in Shriner and Masonic activities, and his aviation training with the Customs Service. Records date from 1895 to 1965 and undated.

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar papers

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 1798-1859

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 1798-1859

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. The calendar has been digitized and is available in the Texas Digital Archive.

Julius (Jules) Laffite, 1858

Julius (Jules) Laffite, 1858

Jean Laffite Collection
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.

Record of Land Titles Signed by George W. Smyth

Record of Land Titles Signed by George W. Smyth

George Washington Smyth papers
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.


International Women’s Year press conference committee members

Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records
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.

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

Frank S. Tillman Collection

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.

Samuel Hamilton Walker, 1817-1847

Samuel Hamilton Walker papers
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.

Grady Barnhart and four men in Batson, Texas, oilfield

Horald V. Watson collection
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. Photographs from this collection have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

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