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Republic Passports

Texas Secretary of State:

An Inventory of Secretary of State Records Relating to Passports Issued by the Department of State, Republic of Texas at the Texas State Archives, 1836-1845, 1855, 1858, undated

Organization History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials

Overview

Houston, General Samuel

Houston, General Samuel

Creator: Texas. Secretary of State.
Title: Secretary of State records relating to passports issued by the Department of State, Republic of Texas
Dates: 1836-1845, 1855, 1858, undated
Abstract: Passports were issued by the government of the Republic of Texas to allow persons to freely leave and re-enter. These records consist of requests for passports, orders to issue passports, and one proclamation granting entrance into the Republic. Dates covered are 1836-1845, 1855, 1858. These passports have been digitized and are available in the Texas Digital Archive.
Quantity: 0.4 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written predominately in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Click here to enter records


Other Formats for the Records

The passports in this finding aid have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive. A description of these materials in their original format is available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/30180/tsl-30180.html

The originals have been microfilmed (on 35 mm microfilm). The call number for this reel is 976.404 P268. The reel is available through interlibrary loan; contact your local librarian for details. It is also available for purchase—see https://www.tsl.texas.gov/pubs/tslpublist.html (scroll down to Texas History); contact the Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


Organization of the Records

These records are arranged alphabetically by name of person issued or requesting a passport.

Click here to access item-level descriptions of the passports.


Agency History

The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer of the executive branch of state government, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for a term concurrent with the governor’s (a two-year term at first, a four-year term since 1975). The office was first created by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836 (Article VI, Section 10), and has been continued by each succeeding Constitution.

The only duty of the Secretary of State specified by the Constitution of 1836 was to receive “returns of all elections for officers who are to be commissioned by the President” (General Provisions, Section 2). The 1st Congress approved a Joint Resolution on December 13, 1836 “defining the duties of the heads of departments of the government.” However, the duties of this cabinet (composed of the Secretaries of State, War, Navy, and Treasury, and the Attorney General) were expressed in extremely vague terms, i.e.: “to conform to and execute the instructions of the president, whether general or particular; and to give respectively and collectively, such needful aid and counsel whenever required so to do by the chief magistrate of the republic, as may be requisite to a firm, wholesome and harmonious administration of the government.” Much of our knowledge of what the Secretary of State did during the Republic period derives from the existing records themselves. Although never so stated in law, obviously a major function of the Secretary of State under the Republic of Texas was diplomatic, a function unique to Texas’ history as an independent nation.

During the next nine years of the Republic’s existence, Congressional acts added little in the way of explicit duties: to receive from the chief justices of the county courts “a description of their county boundaries, and such other information and observations relative to the same, as they may conceive conducive to the convenience of their citizens” (December 17, 1836); to furnish Texan consuls with instruction for the proper regulation of foreign trade (December 18, 1837); to contract for the printing of the laws and journals of the Republic of Texas, and to arrange for their distribution (December 18, 1837 and later dates); to contract for the translation and compilation of Republic laws into Spanish (“the Castilian language”) (December 18, 1837 and January 12, 1842); to become the depository for a Library purchased for the Republic of Texas (January 24, 1839); to create a Patent Office, as a bureau of the office of Secretary of State, and to grant patent rights “for any new and useful art, machine, instrument or composition of matter, liberal arts, sciences or literature, books, maps or charts, or any new and useful improvement of the same . . . invented or discovered” (January 28, 1839); to draw from the war department funds appropriated to run a boundary line between the Republic of Texas and the United States (November 26, 1840); to assume the duties of the Postmaster General, appointing and supervising a clerk for a bureau called the “General Post Office,” and to receive from the former Postmaster General all records of the abolished Post Office Department (January 18, 1841); to issue writs of election to fill certain vacancies in counties (December 7, 1841).

(Click here to read the full agency history)


Scope and Content of the Records

Passports were issued by the government of the Republic of Texas to allow persons to freely leave and re-enter the Republic of Texas. These records consist of requests for passports, orders to issue passports, and one proclamation granting entrance into the Republic. Dates covered are 1836-1845, 1855, 1858, and undated. Two files date from the post-Republic era. Some of the records relate to the freedom of movement within the Republic of Texas, while others request access to Mexico, the United States, and a few European nations. The finding aid contains an alphabetical list of persons requesting or receiving passports. The depth of information provided on each individual varies considerably, from a simple name and date, up to destinations, purpose for the travel, relationships to other travelers, age, and physical description. Individuals with passport files include Sam Houston, Emily West, Memucan Hunt, and several Native Americans.

The present series was originally part of a file in the Office of the Secretary of State entitled “Location of the Seat of Government, Passports, Printing, Postal, and Santa Fe Affairs,” which was transferred in 1905 to the Department of Insurance, Statistics, and History (a predecessor of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission). Some time after transfer the present series was mixed with records of the Adjutant General. The documents were later restored to the Secretary of State’s records and rearranged in alphabetical order.


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements
None.


The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
[Note: The first Election register includes a register of passports issued, 1838-1842.]
Texas Legation (U.S.) correspondence, 1835-1839, 1841, 1843-1845, undated, bulk 1836-1839, 4.75 cubic ft. (272 items)
Texas Secretary of State election registers (a.k.a. appointment registers), 1837-2007, 32.15 cubic ft. (originals), 36 reels microfilm (duplicates)
Texas Secretary of State executive record books, 1835-1917, 15.18 cubic ft. (originals), 14 reels of microfilm (duplicates)
Texas State Archives: Manuscript Collections
Andrew Jackson Houston collection, 1812-1941, undated, bulk 1835-1859, 31.41 cubic ft. An online inventory with a searchable database is available at: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/ajhouston/introhelp.html


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Texas Secretary of State records relating to passports issued by the Department of State, Republic of Texas. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession number: 1905/007

These records were transferred to the Texas Department of Insurance, Statistics, and History (a predecessor of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission) by the Texas Secretary of State on November 10, 1905.

Processing Information
Processed by State Archives staff, dates unknown

Finding aid encoded by Tony Black in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project, June 2010

Additional information and corrections provided by Bonnie Cope and Liz Clare, August 2010

Additional corrections provided by Diana Houston, December 2010

Correction to index term by Tony Black, February 2011

Additions to related material by Tony Black, August 2013

Revisions to description and links and DACS-compliance by Tiffany Criswell, October 2017


Inventory of the passports issued by the Department of State, Republic of Texas

Box
2-9/16 Unidentified, 1838
Aguirre, Sebero, 1837
Aldrete, Miguel, 1841
Arciniega, Miguel, 1841
Austin, Capt. Henry, 1843
Bringas, Lt. Col., 1837
Cabasos, Blas Maria, 1838
Carroll, Dr. Daniel Joseph, 1843
Carter, R.W.P., 1836
Chenoweth, John, 1836
Christian, Hans Heinrich, 1855
Clauzel, Isidore, 1842
Oversize Folder
Box 22 4 Costa, Judge John B. and family, 1858
Box
2-9/16 Crawford, John, 1838
Curby, E. S., 1836
Ehlinger, Joseph, 1838
Galan, D. Norberto, 1844
Garnett, William A., 1836
Box
2-9/16 Goff, Andrew, 1836
Greenlaw, John, 1836
Gutierrez, Florentino, 1837
Hammond, C.G., 1837
Henry, Samuel W., 1843
Heyliger, Albert, 1838
Hitchcock, S.H.
[Note: See Carter, R.W.P., 1836.]
Hoskins, J.C., 1837
Oversize Folder
Box 22 4 Houston, Gen. Samuel, 1839
Box
2-9/16 Hunt, Memucan, 1842
Hutchinson, Thomas J., 1837
Jaques, William B., 1837
Inibichus, Aristenta, 1839
Jackson, Thomas R., 1836
Johnston, Charles S.P.
[Note: See Cabasos, Blas Maria, 1838.]
Joslin, James
[Note: See Carter, R.W.P., 1836.]
Kleberg, Herman Joseph, undated
Lynn, D. Edward, 1836
McCulloch, 1845
Miller, Hugh
[Note: See Carter, R.W.P., 1836.]
Miller, William, 1836
Mills, Judge, 1839
Mnhy
[Note: See Muguarrah, 1838.]
Moellhousen, H., 1840
Morgan, Emily
[Note: See West, Emily D., 1837.]
Morgan, Hugh, 1836
Muestyah
[Note: See Muguarrah, 1838.]
Muguarrah, 1838
Neill, Andrew, 1844
Ny-ese-lain, 1840
Pages, Bartolome, 1836
Palencon, 1845
Pirson, Victor, 1842
Power, James, 1843
Ross, William H., 1836
Sash-ce-zenda
[Note: See Ny-ese-lain, 1840.]
Shaw, Jim, 1845
Sneed, Sebron
[Note: See Costa, Judge John B. and family, 1858.]
Sovereign, Joseph
[Note: See Carter, R.W.P., 1836.]
Spain, William, 1836
Suniga, Isabel
[Note: See Aguirre, Sebero, 1837.]
Sutherland, E.C., 1836
Sutherland, Dr. John, 1837
[This passport has a list of 287 additional names.]
Van Zandt, Isaac and family, 1841
Vaughan, Reuben, 1837
Venividas, Capt. Placido and family, 1837
West, Emily D., 1837
Whitworth, J., 1836
Williams, Dr. J.G.
[Note: See Sutherland, Dr. John, 1836.]
Woodlief, D.J.
[Note: See Carter, R.W.P., 1836.]
Yates, Andrew J., 1839
Zepeda, Jose Maria Cantu de
[Note: See Cabasos, Blas Maria, 1838.]
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