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Cherokee Freedman Collection

  • US TxAM-C 231
  • Collection
  • 1900-1907

This collection is composed of written interviews of African Americans and Native Americans conducted by the Department of the Interior's Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes. The interviews, testimonies, and affidavits relate to applications of African Americans denied enrollment as Cherokee Freedmen during the Dawes Commission. "An act of Congress approved March 3, 1893, established a commission to negotiate agreements with the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Cherokee Indian tribes. The commission became known as the Dawes Commission, after its chairman Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts. The commission's mission was to divide tribal land into plots which were then divided among the members of the tribe. As part of this process, the Commission either accepted or rejected applicants for tribal membership based on whether the tribal government had previously recognized the applicant as a member of the tribe and other legal requirements. Applicants were categorized as Citizens by Blood, Citizens by Marriage, Minor Citizens by Blood, New Born Citizens by Blood, Freedmen (African Americans formerly enslaved by tribal members), New Born Freedmen, and Minor Freedmen.

The collection encompasses around 140 documents from 42 applications affecting over 100 people. Most of the documents are with their original envelopes, all but one of which is dated within a month of each other in 1904, though the documents themselves range in date within a six-year span. The majority of the hearings were conducted at Fort Gibson or Muskogee, and many of the applicants were either related or testified on one another's behalf. There is a high degree of intertextuality between files in regard to people and places mentioned. In addition to the interviews, there are also interdepartmental letters between various commissioners and the Secretary of the Interior, and notices to applicants and their lawyers. The collection offers a primary source on the arbitration involved in the decision of who did and did not count as Cherokee Freedmen, as well as frontier life in general both before and after the war. The language used vividly reveals the prevailing racial attitudes of the day, chiefly toward African Americans and Native Americans; casual use is made of pejorative terms, and open prejudice is occasionally voiced.

Many of the testimonies include personal histories, sometimes dating as far back as the 1830s, and great detail is given on the moving of slaves to and from the Cherokee Nation during the Civil War. Notable pieces include accounts of runaway slaves returning to their separated families, individual reactions to Emancipation, and a letter directly to the Secretary of the Interior personally written by an applicant, requesting that her case be re-opened. The letter, polite and heartfelt but clearly frustrated, is spelled phonetically. Another interesting letter that allowed for the subject listing to include "Leonid Meteor Showers" refers to one elderly woman's age was determined by the fact that she was 16 "the year the stars fell". The commissioner noted that that was in 1832, and he was there himself. The following year, '33, was the year that the Leonid shower was officially "discovered", and caused something of a panic in the eastern US; no one knew what meteors were, yet!

Several of the locations mentioned, such as Armstrong's Academy, Concharta, OK, and Doaksville, OK, were involved in the war, and both Union and Confederate soldiers are among those interviewed. Doaksville was the site where the last remaining Confederate general, a Cherokee, surrendered. Also mentioned is Tahlequah, OK, the capital of the Cherokee Nation and location of the racially-motivated Going Snake Massacre. Several historical figures come into the documents, namely two of the attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, James Davenport and W. W. Hastings (in all likelihood, William Wirt. referenced as "W. W. Hastings" in transcripts, but a William Wirt Hastings, of Cherokee heritage and from Oklahoma, was an attorney who worked in private practice, as the attorney general for the Cherokee Nation, and then as the national attorney for the Nation from 1907. The dates do match up, and there is a W. W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, given by William Wirt when he was in Congress, as a gift) both of whom later served as U.S. Representatives for Oklahoma. Briefly included is Judge Isaac Parker, known as "the hanging judge" of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Parker tried several well-known outlaws, including Crawford "Cherokee Bill" Goldsby. Occasionally the communities cited in the interviews have since become ghost towns, been absorbed into larger cities, or changed names.

The affidavits, correspondence, and any support materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the surname of the applicant. Note: File 22 is in critical need of preservation.

Colonel Dorris A. Hanes Papers

  • TxAM-CRS 112
  • Collection
  • 1942-1943

These papers also contain an audit of the Stanley Warehouse. Photographs also include interior and exterior shots of Stanley Warehouse and additional photos of military personnel.

Of special note are photographs of a visit to inspect the facilities and visit troops by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. There are two photographs of Mrs. Roosevelt, accompanied by Colonel Dorris A. Hanes, speaking with African American soldiers.

A photographer identified as Ingledew in Liverpool, England, in 1942, took a majority of the photographs and many have a series of numbers written on the back. Many of the photographs identify individual soldiers by name and their hometowns. Hometowns include Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, Winthrop, Massachusetts, Passaic, New Jersey, New York City, Cuero and San Antonio, Texas, and West Virginia.

Note that although photographs of Eleanor Roosevelt have her name spelled incorrectly, the finding aid uses the correct spelling. Other names are spelled one way on the back of the photograph and differently in the front captions. Information about photos is typed on the back and handwritten on the front. Finding aid attempts to duplicate information as written including grammatical and punctuation errors. The exception is in the inconsistent and confusing use of primarily upper case letters. An attempt was made to make this more uniform in the finding aid by using both upper and lower case letters.

Hanes, Dorris

Edward Everett Papers

  • US TxAM-C C000024
  • Collection
  • 1846-1906

This collection dating from 1846 to 1906 (bulk: 1846-1847) consists chiefly of handwritten letters, journal entries, a memoir, a proof copy of a report from the U. S. Secretary of War on Army operations in Texas and on the Rio Grande during the Mexican War (1846-1848), as well as plans, maps and nine hand-colored copies of lithographic engravings drawn by Everett, which vividly chronicle southwest Texas cultural as well as military history during the late1840s.

Series 1, Letters (1847-1863), mainly handwritten in ink by Edward Everett to his brother, Samuel W. Everett, from 1846-1847, while Everett was serving in San Antonio de Bexar with the U. S. Army during the Mexican War. A few letters from other correspondents pertain to Everett's disability and eventual official discharge from the Army. Three letters written in the period 1852-1863 are about business or from family members.

Series 2, Journal and Memoir (1846-1899) contains three sets of journal entries for Sept. 1846-Jan. 1847. All are handwritten in ink on loose sheets of paper. The memoir, also handwritten in ink, on machine-ruled paper measuring about 8 x 5 inches, covers the years 1846-1848, with additional material added and dated, on at least one page, with 1899. This memoir is edited in pencil by Everett, evidently for publication, since one note suggests that the memoir was donated in 1899 to the Quincy Historical Society, later known as The Illinois Historical Society. The memoir was actually published, at least part, or possibly all of it, under the title "Military Experience," in Transactions of the Illinois Historical Society for 1905.

Series 3, Engravings, Maps, and Plans (ca. 1846-1849) includes nine copies of lithographed illustrations drawn by Edward Everett and engraved by C. B Graham Lithographers in Washington, D.C. The engravings were to be published in a report on U.S. Army operations in Texas during the Mexican War. A proof copy of this 67-page report, titled Report of the Secretary of War, communicating ... the Operations of the Army of the United States in Texas and the Adjacent Mexican states on the Rio Grande (31st Congress, 1st Session, Senate. Executive Document 32), published in 1850, is annotated throughout by Everett in pencil. For this publication Everett was at least responsible for eight illustrations: seven engravings of the San Antonio de Bexar area, including the Alamo church, as well as locations in Mexico; a plan of the ruined Alamo as it was in 1846, before being renovated according to Everett's direction, as a U. S. Army supply depot and workshops.

Engravings include nine copies of the lithographed prints. Notations made in ink on the separate prints, and on p. [4] of the proof copy of the published government report, indicate that: illustrations numbered for publication 2, 3-6 were engraved from original drawings made by Everett; those numbered 1, 7-8 were engraved from drawings made by Everett based on pencil sketches by other individuals, particularly no. 1 titled "Watch Tower Near Monclova," which was drawn by Everett from a sketch by Lieutenant McDowell of the U.S. Army.

Everett's proofs of the lithographic prints have all been exquisitely hand-tinted, in contrast to the severe black-and-white reproductions in the printed report. Of the nine hand-colored prints, two are duplicates of two illustrations, one titled "Church Near Monclova," and the other "Watch Tower Near Monclova." These identical prints are each hand-colored in two versions, apparently to represent the depicted buildings' appearances during the daytime, as well as at dusk or sunset.

Maps include one copy of a published map, possibly also by Everett, though it has been attributed to Josiah Gregg, which also appeared in the 1850 Army Operations report, titled "Map Showing the Route of the Arkansas Regiment from Shreveport La. to San Antonio de Bexar Texas," which is annotated with a penciled in route drawn from San Antonio to Austin, and a town location labeled "New Braunsfels." Also included are two manuscript versions of a map by Edward Everett, one copy titled "Plan of the Vicinity of Austin and San Antonio, Texas."

Plans are represented by two copies of an illustration drawn by Everett for the 1849 Army operations report showing plans of the Alamo before the renovation, titled "Plans of the Ruins of the Alamo near San Antonio De Bexar, 1846." Also present is one manuscript plan, titled "Plan of San Antonio de Bexar, Texas, 1848," which is labeled as "Drawn from recollection by E. E." The legend states that locations number 1-5 on the plan show, for instance, the spot near the Plaza in town where Everett received his disabling gunshot wound in the leg, the Hospital where he convalesced, and the Quartermaster's Office, to which he was assigned to work after being declared disabled from active service in the field.

A handwritten loose-leaf page kept with the proof copy of the report is titled "Index to Col. Hughes Report," and lists subject divisions and page numbers, though these divisions are not present in the published report by Hughes.

Thus Everett's accounts of frontline actions in the Mexican War mainly rely on reports from occasional volunteer soldiers or scouts, or Mexican nationals, returning back to Texas from the front lines of battle in Mexico. As much as he is able, however, Everett produces very detailed accounts of the various battles and skirmishes in and around the Texas-Mexico border, including battles at Monterrey, Saltillo, San Luis, Camargo, Buena Vista, Vera Cruz, and Tampico, recording a large number of casualties on both sides.

Of particular interest is Everett's extensive first-hand description of the ruins of the Alamo, and how it was converted for U.S. Army use as a military headquarters, according to plans drawn up by Everett. He deplores the vandalism already wreaked by relic seekers and stressed the respect shown to the mission church by the U. S. Army restorers, who refused to plunder it for building stone but instead merely cleaned away the debris. In the process, skeletons were uncovered, which Everett assumes to be from the time of the siege and Battle of the Alamo in 1836. Everett's accounts of frontier life in the rather rambunctious confines of San Antonio, complete with ambushes, shootouts, rough and ready court trials, and various local characters are often riveting.

Everett also pictures the moods and attitudes of the soldiers toward a variety of issues. Everett describes their arduous marches, unsavory living conditions, often dire medical care, and the cruel climate tormenting them. Having been left behind in San Antonio with all the stores rejected by the army, which had proceeded on into Mexico, Everett's men were faced with nursing broken down mules and horses back to usefulness, salvaging wagon parts from several damaged ones to make a serviceable one, and generally, trying to make do with what could be had in the vicinity, or easily transported from the Quartermaster at New Orleans.

According to Everett, communications on the Texas frontier often proceeded through "solitary express riders." He describes Mexican culture co-existing with "the Indians" and their horse-stealing. He also gives an excellent but pejorative account of the Texas Rangers and their activities, calling them desperados. Everett describes Mexican Generals Santa Anna, Torrejón, and Woll, the exceedingly unpopular U. S. Army Colonel Churchill, officers George W. Hughes, 1st Lieutenant W. B. Franklin, 2nd Lieutenant F. T. Bryan, General Zachary Taylor ("Old Rough and Ready"), General Winfield Scott, and General James Morgan, Captain J. H. Prentiss, Brigadier General John E. Wool, Major General Worth, Captain James Harvey Ralston, Captain L. Sitgreaves, as well as Edward Everett's own two brothers Charles Everett and Samuel W. Everett (Sam).

Full of absorbing narrative and elusive details often lost in larger historical works, the content of Everett's narratives and letters may be summed up in his own words from the handwritten memoir: "Mine is not a tale of battles, or of the movements of great armies, but the details will show some of the hardships and vicissitudes of a soldier's life, the exposure to which causes a greater sacrifice of life than that ensuing from wounds of death received from the enemy."

Everett, Edward

Francis C. Turner Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 38
  • Collection
  • 1929-1997

This collection represents 68 years of materials authored or collected by Turner. Series 1. through Series 4. include highway engineering reports written for the Bureau of Public Roads, Clay Committee papers dating from the 1950s hearings on the development of a national interstate highway program, and speeches, publications, correspondence, and research notes generated by his career as a federal highway official. The aforementioned inscribed copy of A More Beautiful America by Lyndon Baines Johnson is is included in this material.

Upon his retirement, Turner became a transportation consultant, advising local, national, and international agencies, associations, and companies on transportation issues. The bulk of these post-retirement and consulting materials are found in Series 5 through Series 9. These materials include maps, photographs, research notes and manuscript drafts for a three-year study he and Harmer E. Davis conducted for the International Road Federation. The study, published in 1977 and titled A Comparative Analysis of Urban Transportation Requirements, compares transportation needs in urban areas in fourteen countries, including the United States.

Another large portion of the papers found in Series 7. contains papers related to Turner's membership in various associations. Throughout his lifetime Turner remained devoted to groups such as the Highway Users Federation and the American Association of State Highway Officials. Correspondence, speeches, and conference notes related to these associations reflect his continued involvement in the transportation field almost until the year of his death.

The collection also includes correspondence, transcripts, and drafts of several reports recording the history of the interstate highway, a subject for which Turner was a popular informant. The most extensive project is a study by the Public Works Historical Society, commissioned by the American Public Works Association and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.

Turner, Francis, 1908-1999

Governor William P. Clements, Jr. - Official State Papers, 1st Term

  • TxAM-CRS C000047
  • Collection
  • 1979-1983

This collection documents the activities of the first gubernatioral term of William P. Clements, Jr., 1979-1983.  Materials are texual and largely consist of correspondence, memoranda, speeches, clippings, agendas, plublications, reports, committee testimony, and press releases. (C000047)

Clements, William P., 1917-2011

Hernan Contreras Papers

  • US TxAM-C 25
  • Collection
  • 1852-1993

This collection contains correspondence throughout the life of Hernan H. Contreras, both personal and professional, descriptions of his family home, a warranty deed on property owned by the Contreras family in Starr County, a map of these lots, photographs of family and coworkers in the U.S. Department of Immigration office in Starr County, an autograph book from his public school career, utility bills, receipts, junk mail, and oil and gas leases.

The collection also contains a multitude of papers from Mr. Contreras' wife's family, particularly those of her father, Casamiro Perez Alvares. The contents of these papers include oil and gas leases, utility bills, newspaper articles, correspondence with the U.S. Marshal's office in Galveston, subpoenas, arrest warrants, witness testimonies, receipts, government bulletins, poll tax receipts, land and city tax receipts, family photographs, marriage licenses, wedding invitations, funeral notices, personal letters, business letters, bank statements, checks, deposits, Christmas cards, a pamphlet on communism, a report card, ration sheets from World War I, Letters to the Editor of Newsweek magazine, articles on Estela Contreras' run for political office, and a picture of Estela Contreras from 1993. There is also a collection of reels accompanying all the paper items.

Contreras, Hernan, 1902-197?

James Earl Rudder '32 Collection

  • US TxAM-C 384
  • Collection
  • 1918-2001

The collection spans the life of James Earl Rudder. The bulk (1944-1970) of the materials roughly correspond to the chronology of James Earl Rudder's life, with additional materials collected mainly by his wife, Margaret Rudder. The collection includes materials from Rudder’s time in the service during WWII, clippings from newspapers, as well as posters, magazine issues, memorabilia, and Rudder’s awards.

Rudder, James Earl, 1910-1970

John A. Adams NAFTA Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 87
  • Collection
  • 1987-1997

The materials in this collection were assembled by John A. Adams, Jr. as an active United States participant in the negotiations of the United States, Canada and Mexico in negotiating and agreeing upon an agreement to permit free trade among the three countries. Adams’ involvement in the process of negotiating and approving what became the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1987 and continued throughout the entire process. As a trained historian, Adams recognized the importance of documenting as much of the process as a single active participant could. In that process he accumulated a wide variety of materials that include clippings, magazine articles, books, reports, correspondence, notes, newswire reports, pamphlets, leaflets, papers presented at conferences, conference programs, and other types of documents that shed light on the process of negotiating an international treaty.

After the treaty was formally approved by all parties involved, Adams boxed all of the documents he had collected, produced a report in which he briefly described the contents of each of the twenty-one boxes and then gave them to the Political Sciences and Economics Library of the Texas A&M University Libraries. A copy of Adams’ report has been cataloged and is available in the Political Science and Economics Library with a call number of HF 17456. A33. At some point they were transferred from his original twenty-one boxes into three filing cabinets. During the 2005-2006 academic year, the records were transferred into 19 cubic foot archival boxes and transferred to Cushing Memorial Library where all of the archives and special collections materials are housed. A new box level finding guide has been created as part of this document. The materials have been kept in the original folders in which Mr. Adams had them when he presented them to Texas A&M University. Some of the materials were not in folders when they were put into boxes at the Political Sciences and Economics Library and are still not in folders. In those cases where materials were not in boxes, that information is included in the descriptions of the folders in each of the nineteen boxes described below.

Adams, John A., Jr., 1951-

Kate Adele Hill (TAEX) Papers

  • TxAM-CRS C000025
  • Collection
  • 1930-1965

This collection contains the personal papers of Kate Adele Hill during her time as an employee of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Included are correspondence, speeches, clippings, articles, photos about extension work, pioneer women in Texas, demonstration work, and agriculture.

Olin E. Teague Congressional Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 12/C000048
  • Collection
  • 1949-1978

The Olin E. Teague Congressional Collection contains various documents produced or collected by the office of Olin E. Teague during his tenure as a U.S. Representative from Texas. The majority of the collection is made up of correspondence and subject files. These subject files provide unique insight into Teague’s political focuses and projects, while in congress. Special interest is paid to Texas A&M University in both series and subject files. Additional material includes film and audio cassettes. Personal content from Teague includes documents, correspondence, and photographs.

(C000048)

Teague, Olin Earl

Samuel Erson Asbury Papers

  • TxAM-CRS 33
  • Collection
  • 1872-1960

The Samuel Erson Asbury Papers consist of research materials, correspondence, mainly original contemporary letters and copies of the older historical correspondence, Asbury's writings and copies of state and national documents, held in eight boxes and one map case drawer occupying approximately twelve linear feet of shelf space. Asbury's broad range of interests is reflected in the variety of topics contained in these papers. Foremost among them are the files of correspondence, historical documents, articles and research notes concerning various aspects of Texas history.

Also included in the Asbury papers are articles, short stories, essays, plays, poetry, and a Texas Revolution opera written by Asbury; research notes and correspondence on the cultivation of roses and the growing of plants without soil; articles written about Asbury; correspondence with family members; general correspondence; and photographs of Asbury, his family and friends, and North Carolina A & M College.

Asbury, Samuel E. (Samuel Erson), 1872-1962