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Texas & Borderlands English
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Mercurio Martinez Papers

  • TxAM-CRS C000563
  • Collection
  • 1767-1963

The Mercurio Martinez Papers (1797-1963 (bulk: 1910-1963)) include correspondence, copies of legal documents such as wills, deeds, affidavits and courtroom briefs, maps, a few photographs, field notes for land surveys, genealogical charts, accounts of family and regional history by Mercurio Martinez, and historical accounts from other sources, principally newspapers. There are also financial records of various kinds including tax records, bills and receipts, books of check stubs and account sheets.

The vast majority of the papers relate to families, places and events in Zapata County. Webb County is also well represented, as is the region surrounding the town of Guerrero, Tamaulipas located on the south bank of the Rio Grande opposite Zapata County, Texas. A few papers deal with families, places and events in Starr County and further south in the Rio Grande Valley and a few files deal with Mexican, United States and world affairs. Unless otherwise noted in the inventory, files deal with Zapata or Webb County matters.

The oldest original papers date from the latter part of the nineteenth century and include such documents as Mercurio Martinez's Texas Teachers Certificate, 1898 (Series 1-3/4); a General Land Office map of Zapata County, 1885, (Series 3-14/25); and a certificate appointing Proceso Martinez, Sr., Mercurio's father, to the Zapata County Board of Appeals, 1870, (Series 3-25/23). There are also copies and translations of nineteenth-century documents including partition deeds, deeds of sale, birth records, and maps. Accounts of family and local history written by Martinez in the 1950s and early 1960s deal with events dating back to the Spanish settlements along the lower Rio Grande in the 1750s. Genealogies are generally traced back to the first colonists to arrive in the region. Family records, therefore, cover a time span of more than 200 years, from the settlers who arrived on the banks of the Rio Grande in about 1750 to their descendants in the early 1960s. Each decade from 1900 onward is represented in the papers. There are more files from the 1950s than any other single decade.

Among the most important files in the collection are those on the relocation of the town of Zapata due to the construction of Falcon Dam on the Rio Grande in the early 1950s, the salvation of the community of San Ygnacio from destruction during this period, the accounts of family history and genealogy from Zapata County, and the papers related to the division of lands between descendants of original holders of Spanish grants and sales of family lands. Maps, genealogies, and legal documents provide a clear picture of the rapidity with which even extensive landholdings can be reduced to tracts hardly adequate to support the families of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original owners. Reconsolidation of holdings through the purchase of interest from siblings and through cousin marriage are also documented. It is also possible to trace shifts in settlement and land-use patterns. For example, the original grantees of porciones along the Rio Grande held land in long narrow blocks extending inland from the river. Over the generations, these blocks were subdivided among heirs and parts of them were sold outside the families. Through separate inheritance from parents, through marriage, and through purchase, individuals came to own small pieces of land located in widely separated tracts. This pattern of dispersed holdings, each of economically inefficient size and too far apart to be worked as units, has been noted for many peasant societies. These papers clearly reveal the processes whereby such a land-holding pattern developed out of the more economically efficient block holdings within a few generations. The most completely documented tract of land is the vast Jose Vasquez Borrego Grant made in 1750. It was later divided into the Dolores, Corralitos, and San Ygnacio Subdivisions. The first settlement was made at the Hacienda de Dolores on August 22, 1750. This settlement was abandoned, apparently during Indian troubles in the early 19th century. A settlement or Rancho of Dolores was founded nearby in the Dolores subdivision of the Borrego Grant by Cosme Martinez in 1859. Meanwhile, the town of San Ygnacio had been founded in the San Ygnacio subdivision in 1830. Until the early 20th century, an hacienda in the Corralitos subdivision was occupied by members of the Vidaurri family, who were descendants of the original grantee's daughter, Alejandra Vasquez Borrego de Vidaurri.

Also of interest are the Corridos, or ballads, composed by Mercurio Martinez and dealing with dramatic events in Zapata County history such as an escape from prison, a contested election and the destruction of Zapata by the rising waters of Falcon Reservoir.

Martinez, Mercurio, 1876-1965

Burchard/Birchard Family Papers

  • TxAM-CRS C000504
  • Collection
  • 1821-1998

This collection includes documents of the Burchard/Birchard family from 1821 to 1998. The family is notable to Texas as Amasa Burchard was a founder of Independence Texas in 1835. The Burchard family claimed land through the generations in Texas following Amasa Burchard. The family remains active in Texas as John W. Burchard helped erect a Historical Landmark in Independence in 1998.

Huntsville Prison Siege Clippings Collection

  • US TxAM-C C000494
  • Collection
  • 1974

This collection contains newspaper articles from the Huntsville Item about the Huntsville Prison Siege that lasted from July 24th to August 3rd, 1974. Fred Carrasco, a life sentence inmate, smuggled firearms into his cell, and with two other inmate accomplices, he took fifteen hostages, 11 being prison workers and 4 being inmates. The convicts walked the hostages to an escape car they had arranged, but officers and FBI agents shot them with a fire hose, compelling the convicts to kill two hostages and then for Carrasco to apparently kill himself. The other two convicts were sentenced to death row and the siege would become the longest prison siege in US history.

Willbanks, Bill

J. W. Batts

  • TxAM-CRS C000492
  • Collection
  • 1843-1952

This collection contains the personal and business documents of Joseph Woodyard Batts. The majority of the documents, around 600, are handwritten duplications of land abstracts that track the distribution of land from the founding of Texas. Other documents included are correspondence of land and loan agreements from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Lastly, there are personal tax receipts for himself and his son, J. W. Batts, Jr.

Notable documents include land granted to Texas A&M, land granted from the Mexican government before Texas was a part of the U. S., land granted to the Confederate war efforts during the Civil War, and land granted from Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin.

Batts, J. W.

Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Records

  • TxAM-CRS C000296
  • Collection

This collection contains plans, correspondence, video, minutes, photographs, and research files from the Brazos Valley Veterans Board for the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial, located at Veterans Park in College Station, Texas.

American Association of University Women, Texas Division, Bryan-College Station Branch Records

  • TxAM-CRS C000289
  • Collection
  • 1947-1988; Undated

This collection consists of AAUW publications, the president's records spanning the organization's forty-year history, and information regarding the branch's involvement in supporting the Bryan Day Care Center, as well as four scrapbooks.

Association publications include the newsletter from the local branch, as well as journals, newspapers, and bulletins published by the national and international parent organizations. Included in the president's records are branch reports, rosters, financial information, and correspondence. Also present are minutes and other records pertaining to the Bryan Day Care Center and the AAUW's contributions to it. In addition, one file in the collection contains a brief history of the local organization, beginning with its inception in 1948 and reviewing important milestones of each year up to 1980.

American Association of University Women

Theron Appollonio Archive

  • US TxAM-C C000084
  • Collection
  • 1916

Theron A. Appollonio served in the US Navy during World War I and worked in the oil expoloration in Texas and Wyoming. This archive contains photos, postcards, and letters written to his mother in Boston, Massachusetts about his career in oil, primarily the Mexia Oil Fields working for Humphreys Oil Company. Some of the postcards are of El Paso and Camp Pershing.

Las Moras Ranch Collection

  • TxAM-CRS C000046
  • Collection
  • 1869-1913

This collection consists chiefly of correspondence regarding the Runge family of Galveston, Tex. and Menard, Tex., including Henry Runge, his sons Henry J. Runge and Louis Hermann Runge, their cousin Julius F. Runge, as well as family members in Hannover, Germany, including heirs Hans Eyl and his wife Meta Eyl; German immigrant and Texas businessman Walter Tips (1841-1911) who, after the death of Henry Runge, had formed the Las Moras Ranch Company (December 21, 1879) with his wife's aunt Julia Runge, wife of Henry Runge, and Runge's sons Henry J. Runge, and Louis H. Runge; German Emigration Company lands, lawyers and law firms in Austin, Tex. and San Antonio, Tex., including C. A. Goeth, the firm of Webb & Goeth, Adolph Goeth, the business partner of Walter Tips and brother of C. A. Goeth.

Also present are: legal documents, including deeds, wills, powers of attorney, some ranch operations records, including ranch inventories, accounting ledgers, and handwritten notes. These papers record the operations and transfers of ownership of over 130,000 acres of property, principally in the Texas counties of Comal, San Saba, Tom Green, Concho, and Menard, collectively known as the Las Moras Ranch.

Beyond the acquisition, operation, and ultimate liquidation of this ranch property, however, an interesting part of Texas history, that of the Adelsverien or German Emigration Company, and early German immigrant settlement are illuminated through the documents in the collection.

The collection series reflect the history of the ranch from its foundation until its sale in 1913.

  • Series 1 begins with an 1867 legal document showing a transfer of ownership of many thousands of acres of land from Hermann Arnold Henry (Heinrich) Runge (1821-1861) of Funchal, Madiera, Portugal to his brother and business partner, Henry Runge (1816-1873). Henry Runge paid for the land in American Gold. Other documents in the papers include a very large judgment against the Adelsverien or German Emigration Company, a copy of the lengthy handwritten "Last Will of Henry Runge," probated April 2, 1873, and that of his wife, Julia, dated March 23, 1896.
  • Subsequent documents in Series 2-Series 4 of the papers highlight the operation and eventual liquidation in 1913 of the Las Moras Ranch, including transcontinental communications between Germany and Texas among heirs to the Runge fortune. Several of these family letters scattered through the papers may be particularly difficult to translate since they are written in Kurrentschrift, a Gothic handwriting style.
  • Playing important roles in the later transactions concerning the ranch properties were the sons of Henry Runge (1816-1873): Henry J. Runge (1859-1922), Louis Hermann Runge (1861-1936), and his nephew Julius F. Runge (1851-1906). Henry J. Runge and Julius F. Runge were financial advisors, while Louis Runge served as the ranch manager and lived on the Las Moras Ranch property. Walter E. Tips (1841-1911), another German immigrant, Texas Senator, and successful hardware merchandiser, who married into the Runge family, along with C. A. Goeth (b. 1869), a San Antonio attorney, were involved in the ranch operations and legal issues concerning the eventual dispersal of Las Moras Ranch property.

Las Moras Ranch, 1869-1913

Clyde McQueen Collection

  • TxAM-CRS C000045
  • Collection
  • 1944-1999

This collection consists of the research collection McQueen built and used to write Black Churches in Texas. A Guide to Historic Congregations (Texas A&M University Press, 2000).

The contents consist mainly of "Texas County Historical Black Church" information sheets, each listed as an "inventory" in the finding guide, accompanied by related church history materials including church worship service programs, also called orders of worship; church homecoming and anniversary publications; handwritten and typed letters mostly regarding church history; newspaper clippings about historic congregations and members; notes about the history and location of churches and contact persons in congregations; business cards for contacts; published church histories; photocopies from published books about related counties, cities, and congregations; Texas county maps; color slides, photographic prints and negatives of church cornerstones, existing church buildings, Texas Historical Markers, and congregation members.

Also present are photocopies of newspaper clippings covering African American religious issues and manuscript drafts for McQueen's book, many of which are heavily annotated by McQueen.

The inventories and related church history materials were amassed by data collection teams organized by McQueen and also collected by McQueen himself. Norris Braly, a member of the Burleson County Historical Committee, documented the first church history in February 1988. McQueen documented the last congregation on August 24, 1997.

Most of the church worship service programs are laser printed. However, there are a few earlier documents that are photocopies of mimeographed sheets, and a few that were professionally printed. When the word "typed" is used to describe a church history, it means that the history was not professionally printed.

Variant congregation names exist within the documents (for example, Macedonia First Baptist Church and Macedonia Baptist Church). For the purpose of this finding guide, we have chosen to use the form of the congregation name given in Black Churches in Texas. Files exist within the collection for congregations that do not appear in Black Churches in Texas because exact organization dates could not be determined at the time of publication. Conversely, not every church listed in McQueen's book has a folder in the collection (for example Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of Sweeny in Brazoria County).

McQueen used different versions of the inventory form to document the churches. Though the information requested is the same, the format may differ. McQueen also copyrighted many of his slides, and so most of them bear handwritten copyright information.

McQueen, Clyde, 1926

Rev. Jindrich Juren and the Brethren Church of Texas Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 987
  • Collection
  • 1900-2014; Undated

This collection contains materials collected in relation to the dedication and celebration of the Historical Marker for Rev. Jindrich Juren, though the materials range in date from 1900 to 2014, the bulk of the materials are from 1995.

Materials include correspondence, historical and biographical data regarding both Fayetteville Brethren Church and Houston Brethren Church, publications in English and Czech, a copy of the Texas Historical Marker application to the Texas Historical Commission, and multiple news clippings about the dedication celebration that took place on October 1, 1995.

Juren, Jindrich

Ellen Schulz Quillin Manuscripts

  • US TxAM-C 95
  • Collection
  • 1928-1964

This collection contains two manuscripts written by Ellen D. Schulz Quillin. The first, "Texas Wild Flowers. a Popular Account of the Common Wild Flowers of Texas.", was published in 1928 by Laidlaw Brothers (Chicago, IL), and the second, "Texas Cacti: A Popular and Scientific Account of the Cacti Native to Texas", was published in 1930 by the Texas Academy of Science and written with Robert Runyon.

The manuscript for "Texas Wild Flowers. a Popular Account of the Common Wild Flowers of Texas." consists of two bound volumes, typed with handwritten edits and notes, and both contain a title page handwritten in graphite, dated and initialed by Ellen (December 23, 1955). The inscription in Part I reads, "Original Texas Wild Flowers manuscript. Of no value to anyone else. Kept for reference to revision, if I should get to it". and in Part II, the inscription slightly changes with the last sentence reading "Kept for reference in case of revision".

The first volume, Part I (pages 1-337), has a second note by Ellen handwritten in ink, dated October 20, 1963, in which she talks about the book being published, the revisions she wanted to make after it becoming know the book was out of bring in 1959 [Part 2 state 1939], and never got around to due to her work in writing "History of the Museum" in 5 volumes and resigning in 1960.

The second volume, Part II (pages 338-640), also has a handwritten ink note from October 20, 1963, however, the inscription reads "Presented to Peggy C. Owens, College Station, Texas to use in any way she can as Texas Wildflowers has not been replaced since it became out of print in 1939 [Part I states 1959] - used copies are generally not available - and the last used copy I saw advertised in a California catalogue was $27.50 - a prohibitive price".

The second manuscript in this collection, "Texas Cacti: A Popular and Scientific Account of the Cacti Native to Texas", is held within a Weston Paper box with an address label for Mrs. Peggy C. Owens affixed to the outside. The manuscript itself is bound, typed with handwritten edits and notes, and original photographs (95 pages total). Also found within are a few publications that were used for reference.

Contained within the front cover are four documents, two are keys for illustrations, one for illustrations from "Succulents" by van Laren from paintings made in Amsterdam by Messrs. C. Rol, J. Voerman and H. Rol, and the second unidentified. The third is an announcement for the release of "Texas Wild Flowers: A Popular Account of the Common Wild Flowers of Texas by Ellen D. Schulz Quillin, M. S." with an overall description of the book, an excerpt from the book on the origin of Texas bluebonnets and two reprints from Texas newspapers of articles announcing Ellen's new book in June and July of 1928. The fourth document is a note handwritten in ink, originally paper clipped to the front cover, dated April 21, 1964, reading "To Peggy Owens - One of my most Precious possessions. Ellen S. Quillin". Also noted in graphite below the original note is "send vols 1 & 2" by Ellen, May 12, 1964. On the first page in the top right corner is another handwritten note in ink by Ellen dating April 21, 1964, "To Peggy Owens - Compliments of the author".

Quillin, Ellen Schulz, 1892-1970

Houston Civil War Round Table Records

  • TxAM-CRS 874
  • Collection
  • 1954-1980

This collection contains correspondence, lists, meeting minutes, and notices of meetings along with other documents produced in relation to the Houston Civil War Round Table (CWRT).

Texas Citrus Label Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 868
  • Collection

Nineteen packaging labels from the following citrus companies: Gulf, Gold Rim, Longhorn, Better 'N Ever, PT, Grandstand, June Day, Grand Prize, Tex Best, Texus, Top Notch, Sterling, Southmost, Land-O-Magic, White Fan, Blue Ribbon and Gold-Tex.

Bib ID 397648

Cavitt Family Papers

  • US TxAM-C 805
  • Collection
  • circa 1870s-post 1900s

The collection consists of personal correspondence and documents of J. F. Cavitt and other documents of significant importance. Included is the correspondence of and articles about Ann Cavitt Armstrong, that sheds a light on the early settlement period of Texas. Financial documents also shed a light on the early history of Texas, including court documents and receipts of slave purchases.

Cavitt, Joseph Franklin

John and Deborah Powers: Early Texas Art and Artists Research Collection

  • TxAM-CRS 804
  • Collection
  • 1910-1999

This collection is comprised of correspondence, publications, writings, listings, directories, manuscripts, photographs, and research material for the Powers publication on Texas art and artists, titled, "Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists in Texas Before 1942", Austin, TX: Woodmont Books, 2000. The collection is primarily photocopies and writings of the Powers with some published materials.

The original order has been maintained as much as possible. Correspondence is dispersed throughout the collection with most concentrated in box 1. Those artists with significant information have been given a single file. The artists' information files are arranged in alphabetical order by artist's last name and are inclusive of all artists within the alphabetical listing. Each of these files begins with one artist and ends with the last artist information in the file. Artists' information can consist of one news item to several pages of information. To find an artist's name not listed on the file, please look at the file where his name would be in the alphabet.

Powers Family

Linda Ellerbee Papers

  • TxAM-CRS 739
  • Collection

This collection contains notes, proofs, and edits for Ellerbee's manuscript, And So It Goes.

Community House, Inc. Records

  • TxAM-CRS 7273
  • Collection
  • 1954-1971; Undated

This collection contains a copy of the Charter, by-laws, financial reports, correspondence, photographs, and news clippings from Community House, Inc. which was an organization for the promotion of community welfare and support of benevolent, charitable, and educational undertakings in College Station, Texas .

Milam County Records

  • TxAM-CRS 534
  • Collection

This collection includes school records and teacher's daily registers from around Milam County, Texas.

Alexander Thomson Letter

  • US TxAM-C 37
  • Collection
  • 1832-08-05

The Alexander Thomson letter is dated August 5, 1832, from Texas, Austin's Colony. Addressed to "Mr. Wm. D. Thomson, Giles County, Tennessee, Cornerville P.O.," with the salutation "My dear son," and signed "your Aff. Father, Alexs. Thomson."

The text of the letter recounts recent events in Austin's colony which, in retrospect, have a direct bearing on the brewing struggle for independence of the colony from Mexico. Most noteworthy is the account of the early revolt of Anglo-Texas colonists against the Mexican government's steady encroachment on the freedom of colonists to conduct free trade or encourage further immigration into Texas from the United States.

In the letter, Thomson details the build-up of hostilities between Colonel Juan Davis Bradburn, born in Virginia, but in service to Mexico, who was made commander of Fort Anahuac.

Noteworthy also in the letter are the expressions of loyalty and admiration shown toward General Antonio López de Santa Anna by the colonists, who saw him as championing their rights in the condemnation of Bradburn, who was known to be a supporter of the hated General Anastacio Bustamante. Bustamante, who had been the dictator of Mexico since January 1830, was now involved with Santa Anna and his allies in a fierce civil war. (see general note)

As the Thomson letter records vividly, the Texas colonists threw their support to Santa Anna, believing him to favor their freedom to enforce their own laws and maintain their own system of trade and civil courts. The letter records Stephen Austin's whole-hearted support of Santa Anna and Thomson's encomium on Santa Anna as "a true republican ... determined not to lay down his arms until republicanism prevails," rings ironically optimistic in the face of events only a few years later, culminating in the bitter defeat of the colonists by Santa Anna at the Alamo, and the equally bitter final defeat of Santa Anna at San Jacinto, assuring Texas's independence from Mexico.

Accompanying the letter are three other items.
A sepia-toned picture apparently reproduced from an oil painting. The picture is pasted inside a dark brown oval paper matting on a piece of cardboard measuring about 20 cm by 15 cm. The image measures about 13 cm by 7 cm. Though the original painting is as yet unidentified, "Alexander Thomson" is written on the back of the cardboard in pencil.

A sheet of letterhead stationery for the "St. Louis Southwestern Railway Lines, St. Louis 2, Mo.," with the logo for the "Cotton Belt Route," and below that "F. W. Green, President." On this much-folded piece of letterhead is an undated and unsigned biography of Alexander Thomson handwritten in pencil.

A photocopy (circa 1980) of a booklet originally prepared by Ralston P. Haun in Coleman, Tex. around 1936, which includes a transcription of the August 5, 1832 letter, as well as other family letters and papers. According to the copy of an explanatory note appended to the booklet, dated May 1, 1980, and signed Jim Glass of Houston, Tex., one of the three copies made by Haun was given to Ana Gardner Thomson and passed down to her granddaughter Ana Haun Frómen, thence apparently to Gardner Osborn. The booklet includes transcriptions of five other family letters and two memoirs. Though speculated upon in the Glass note, the current disposition of the other letters and papers is still unverified.

Thomson, Alexander, 1785-1863

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

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