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Archival Descriptions
Texas A&M University, Libraries, Cushing Memorial Library & Archives Texas & Borderlands
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A. D. Mebane Collection

  • US TxAM-C 1245
  • Collection
  • 1902-1952

The collection contains various publications about Mebane's cotton, including pamphlets, and newspaper and magazine articles. There are many correspondences to A. D. Mebane complimenting and ordering his cottonseed. Because of the involvement with the Texas Cotton Breeders Association, the collection includes speeches given at the Association meetings.

Mebane, A. D.

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

Brazos Educational Radio Records

  • US TxAM-C 1257
  • Collection
  • 1992-1997

The collection includes documents from the KEOS Brazos Educational Radio including forms, building regulations, and engineering plans.

Bryan Centennial Commemorative Porcelain Plate

  • US TxAM-C 1231
  • Collection
  • 1862-1962

This collection includes a porcelain plate from 1962 in commemoration of the city of Bryan, TX. The plate contains an image of Lieutenant General John Bell Hood along with Texas Confederate emblems and Civil War images. (unprocessed)

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

Clyde McQueen Collection

  • US TxAM-C 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

D. Port Smythe Family Papers

  • US TxAM-C 1242
  • Collection
  • 1864-1894

This collection includes letters, genealogical data, notebooks, pictures, and picture postcards (1888-1909) of members of the family of D. Port Smythe.

Smythe, D. Port

Don L. Jones Collection

  • US TxAM-C 1378
  • Collection
  • 1891-1971

This collection includes photographs, booklets, and publications about cotton farming in Texas, as well as other materials related to the work of agriculturalist Don L. Jones. Booklets include information, directories, etc. for the First Presbyterian Church in Lubbock, TX among other Texas agricultural related publications and events. Interesting items in this collection include a welcome dinner invitation for President John F. Kennedy dated for the evening of November 22, 1963.

Jones, Don L.

Garrett Family Historical Papers (On Loan)

  • US TxAM-C 1138
  • Collection

This collection consists of the following materials:

  • Texas colonization land grant between Stephen F. Austin and William Cooper (dated July 1824) for acreage near the town of San Felipe de Austin, Texas. (4 pages, Spanish).
  • Transcription of Texas colonization land grant between Stephen F. Austin and William Cooper (dated July 1824) for acreage near the town of San Felipe de Austin, Texas. With additional information regarding the location of the land grant. Transcription includes some errors in translation. (4 pages, English).
  • Holograph letter from Lucinda M. Cooper to William [Cooper], January 24, 1864. Letter from wife to her husband who is fighting in the United States Civil War expressing concerns about the conditions at home.

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?

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

  • US TxAM-C 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.

Mamie Haden Waller Papers

  • US TxAM-C 1254
  • Collection
  • 1874-1896; 1976

This collection includes letters saved by Mamie Haden Waller. They span 40 years of her life; not only do they encompass her life, but those of her mother Priscie (P. Haden) and father, James E. Haden as well. The collection also includes letters from Waller's siblings, in-laws, husband, and many other relatives and friends.

The Haden family lived on a farm near Dresden, TX. Of Mamie's six siblings, her second oldest brother, Joel H., attended A&M College from 1876-1878. Several of her brothers were military officers and her sister Priscie married Gideon Taylor in 1875. Mamie Haden Waller had five grandchildren.

Sisters: Clemmie Haden, Priscie Haden, Pattie Haden, Florence P. Haden Brothers: Johnny (John) J. Haden, Joel H. Haden

Margaret Van Bavel Papers on Boonville

  • US TxAM-C 1286
  • Collection
  • 1937-1987

These papers on Boonville, contain the Boone and Bryan family history in a compilation of biographies, clippings, and photocopies from books and newspapers, and other topics on the history of Boonville, TX.

The papers also contain land acre maps of the town of Boonville and several genealogies including the genealogy of the Harvey Mitchell family.

van Bavel, Margaretha H. M.

McDaniel Family Papers

  • US TxAM-C 1292
  • Collection
  • 1855-1916

This collection contains personal letters of the McDaniel family from 1855-1916 along with civil war letters from Confederate soldiers. The letters originate from the McDaniel family in Texas and Mississippi during and after the civil war. Many of the items in the collection are fragile, and transcriptions were made of the letters. This collection also contains family recipes, remedies, along with stereoscopic view plates.

The McDaniel family spans across Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Julius and Minerva (Rodgers) McDaniel were farmers who lived in Ben Hur, Texas during the 1800s.

Mildred Watkins Mears Papers

  • US TxAM-C 192
  • Collection
  • 1946-1963

This collection consists of some correspondence, a significant number of mostly typed manuscript drafts, both published and unpublished, and a printer's galley for her book, Coryell County Scrapbook, published in 1963 by Texian Press of Waco, Texas. Also present are a few newspaper clippings, as well as handwritten and typed research notes for her published book.

The manuscript drafts reveal an engaging blend of scholarship, personal recollection, and anecdotal history chronicling the development of Coryell county from when the area was part of Coahuila, Mexico, through to its formal organization as a county in the state of Texas in 1854. Included is an account of the growth of Fort Hood as a military base in the early 1960s.

Stories are cited from early twentieth-century newspapers recounting Indian skirmishes with pioneering settlers, deeds of cattle rustlers and trail drivers, as well as events surrounding prohibition and various political rivalries. The early days of Fort Gates, now Gatesville, and the later development of Camp Hood, now Fort Hood, one of the nation's largest military installations, are described. Statistical tables and records present expenditures for, and descriptions of, buildings, jails, courthouses, prominent homes, banks, and businesses in Coryell county.

Interspersed among the political and economic accounts of the county's progress are more personal stories of weddings, births, parties, church events, legendary horses, dogs, local heroes, and even the county's centennial celebration in 1954. Mears' relatively unadorned narrative describes in some detail the increasing social, economic, and political prosperity and influence, as well as the setbacks, of Coryell County. Mears' work brings to life frontier Texas culture during the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth century.

Mears, Mildred Watkins

Republic of Texas Stock Certificates and Confederate States of America Notes

  • US TxAM-C 261
  • Collection
  • 1838-1862

This collection contains one Treasury Warrant (February 13, 1861), one $100 share in the Consolidated Fund of Texas (September 1, 1837), one $10 treasury note (December 10, 1838), one $100 stock certificate in the 10 percent Consolidated Fund (June 15, 1840), and one $2 Confederate note and a $3 Confederate note (both dated July 7, 1862).

Roland O. Cox Papers

  • US TxAM-C 1209
  • Collection
  • 1928-1956

The collection includes articles, books on gas measurement, and materials relating to the awards and achievements of Dr. Roland O. Cox.

Cox, Roland O.

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.

Thomas W. House Papers

  • US TxAM-C 155
  • Collection
  • 1864-1872

This collection consists of correspondence to Thomas W. House concerning the cotton industry and trade. Letters to House are from the following: Baring Bros. and Company; C. Grimshaw and Company; Fred Huth and Company; Edward Lawrence and Company; Liverpool Cotton Brokers' Association; Truman Marshall and Company; Lemonius and Company; Reyhers Schimt; and G. N. Woag.

House, Thomas W., 1814-1880

W. R. Cavitt Journal

  • US TxAM-C 1200
  • Collection
  • 1878-1879

This collection consists of a bound journal belonging to William Richard Cavitt from the late 1800s describing his law practice and the Cavitt House in Bryan, TX. Also included is a typed transcript of the journal and notes on it.

Cavitt, Howard R.

William A. Yates Papers

  • US TxAM-C 1193
  • Collection
  • 1913; Undated

This collection mostly contains information on Wiliam Watson, his life, and his work as a nurseryman working with growing roses, and fruit trees in Texas. Other items in the collection include a nursery catalog circa 1910 (possibly Watson's?), and the Brenham Banner Press September 9, 1926 issue containing several articles written by Yates.

Yates, William A.