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Note: The following documents and collections of documents encompass time periods greater than those covered in the specific nineteenth-century lists that follow this one.
H. P. N. Gammel. The Laws of Texas, 1822-1911. 15 vols. Austin: Gammel Printing Company, 1898-1911. Includes legislation, constitutions, selected journals of constitutional conventions, early colonization laws, proclamations of the presidents of the Republic of Texas. One can browse and search. There is an analytical index to the first twelve volumes. Link to links to all volumes
Noah Smithwick. The Evolution of a State; or, Recollections of Old Texas Days (1900). Author recounts life in Texas between the 1820s and 1860s. Link to document
Nathan Boone Burket. "Early Days in Texas." [Written in 1895, when author was in his seventies. Covers the years 1820-1842.] Most of the narrative has to do with the period of the Texas Republic, and most especially with Burkett's fighting Mexican troops in South Texas in 1842. There is some material on fighting Indians in the 1830s. Link to document
Dilue Rose Harris, "The Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris." Written in 1900 when the author was seventy-four. [See introduction for information about the character of this document.] Subjects include pioneer life in Texas, politics, economic activity, slavery, and religion. Part II is mainly about the Texas Revolution, including the author's participation in "the Runaway Scrape."
Link to Part I [April 28, 1833-August 1835]. [Scroll down to the document.]
Link to Part II [ October 1835-1838].
Link to Part III [1838-1839].
Andrew Davis. Autobiography. The document is undated but covers the period from 1827, when he was born in what is now Red River County, to 1838 or 1839. Also has some background information about his parents prior to his birth. Probably written late in life. Has much to say about the daily life of rural residents of the day in the eastern part of Texas. Davis was later a Methodist minister.
George W. Smyth to Z. Wm. Eddy, September 18, 1857. At Eddy's request, Smyth provides here a brief autobiographical sketch. He arrived in Texas in 1830 and settled in eastern Texas. His public service included Indian fighter, land surveyor, member of the convention that declared Texas' independence in March 1836, the state's first commissioner of the General Land Office, and a congressman. Link to document
Z. N. Morrell, Flowers and Fruits from the Wilderness; or, Thirty-six Years in Texas and Two Winters in Honduras. (1872) Author, a Baptist minister, came to Texas in 1835. Emphasizes the growth of the Baptist movement in Texas but includes observations and memories of other aspects of Texas history as well. [Scroll down to the document.] Link to document
Robert Hunter. The Narrative of Robert Hunter; Describing in his own Manner, his Arrival in Texas in 1822 & his Participation in Events of the Texas Revolution, including the Grass Fight, Leading to the Battle of San Jacinto (1966). Also has material on life in Mexican Texas. May have been written in 1850. Link to document
Stephen F. Sparks, "Recollections of S. F. Sparks." The author recounts his life in Texas from his arrival as a boy in 1834 to 1854. Contains much information about his participation in the Texas Revolution from the fall of 1835 to after the Battle of San Jacinto. Link to document
Mary Ann (Adams) Maverick. Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick: Arranged by Mary A Maverick and Her Son Geo. Madison Maverick (1921). The author, wife of Samuel Maverick, recounts her life in Texas from 1838 to 1870. Link to document
Ammon Underwood. Journal, January 30, 1834-February 7, 1838. The author moved to Texas in the early part of 1834. Recounts experiences during the period covered. Served in the Texas army outside San Antonio in the fall of 1835. Participated in the Runaway Scrape. Settled at Columbia in Brazoria, where he engaged in the mercantile business. Link to document
Jesse Burnam. Recollections. The author came to Texas in 1822, settling the following year in what is now Fayette County. Mostly recounts participation in Indian fights. Link to documentr
Elizabeth Davis. Biographical sketch. The author was born in Gonzales County in the 1850s. Briefly mentions the Civil War and Reconstruction, her education, marriage, etc. Link to document
Geo. L. Hammelken to Guy M. Bryan, February 28, 1844. Tells of his direct contacts with Stephen F. Austin in Mexico City in 1833 and beyond and also several times in 1836, including being with him during his last illness. Includes various statements by Austin about Texas. Link to document
Antonio Menchaca. Memoirs (1937). Although written in the third person, this is a personal memoir. Dictated to Charles M. Barnes, probably in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Menchaca was born in Bexar in 1800. Was witness to the uprising there in 1813. In the 1830s, he took the side of those resisting the dictatorship of Santa Anna. Fought in Houston's army in the Battle of San Jacinto. Link to document.
Jose Maria Rodriguez. Memoirs of Early Texas. 1913. Reminiscences of a political leader and cattleman who spent much of the first part of his life in and near San Antonio (from 1835 to about the time of the beginning of the Civil War). Was a witness to many of the events of the time, including the military operations at San Antonio from December 1935 to the middle of 1836 and in the early 1840s. Recounts his father's stories of participation in the Texan army in 1836, including the Battle of San Jacinto. Link to document
Julia DeSteiguer, reminiscence of life in Panola County, 1854 [?] to 1940. In W. R. Hunt, "Recalls Frontier Life on her 91st birthday," San Marcos Record, May 10, 1940. Link to document
Adalbert Regenbrecht. Reminiscence of a German settler in Austin County in the 1850s and '60s. Written when he was 85 years old. Recounts why he immigrated to Texas in 1856 at age 17, describes pioneer life in the rural community of Millheim, and tells of his experiences as a Unionist before, during, and after the Civil War. [Note: Probably only the long opening paragraph qualifies as a primary source.] Link to document
Lewis Birdsall Harris. Journal, 1836-1842. The author left his home near Waterloo, N.Y., at age 19 to come to Texas. He settled in the Harrisburg area. Harris served in various military units and followed several civilian occupations. In 1849, he immigrated to California, where he lived the remainder of his life.
Guy M. Bryan and Rutherford B. Hayes. Correspondence, 1843-1892. The two met when they were students at Kenyon College in Ohio in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Bryan was a nephew of Stephen F. Austin. Brief biographies of both Bryan and Hayes appear in Part I of the correspondence.
Part I (January 21, 1843-May 13, 1849)
Part II (June 6, 1850-January 24, 1857)
Part III (May 31, 1857-July 23, 1870)
Part IV (October 31, 1870-December 29, 1872)
Part V (July 1, 1873-December 13, 1875)
Part VI (December 22, 1875-April 23, 1876)
Part VII (May 2, 1876-December 25, 1876)
Part VIII (December 30, 1876-June 6, 1877)
Part IX (June 6, 1877-June 15, 1877)
Part X (June 24, 1877-October 12, 1877)
Part XI (October 26, 1877-April 16, 1879)
Part XII (April 22, 1879-November 5, 1879)
Part XIII (November 7, 1879-April 19, 1880)
Part XIV (May 12, 1880-January 1, 1881)
Part XV (January 7, 1881-February 2, 1882)
Part XVI (November 26, 1882-February 16, 1885)
Part XVII (March 3, 1885-May 5, 1886)
Part XVIII (May 12, 1886-April 18, 1887)
Part XIX (August 31m 1887-January __, 1889)
Part XX (December 16, 1890-April 10, 1892)
George Bernard Erath. Memoirs. 1813-1886. Through the years that Erath lived in Texas he was a soldier, ranger, surveyor, and legislator. [Note the source for this document gives daughter Lucy A. Erath as the author. This is not accurate. Her father dictated the material to her in 1886, when he was aged 76, in poor health and blind.]
Part I (1813-1836)
Part II (1836-1837)
Part III (1838-1842)
Part IV (1843-1886)
Rosa Kleberg, "Some of My Early Experiences in Texas." [December 1834-sometime after April 1836.] Written long after the events described. The author and her husband Robert J. Kleberg arrived in Texas in December of 1834 as emigrants from Germany. Subjects included: life in the German-Texan community of Cat Springs [in present-day Austin County] and of events during the Texas Revolution, including her participation in the "Runaway Scrape." Link to document
Susan Turnham McGown. Reminiscences of early days in Milam County. [Written in 1913.] Deals with the period from 1840, when her family moved to Texas, to about 1865 or soon thereafter. Link to document
Adolphus Sterne. Diary, 1840-1851. The author, a merchant and legislator, immigrated to Texas from Germany in the mid-1820s and settled in the Nacogdoches area. Contents: Much about public affairs but also about daily life and business. Coverage is from September 28, 1840 to April 4, 1844, and from February 2 to November 18, 1851. The diary is specially useful for information about the Republic era of Texas history.
[Note: As footnote 90 indicates, the diary begins with what is labeled at the beginning of the document as Part IV. (Parts 1-III constitute the diary of James Ogilvy, a friend of Sterne's.) For an explanation of this, see John H. Jenkins, Basic Texas Books, rev. ed. (1988), p. 522.] Also, as Jenkins points out, this version, which appeared in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly over several years, beginning in July 1927, is somewhat problematic. Some entries have incorrect dates. Also, the editor of the material, Harriet Smither, omitted any material she deemed personal, and she accidentally deleted some lines and even entire entries. The definitive (and very accurate) version of the diary is Hurrah for Texas! The Diary of Adolphus Sterne, 1838-1851 (1969), edited by Archie P. McDonald. (The title has an error. The diary began in 1840, not 1838.) Suggestion for persons doing scholarly research: use the older SHQ version (links to which will be found below) for preliminary research but, if possible, consult the McDonald version as well.]
Part numbers below begin with IV, as that is where the diary begins.
Part IV September 24-December 31, 1841)
Part V (January 1-February 12, 1841)
Part VI (February 13-March 18, 1841)
Part VII (March 19-May 18, 1841)
Part VIII (May 19-July 12, 1841)
Part IX (July 13-October 2, 1841)
Part X (October 3-27, 1841)
Part XI (October 28-December 7, 1841)
Part XII (December 8, 1841-February 1, 1842)
Part XIII (February 2-March 13, 1842)
Part XIV (March 14-May 5, 1842)
Part XV (May 6-July 7, 1842)
Part XVI (July 8-August 24, 1842)
Part XVII (August 25-September 24, 1842)
Part XVIII (September 25-October 31, 1842)
Part XIX (November 1-December 8, 1842)
Part XX (December 9, 1842-January 4, 1843)
Part XXI (January 6-April 9, 1843)
Part XXII (April 10-May 7, 1843) [Source mislabels this as XII]
Part XXIII (May 8-June 21, 1843)
Part XXIV (June 22-July 23, 1843)
Part XXV (July 24-August 14, 1843)
Part XXVI (August 15-November 20, 1843)
Part XXVII (November 21-December 18, 1843)
Part XXVIII (December 19, 1843-February 26, 1844)
Part XXIX (February 27-April 4, 1944, February 3-March 7, 1851
Part XXX (March 8-April 20, 1851)
Part XXXI (April 21-May 5, 1851)
Part XXXII (May 6-August 10, 1851)
Part XXXIII (August 11-September 4, 1851)
Part XXXIV (September 5-November 18, 1851)
Hugh H. Young. Memoir about family members. [No date provided, but written sometime in the 1930s.] The author, a surgeon residing in Baltimore, Maryland, at the time of the writing, recalls events in the lives of his grandfather, Hugh Franklin Young, his father, William Hugh Young, and himself. The family arrived in Texas in 1840. The author was born in 1870. Coverage: descriptions of life in and about San Antonio and Austin before and after the Civil War, experiences of the grandfather in Snively's expedition and of his father in the Civil War, and other matters. Link to document
W. W. Mills. Forty Years at El Paso, 1858-1898: Recollections of War, Politics, Adventure, Events, Narratives, Sketches, Etc., 1901. The author was a Unionist just before the Civil War began and by war's end a leader of the local Republican Party. He supported the moderate wing of Texas Republicans during much of the Reconstruction era and was collector of customs at El Paso for much of the 1860s and 1870s. Link to document
Francis Richard Lubbock. Six Decades in Texas, or, Memoirs of Francis Richard Lubbock, Governor of Texas in War Time, 1861-63. A Personal Experience in Business, War, and Politics. (1900) Narrative covers the period 1836, when the author arrived in Texas to about the end of the nineteenth century. Fairly even coverage of the entire period. Link to document
John H. Reagan. Memoirs, with Special Reference to Secession and the Civil War. (1906) Author served in various government capacities, including the member of the Texas House of Representatives and the U.S. House and Senate, plus postmaster-general of the Confederacy and chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission. Coverage begins with his birth in 1810 and ends sometime in the 1890s. There are nine appendices, consisting of the texts of some of Reagan's speeches and correspondence having to do with secession, Reagan's imprisonment at the end of the war, Reconstruction, and the late nineteenth century. Unfortunately, several are undated. Link to document
August Santleben. A Texas Pioneer: Early Staging and Overland Freighting Days on the Frontiers of Texas and Mexico. (1910) In this memoir, the author tells of his emigration from Germany to Texas as a small child in 1845 and various experiences in his life in Medina County as a youth, his service as a scout for E. J. Davis' First Texas Cavalry (Union) along the Rio Grande during the Civil War, and his participation in a freighting business involving a line between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico during the Reconstruction era and in other business and political ventures centered in San Antonio in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Link to document
Anson Mills. My Story. (1918) Memoir tells of the author's life experiences, including time spent as a surveyor in El Paso in the years just previous to the Civil War and then back in El Paso at the close of the nineteenth century as a boundary commissioner for the federal government. Link to document
Mary S. Helm. Scraps of Early Texas History. (1884) In the first section the author recounts her participation in the "Runaway Scrape" in the spring of 1836. In the second section, she writes of her experiences in Texas between 1828 and 1835, including her role in the founding of Matagorda. The third section has to do with religion and includes the text of several documents (including correspondence). A lengthy appendix concludes the book. It was prepared from field notes and other writings by the author's first husband, Elias R. Wrightman, a surveyor for Stephen F. Austin. The material provides a useful description of Texas in the 1820s. Link to document
Joseph H. D. Rogers. Letters, 1837-1886. In the summer of 1836, Rogers, an Indiana physician, recruited a company of volunteers to Texas to join the army of the Republic. The letters were written to Rogers by Texas friends after his return to Indiana in 1837. The documents throw light upon conditions at Camp Independence, the location of the bulk of the army during the time Rogers was in Texas. The encampment was located near the Town of Texana in present-day Jackson County.
Moses Lapham. Selected correspondence, 1831-1838. [Much of it is at least slightly abridged.] Latham immigrated to Texas in 1831 from Ohio, became a surveyor, mainly in the lower Brazos River valley. The bulk of the letters were written by Latham or his employer, Thomas Borden. They contain observations about agriculture, the poor state of society in the settlements (including morals), climate, immigration, land speculation, and politics. Both men expressed their very low opinion of Stephen F. Austin and Father Michael Muldoon. Suggestion: begin by reading the introduction to the printed collection.
George Jackson. Sixty Years in Texas. 2nd ed., 1908. Recounts journey from Devonshire, England, to Dallas County in 1848, when the author was ten years old and subsequent life in that part of northern Texas until sometime in the first decade of the twentieth century. Subjects include family history, farming, local institutions (schools, churches, etc.), politics, the Civil War era, etc. Link to document
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