Adele Briscoe Looscan Collection
Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe Papers, Manuscript Collection: MC057
Jessie Wade Briscoe, the eldest daughter of Mary Jane Harris Briscoe and Andrew Briscoe, was born in 1845 in Harrisburg, Texas. In 1849 her father closed his Texas businesses and moved to New Orleans to further his children's education. Stricken with yellow fever, he died on October 4, 1849. Mary Jane and her four children moved to the Briscoe family plantation in Claiborne County, Mississippi, and remained there for 3 years until returning to Texas in 1852. Jessie Wade came of age in Anderson, Galveston, Harrisburg, and Houston, Texas. She married civil engineer and Civil War veteran, Milton Grovesnor Howe, in 1873. Joseph Milton Howe, their only child, was born in 1874. They resided in Houston and traveled extensively. In 1901 Milton G. Howe was appointed a director of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He died in 1902.
Jessie was an active member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. A founding member of the DRT, she supported the Adina De Zavala faction (1907-1909), but rejoined the DRT after the settlement of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas vs. Adina De Zavala. Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe died in Houston in 1920.
Correspondence, financial documents, printed materials, legal documents and general documents illuminate the life and family of Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe. The papers are divided into two groups: the personal papers of Mrs. Howe and the papers of Milton G. Howe, her husband. Correspondence (1851-1920) forms the bulk of the personal papers of Mrs. Howe. Five letters received from her brothers Parmenas and Birdsall document the experiences of Confederate soldiers in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee 1862-1865. Nine of the fourteen letters from her sister Adele record the trip Adele and Mary Jane took to California and New York in 1870. Of interest is an exchange of letters between Nettie Houston Bringhurst and Jessie Wade Howe (1908) concerning Mrs. Bringhurst's support of Clara Driscoll and rejection of Adele Briscoe Looscan and Adina De Zavala in the fight over control of the Alamo. Drafts of letters addressed to the leadership of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) in 1910 concern amendments to the organization's constitution. Financial documents include receipts from DRT (17), charitable and civic organizations (20), and Houston businesses (31). Legal documents include 2 general passes (1862) from the Provost Marshall of Harris County, resolutions written for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Mrs. Howe's final wishes. A copy of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" handwritten possibly on wallpaper is of artifactual value.
Printed materials, correspondence, a legal and a financial document comprise the Milton G. Howe group. Thirty railroad related items (1867-1897) including 22 railroad passes from the United States, 5 railroad passes from Mexico, a Western Union franking card and 2 Western Union stamp books, document Howe's professional career with the railroads. Of particular interest is a phrenology chart with the results of an exam performed on Howe by O. S. Fowler in 1881. Correspondence deals primarily with land tenure relative to his wife's family (4). Of particular interest are two letters from Thomas Kleinpeter of New Orleans, a Civil War comrade, in which he discusses railroad business, the general economy of Louisiana after the Civil War, and the whereabouts of fellow soldiers. The single legal document consists of a voter registration certificate, 1871.
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Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
[Identification of Item], Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe Papers, MC057, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. George A. Hill, Jr., Houston Public Library, Annie Hume, 1939-1940.
Processed by Sarah Canby Jackson, 2002.