W. E. Howard Collection
Manuscript Collection: MC077
William Eager Howard, physician and Texana collector, was born in San Antonio in 1877 to Henry Peyton Howard and Lee Weir. He graduated from the University of Texas Department of Medicine in Galveston (now the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston) in 1897. Over the years Howard collected Texana books, documents, early currency, manuscripts, art and newspapers that he donated to museums and libraries.
Howard was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Knights of San Jacinto, the Commission for the San Jacinto Battleground and the commission to locate the battleship Texas at San Jacinto and was the president of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and was a member of many other organizations. Howard served in the Spanish American War and became surgeon general of the Spanish-American Veterans of the United States. Howard retired from practice in 1942. He and his wife, Augusta had a son and a daughter. Howard died in Dallas on February 21, 1848.
George (Jorge) Fisher was born in April 1795 in Hungary and was named Djordje Ribar by his Serbian parents. In 1814, he sailed to America, arriving in Philadelphia, and assumed the English version of his name, George Fisher. In 1825, Fisher traveled to Mexico where he became a Mexican citizen and contracted to settle five hundred families. In 1829, he was appointed collector of customs at Galveston and in 1830 he was recognized as administrator of the port of Galveston. Fisher set up a customhouse at Anahuac on Galveston Bay in November 1831. However, dissatisfaction with Fisher's regulations resulted in the Anahuac Disturbances and threats by the Texas colonists caused Fisher to return to Matamoros. His publication Mercurio del Puerto de Matamoros was unwarranted in Mexico and resulted in his dismissal from Mexico. In 1837 Fisher went into business as a commission agent in Houston and in 1840 was a member of the Houston city council. He went to California in 1851 and served in civic posts in San Francisco from 1860 to 1870.
George Fisher was married four times; first, to Elizabeth Davis in 1815, which resulted in three sons; second, to Mrs. M. C. Page in Galveston in 1840; third, to Mrs. Mary Caroline Fleming in 1848; and fourth, to Mrs. Caroline H. Fisher. George Fisher died in San Francisco on June 11, 1873.
The W. E. Howard Collection is comprised of two groups: the W. E. Howard Papers and the George (Jorge) Fisher Papers. Correspondence, legal documents, printed materials, a photograph and Photostats comprise the W. E. Howard Papers. Correspondence includes an 1829 provisional appointment of Jorge Fisher as collector of customs at Galveston from Zavala to Sr. Comisario general Provl. de San Luis Potosi. Also, an 1830 letter from Estevan F. Austin to Sr. Alcalde Constitucional de Austin acknowledging receipt of the note reporting the appointment of Jorge Fisher as collector of customs at Galveston. There is also an 1836 letter from David G. Burnet to Colonel James Morgan, reporting that he has instructed the secretary of war to remove the Mexican officers, prisoners, from Galveston Island to Liberty, to be placed under the general supervision of the Hon. William Hardin.
Legal documents include an 1834 writ of emancipation of the Negro girl Sally by William Vince, signed by David G. Burnet, Matilda Wilburn and John H. Potter as well as W. and Allen Vince, George Wilson, William K. Wilson and Robert Wilson. There is an 1836 list of Mexican officers and other prisoners who were taken to Liberty for safekeeping, issued to Col. James Morgan, commandant of Galveston, by William Hardin in Anahuac. A transcript of this document is included. There is also a transcript of the original 1870 will of Antonio López de Santa Anna, which was willed to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo.
Printed Materials include a copy of the April 1938 Dallas Medical Journal, Volume 24, no. 4. Also there are two prints, one of General Lorenzo de Zavala and one of Stephen F. Austin. A photograph of Captain Ewen Cameron, copied from an original drawing by James DeShields is included. Photostats consist of copies of documents in this collection and those that have been given to the DRT Library, including five documents pertaining to I. W. Kenney, surveyor of Austin County, Texas, from April to June 1838. Documents are signed by: I. W. Kenney, Robert Caruthers, Enoch Orcull, Thomas Bell, Clement Allen, D. Sayers and B. F. Foster. There is also a 1557 Commission to Corregidor of Guaxoango, signed by Luis de Velasco.
The George (Jorge) Fisher Papers include correspondence, printed materials and Photostats documenting Fisher's life from the years 1830 to 1832. Correspondence received includes an 1830 letter from Thomas Barnett instructing Fisher to come to his court the following morning to be sworn in as collector of customs at Galveston. There are five letters sent from Fisher to Sr. Alcalde Constitucional de la jurisdiccion de Austin dated from May to June 1830 concerning his appointment as collector of customs at Galveston, a report of undeclared tobacco found on board the schooner Cañon, the frigate Hudson, and another concerning detainee Cristiano Wertaner, owner of the ship Congo Expedition, for failure to comply with customs regulations. There is also an 1832 report to David G. Burnet on laws concerning importation of goods. Printed materials consist of a print of Sam Houston (aged thirty five) in Indian costume with sword of San Jacinto, a print of M. B. Menard, a print of Don José Galvez and a print of General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Photostats are those of documents found within the collection.
Restrictions on Access
Terms Governing Use
Open for research by appointment.
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], W. E. Howard Collection, MC077, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.
W. E. Howard, April 1939 and March 1949.
Processed by Lisa M. Lomas, 2011.