Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Creator Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Bibliography:

Description of Series

Correspondence

Notes, Lists

Correspondence

Legal Documents

Printed Materials

Creative Works

Photographs

Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

McDonald Family Papers

Manuscript Collection: MC087



Collection Summary

Creator: McDonald family
Title: McDonald family papers
Dates: 1848-1938
Dates: (Bulk: 1854-1889)
Abstract: Financial records, correspondence, legal records, printed material, creative works, and photographs document the family of James A. McDonald, Sr. (1848-1938) in DeWitt County, Texas.
Identification: MC087
OCLC Record No. 53838449
Quantity: 1 box (.3 linear ft.)
Language Materials are in English.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

James A. McDonald, Sr., son of John S. McDonald and Charlotte Collins, was born October 29, 1830, in Rankin County, Mississippi. In 1852 John and Charlotte McDonald and their four sons, William, John, James, and Charles, emigrated to DeWitt County, Texas, settling near Price's Creek Settlement, present day Thomaston. In 1854, John McDonald died. Soon after, James bought out the interests of his mother and brothers in the estate of his father. In 1858 James returned to Mississippi and married Judith Ann John Ferguson on December 7th. The couple made their home in DeWitt County for the next 54 years.

James enlisted in Co. A. of Wallers Battalion of Texas Cavalry May 15, 1862. While her husband served in the Confederate Army, Ann managed the ranching and agriculture interests of the family and raised two small children. James returned home on May 5, 1865, riding the same horse he had ridden off on three years earlier. Neither man nor horse had been wounded although both saw action in Louisiana during the Civil War.

James engaged in ranching and farming and was active in church and education affairs in DeWitt County. After the death of his wife in 1912, he moved to San Antonio where he died at his daughter's home in 1920.

James and Ann McDonald had eight children: Mary E. "Mollie," James A. McDonald, Jr., Sarah Ann, John William, George E., Charles F., and Joseph Benjamin.

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Scope and Content Note

Financial records, correspondence, legal records, printed material, creative works, and photographs document the family of James A. McDonald, Sr. for a ninety-year span (1848-1938) in DeWitt County, Texas. Financial documents (228) form the bulk of the McDonald Family Papers. Tax receipts (80) of James A. McDonald, Sr. (1856-1905) and James A. McDonald, Jr. (1880-1904) record the changes brought by the Civil War and the family ties to the land in DeWitt and Victoria Counties. Statements of account (54), receipts (68), bills of lading and bills of sale (1850-1891) document not only the purchases and sales of the family but also illuminate the transactions of businesses during the nineteenth century in DeWitt County. Promissory notes (16) record financial transactions. Of interest is a promissory note (1861) for the hire of "Negro Boy Jim" for $200 plus 4 sets of clothes, 1 hat, 2 pairs of shoes, and a blanket. Two memorandum books (1882-1885) kept by Ann McDonald as treasurer of the Thomaston Ladies Society indicate the members may have operated a small business by manufacturing and selling clothing and loaning money. Three Confederate certificates of exchange and bonds document the impact of the precarious state of the economy on individuals in 1864. The bulk of the correspondence (1857-1886) is related to the financial affairs of James A. McDonald, Sr. Of interest is an 1854 letter to John McDonald concerning the payment of notes in Mississippi. Legal documents (9) include a land patent, James A. McDonald, Sr.'s Amnesty Oath (1865) and Oath of Allegiance (1867), a brand registered to James A. McDonald, Jr. (1883), and the exclusive rights for 17 years to patent an "Improvement for Destroying the Cutting Ant" (1875). Printed materials include newspaper clippings and a guest ticket for the 1928 Democratic Convention held in Houston. Two dimity lace patterns illustrate the fine handwork young girls were expected to master in their preparation for adulthood. Two tintypes and three cartes de visite are of Charloote Collins McDonald, John McDonald, Eloise Eugenia Anderson, and two unknown family members.

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Arrangement

Organized into six series; arrangement is chronological and alphabetical.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

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.

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Index Terms

Names:
Anderson, , Eloise Eugenia--Photographs
Lee, S. J.
McDonald, Charlotte Collins--Photographs
McDonald, James A., 1830-1920
McDonald, James A., 1862-1938
McDonald, John, 1792-1854--Photographs
McDonald family--Archives
McDonald family--Photographs
Organizations:
Thomaston Ladies Society
Subjects:
Family records--DeWitt County (Tex.)
Land tenure--Texas
Places:
DeWitt County (Tex.)

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Related Material

A genealogical list is available in the Herzstein Library or online at http://www.sanjacinto-museum.org/Herzstein_Library/Manuscripts/Finding_Aids/McDonald/

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Administrative Information

Citation

[Identification of Item], McDonald Family Papers, MC087, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.

Acquisition

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. McDonald, May 31, 1945.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Canby Jackson, 2003.

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Bibliography:

DeWitt County Historical Commission. DeWitt County History. Dallas: Curtis Media Corp, 1991.

Murphree, Nellie, Robert W. Shook, ed. A History of DeWitt County. Victoria(?): Rose International Reprints, 1962(?).

Roell, Craig H. "Victoria County. " The New Handbook of Texas, Vol. 6, 739-742. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.

Roell, Craig H. "DeWitt County. " The New Handbook of Texas, Vol. 2, 617-620. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.

Sonnichsen, C. L. "Sutton-Taylor Feud. " The New Handbook of Texas, Vol. 6, 162-163. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.

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Inventory

 

Correspondence

box folder
143 1 Correspondence Received - James A. McDonald, Sr. - S. J. Lee 1858--1861, n.d.
2 Correspondence Received - James A. McDonald, Sr. - General 1857-1886
3 Correspondence - McDonald Family 1854-1938
4 Correspondence - Unknown n.d.
5 Envelopes 1859-1881, n.d.

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Notes, Lists

box folder
143 6 Notes, Lists n.d.

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Correspondence

box folder
143 7 Bills of Lading / Bills of Sale 1850--1885
8 Confederate Certificates of Exchange and Bonds: James A. McDonald, Sr. 1864
9 Memorandum Books - Mrs. James A. McDonald: Thomastown Ladies Society 1882-1885
10 Promissory Notes - James A. McDonald, Sr. 1860-1877
11 Promissory Notes - McDonald Family 1853-1895
12 Receipts - James A. McDonald, Sr.: W. E. Carter & Co. 1872-1874
13 Receipts - James A. McDonald, Sr.: Halfin, Levi & Co. 1859-1860
14 Receipts - James A. McDonald, Sr.: Kirkland Baugh & Co. 1857, n.d.
15 Receipts - James A. McDonald, Sr.: General A-W 1856-1889, n.d.
16 Receipts - James A. McDonald, Sr.: McDonald Family 1855-1860
17 Receipts - Mrs. M. Williamson 1898
18 Receipts - Unknown 1857-1871, n.d.
19 Statements of Account - James A. McDonald, Sr.: S. J. Lee 1859-1860
20 Statements of Account - James A. McDonald, Sr.: Dr. C. B. Phillips 1873-1879
21 Statements of Account - James A. McDonald, Sr.: B. J. Pridgen 1865, n.d.
22 Statements of Account - James A. McDonald, Sr.: C. M. Sherman 1868-1869, n.d.
23 Statements of Account - James A. McDonald, Sr.: E. D. Wright 1854-1862
24 Statements of Account - James A. McDonald, Sr.: General 1854-1889, n.d.
25 Tax Receipts - James A. McDonald, Sr. 1856-1879
26 Tax Receipts - James A. McDonald, Sr. 1880-1905
27 Tax Receipts - James A. McDonald 1880-1904, n.d.
28 Tax Receipts - McDonald Family 1892-1902
29 Fragments 1848, n.d.

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Legal Documents

box folder
143 30 General - McDonald Family 1855-1883

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Printed Materials

box folder
143 31 General - McDonald Family 187_-1928, n.d.

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Creative Works

box folder
143 32 Dimity Lace Patterns 1848

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Photographs

box folder
143 33 Photographs - McDonald Family n.d.

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