Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

Whitaker-Rainbolt Family Papers

Manuscript Collection: MC196

Collection Summary

Creator: Whitaker family
Title: Whitaker-Rainbolt family papers
Dates: 1849-1911
Bulk: 1855-1867
Abstract: Correspondence, financial and legal documents, a printed material, creative works and a photograph document the Whitaker-Rainbolt family of Texas from the years 1849 to 1911.
Identification: MC196
Quantity: 1 box (.2 linear feet)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

Madison G. Whitaker, Texas state senator and veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, was born in 1811 in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Whitaker was the son of John and Nancy Whitaker. In 1835 he moved to Nacogdoches, Texas, to join his half-brother, William Whitaker. In 1836, he enlisted as a private in the Nacogdoches Volunteer Company. He fought at the Battle of San Jacinto and was discharged on June 6, 1836. Whitaker was elected senator of the Fifth and Sixth Texas legislatures, 1853-1856, representing District 13, Nacogdoches and Angelina counties. Whitaker was a longtime member of the board of trustees of Nacogdoches University where he served as treasurer, vice president and president.

Whitaker married Henrietta M. Fitts in 1841 and together they had eight children. Whitaker died on January 23, 1893, and was buried in Old North Church Cemetery north of Nacogdoches.

Edward Whitaker, son of Madison G. Whitaker and Henrietta Fitts, was born in 1883 in Nacogdoches. He was a Confederate veteran who served in Company A of the 17th Cavalry during the Civil War. He married Mary T. Kirk in 1867. Whitaker later married Laura Henryetta Rainbolt, daughter of William Harrison Rainbolt and Mary Smith, about 1878. Together they had six children: William Guess, Edward H., Charles B., Henry R., Newt, and Laura Bennie.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, financial and legal documents, a printed material, creative works and a photograph document the Whitaker-Rainbolt family of Texas from the years 1849 to 1911. The correspondence series is divided by recipient and then chronologically. William H. Rainbolt correspondence received is comprised of an 1858 cover letter for transmittal of land papers and an 1867 letter from R. Osgood concerning shipping and sale of cotton. The Harrison Rainbolt letter was written in 1866 by his niece Mary E. Thomas. The 1911 letter to Ed Whitaker from R. D. Whitaker concerns their father’s estate.

Financial documents are divided by item alphabetically and then chronologically. Account documents for W. Rainbolt, Jr., include a record of his domestic purchases spanning from 1859 to 1861. Account documents for W. H. & W. S. Rainbolt include two accounts with J. H. Mackleroy for clothing items. The 1858 bill of sale issued to William H. Rainbolt is for the purchase of two slaves: Martha, age 26, and her son Crockett, age 5. The deeds of land concerning William H. Rainbolt date from 1849 to 1868 and deal with purchases from Carroll Smith, Charles Askins, Osborn W. Randall, Arnold Thouvenin, Alfred Stevens, Samuel R. Smith, and Francis M. Rainbolt. There is also a deed of land from William H. Rainbolt to Asa Moore in 1861. There are also three documents pertaining to the sales of land dating from 1881 to 1904 by Edward Whitaker from N. E. Birdwell, E. A. Blount and S.W. Blount. Other deeds of land record an 1853 sale from John Colton to Samuel R. Smith with a later sale from J. Carroll Smith to F. M. Rainbolt and an 1887 transfer from N. E. Birdwell to G. C. Meroney.

Legal documents are divided by type alphabetically and then arranged chronologically within each type. There are two affidavits in these papers. The first is a 1904 affidavit of Susan A. Hamilton as to the children of Epps D. Payne. The second is a 1917 affidavit of Edward Whitaker regarding his eligibility for a pension. The 1868 court order is against Nancy E. Edmondson, executrix of the estate of Isaac Edmondson, to the benefit of N.C. Folger and Son. Deeds of land include the 1857 deed to Asa Yarborough and the deed from the estate of Madison G. Whitaker to Madison G. Whitaker, Jr. Included in these papers is a 1904 release of land title from Jack D. Payne to S. W. Blount and son. There is also a 1905 release of lien from W. G. Whitaker to Ed Whitaker and J. M. Williams. Also included are two powers of attorneys; one issued from Francis M. Rainbolt to Thomas A. Garrett in 1855 and the other from Alfred Stevens and America Stevens to Joshua Baker in 1863.

The printed material is an undated newspaper clipping featuring a short obituary of Ed Whitaker, of Fort Worth, Texas. Creative works is comprised of two items. The first is an undated and unsigned ballad, a variant of “Lord Lovel.” The second is a poem entitled “In the Morning by the Bright Light” backed by another poem “Ise Gwine Back to Dixie.” The provenance of the poems is unknown. The Surveyor’s Report series are the field notes and sketch of Luna League, Freestone County, Texas. The cabinet card photograph of Madison G. Walker is undated.


Arrangement is chronological and alphabetical.


Restrictions on Access


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.

Index Terms

Osgood, R.
Payne, D.
Rainbolt, Francis M.
Rainbolt, Harrison
Rainbolt, William H.
Rainbolt family
Thomas, Mary E.
Whitaker, Edward, b. 1843
Whitaker, Madison G., 1811-1893
Whitaker, Madison G., 1811-1893--Photographs
Whitaker, Madison G., 1859-1901
Whitaker, Richard D., 1847-1912
Whitaker family
Land tenure--Texas
Slave bills of sale

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], Whitaker-Rainbolt Family Papers, MC196, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


Rebecca Elston, July 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa M. Lomas, 2012.


"Whitaker, Madison G." The Handbook of Texas Online.

"Descendants of Jon 'Pegleg' Whitaker." Family Tree



box folder
171.2 1 William H. Rainbolt 1858, 1867
2 Harrison Rainbolt 1866 July 4
3 Ed Whitaker 1911 November 22


box folder
171.2 4 Account: W. Rainbolt Jr. 1858, 1867
5 Account: W. H. & W. S. Rainbolt 1866 July 4
6 Bill of Sale: William H. Rainbolt 1911 November 22
7 Deed: William H. Rainbolt 1858, 1867
8 Deed; Edward Whitaker 1858, 1867
9 Deed: General 1858, 1867


box folder
171.2 10 Affidavits 1904, 1917
11 Court Order 1868 September 21
12 Deed of Land 1857, 1893
13 Release of Land Title 1904 April 4
14 Release of Lien 1905 August 14
15 Power of Attorney 1855, 1863

Printed Material

box folder
171.2 16 Newspaper Clipping undated: 20th century

Creative Works

box folder
171.2 17 Ballad undated
18 Poem undated

Surveyor's Report

box folder
171.2 19 Field notes and sketch undated


box folder
171.2 20 Madison G. Whitaker undated: between 1870 and 1893