Contact Us
Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Department of State Post Office records, 1836-1846, undated,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas (Republic). Department of State:

An Inventory of Department of State Post Office Records at the Texas State Archives, 1836-1846, undated



Overview

Creator: Texas (Republic). Dept. of State.
Title: Department of State Post Office records
Dates: 1836-1846, undated
Abstract: Records of the post office were created as a result of the establishment and daily management of the postal service of the Republic of Texas, and document the legal, financial, and administrative activities of the office. These records consist of correspondence; vouchers, receipts, and other accounting records; lists of post offices, postmasters, and mail routes; and related documents of the Republic of Texas Post Office, dating 1836-1846, undated.
Quantity: 3.72 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm
Language: These materials are written predominately in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Provisional Government of Texas established a provisional Post Office Department by an ordinance and decree of December 12, 1835. The 1st Congress of the Republic of Texas created the Post Office Department by an act approved December 20, 1836. Legislation over the next few years frequently dealt with the Republic’s postal service.

On January 18, 1841, Congress approved an act abolishing the office of Postmaster General, and requiring the Secretary of State to establish a bureau to be called the General Post Office; the Secretary of State appointed and supervised the chief clerk. This same act required the Postmaster General to deliver to the Secretary of State all books, documents and papers of the Post Office.

The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer of the executive branch of state government, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for a term concurrent with the governor's (a two-year term at first, a four-year term since 1974). The office was first created by the Constitution of the Republic of Texas in 1836 (Article VI, Section 10), and has been continued by each succeeding Constitution. On May 9, 1846, the 1st Legislature approved an act “to define the duties of Secretary of State,” which among other things required the Secretary of State to "arrange and preserve all books, maps, parchments, records, documents, deeds, conveyances, and other papers belonging to the State, that have been or may be properly deposited there."

An act of February 11, 1854 created a Board of Commissioners composed of the Secretary of State, the Comptroller, and the Attorney General, "to superintend the arranging and filing of the archives of the late Republic of Texas and of the State Legislature, and also the recording of the Journals of the said Congress and State Legislature ... to be deposited in the General Land-office of the State." An act of December 14, 1863 made the Secretary of State "the custodian of the records of the Senate and House of Representatives." And an act of March 25, 1887 provided that "the entire archives of the late Republic of Texas, ... together with the records, books, and journals of said Congress" would be "deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State," and "declared to be Archives of said office."

(Sources include: the Secretary of State Republic of Texas records appraisal report (December 1998); and the enabling legislation (1836-1887).)

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents of the Records

Records of the post office were created as a result of the establishment and daily management of the postal service of the Republic of Texas, and document the legal, financial, and administrative activities of the office. These records consist of correspondence; vouchers, receipts, and other accounting records; lists of post offices, postmasters, and mail routes; and related documents of the Republic of Texas Post Office, dating 1836-1846, undated. The correspondence includes letters from the Postmaster General or chief clerk to the Congress, the Executive Department (including annual and quarterly "State of the Department" reports to the President), the Secretary of State, the Auditor, etc., 1836-1846; plus two letter books, containing copies of outgoing letters of the Postmaster General and the Chief Clerks, 1840-1846. Accounting records include payments for mail transportation, expenditures, appropriations, and general receipts, 1836-1846; and three volumes containing an account of contractors and post offices, a journal account of expenditures, and a day book of daily accounts and summaries of accounts due, 1840-1842. Lists of post offices, postmasters, and mail routes date 1836-1842 and 1844. Other documents (mostly legal) include mail contracts, route schedules, appointments and applications, oaths, affidavits, and powers of attorney.

A published calendar of these papers is available: Post Office Papers of the Republic of Texas, 1836-1846, 2 volumes, compiled by James M. Day and published by the Texas State Library in 1966-1967. Copies are available in the Archives search room and in academic libraries throughout the state.

Return to the Table of Contents


 

Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged by State Archives staff in two groups, corresponding to the periods before and after the Secretary of State’s office assumed those duties. Within each group arrangement is roughly by type of record, and therein chronological. Oversize boxes and volumes are listed at the end.

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

Microfilm readers are available in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Ask staff members for exact locations.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Postal service--Texas.
Places:
Texas--Politics and government--1836-1846.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Postal service--1836-1846.
Financial records--Texas--Postal service--1836-1846.
Contracts--Texas--Postal service--1836-1846.
Functions:
Managing mail service.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
General correspondence of the Department of State, Republic of Texas, 1822-1859, undated, bulk 1835-1846, 4.96 cubic ft., 4 reels microfilm (especially Home letters)
Financial Records of the Department of State, Republic of Texas, 1837-1845, 0.3 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm
Publications
Day, James M. (ed.), Post Office Papers of the Republic of Texas, 1836-1839 and 1839-1840, Texas State Library, 1966-1967, 2 volumes
Binkley, William C. (ed.), Official Correspondence of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836, New York, D. Appleton-Century Co., 1936, 2 volumes.
Jenkins, John H. (ed. and comp.), Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836, Austin, Presidial Press, 1973, 10 volumes

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas Department of State Post Office records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1905/007, 1932/002

These records were transferred to the Texas Department of Insurance, Statistics, and History (a predecessor of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission) by the Texas Secretary of State on November 10, 1905; and to the Texas State Library and Historical Commission by the Texas Secretary of State on September 28, 1932.

Processing Information

Processed by State Archives staff, dates unknown

Finding aid encoded by Tony Black in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project, June 2010

Authority name and other changes by Tony Black, February 2011.

Appraisal Information

Texas State Archives staff completed an appraisal of the Texas Secretary of State holdings already in the custody of the Texas State Archives in December 1998. Fifty-seven series of these holdings were determined to be archival, including Post Office records. The complete appraisal report (in two parts: Republic of Texas records, and non-Republic records) is available for consultation online at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosrepublic.html and http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/sosstate.html , and also in the search room of the Texas State Archives.

Other Formats for the Records

These records were copied onto 16 mm microfilm (Reel 3090) by the Records Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in 1976 (paid for by the researcher requesting the microfilming).

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Records

 

Department of State Post Office records, 1836-1846, undated,
3.72 cubic ft., 1 reel microfilm

Post Office Department, 1836-1841
Box Folder
2-9/22 1. List of post offices and postmasters, February 27, 1839
2. Appointments and applications, January 5, 1839-December 20, 1840
3. Oath of Cottle, Lee, F.T., June 21, 1839
4. Correspondence, March 25, 1836-December 3, 1838
5. Correspondence, February 27, 1839-January 5, 1841
6. Schedules, September 14, 1838
7. Appropriations, December 19, 1839-January 16, 1841
8. Amounts received in cash and drafts from various local post offices, October 12, 1839-January 8, 1840
9. Mail contracts, April 10, 1836-November 1840
10. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, January 10, 1836-April 21, 1838
11. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, April 30-December 13, 1838
12. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, December 13, 1838-April 11, 1839
13. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, April 12-October 12, 1839
14. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, October 15-December 31, 1839
15. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, January 2-August 6, 1840
16. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, August 6-September 30, 1840
17. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, September 30-November 17, 1840
18. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, November 17-December 31, 1840
19. Payments for mail transportation--Foreign, October 6, 1837-December 5, 1840
20. Payment for services, March 7, 1837
21. missing [as of May 14, 1981]
22. Power of attorney, January 23, 1838-June 17, 1839
23. Expenditures, December 25, 1836-July 3, 1839
24. Expenditures, January 8, 1840-January 16, 1841
25. General receipts, October 1, 1837-December 1, 1840
26. Wrappers, March 25, 1836-December 6, 1841
General Post Office, 1841-1846
Box Folder
2-9/23 1. List of post offices and postmasters, May 25, 1844
2. List of post offices and postmasters, 1837-1842
3. Appointments and applications, September 13, 1841
4. Oath of McKenzie, L. M., January 12, 1842
5. Correspondence, Janaury 23, 1841-November 21, 1843
6. Correspondence, February 9-November 22, 1844
7. Correspondence, January 1-May 10, 1845
8. Correspondence, May 21, 1845-February 16, 1846
9. Outgoing correspondence of chief clerks, August 10, 1842-February 4, 1846
10. Schedules, January 16, 1843-February 16, 1846
11. Appropriations, June 26, 1843-January 24, 1846
12. Mail contracts, November 16, 1841-January 26, 1846, undated
13. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, April 19, 1841-January 6, 1843
14. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, January 7-July 4, 1843
15. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, July 6-October 17, 1843
16. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, January 1-March 9, 1844
17. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, March 12-July 1, 1844
18. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, July 1-October 1, 1844
19. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, September 28-November 21, 1844
20. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, November 22, 1844-January 29, 1845
21. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, February 7-March 31, 1845
22. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, April 3-May 20, 1845
Box Folder
2-9/24 1. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, May 26-August 8, 1845
2. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, August 13-October 16, 1845
3. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, October 17, 1845-January 10, 1846
4. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, January 10-February 16, 1846
5. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, February 16-19, 1846, undated
6. Payments for mail transportation--Republic, February 19-July 7, 1846, undated
7. Payments for mail transportation--foreign, February 20, 1842-February 16, 1846, undated
8. Payment for mail transportation by contractor and expenses, individual post offices, 1842
9. Payment for services, 1841-February 19, 1846
10. Affidavits, April 19, 1841-November 16, 1844
11. Affidavits, November 18, 1844-December 25, 1845, undated
12. Power of attorney, March 1, 1843-June 26, 1845
13. Power of attorney, June 27, 1845-February 9, 1846
14. Expenditures, December 28, 1841-March 9, 1843
15. Expenditures, May 9-October 18, 1843
16. Expenditures, November 1, 1843-October 1, 1844
17. Expenditures, October-December 31, 1844
18. Expenditures, January 8-July 25, 1845
19. Expenditures, August 5, 1845-July 7, 1846
20. General receipts, December 4, 1841-March 31, 1847
21. Wrappers, July 22, 1842-January 1, 1846
22. Cover, undated
Post Office oversize and volumes, 1836-1846
Oversize Folder
Box 22 13. Post Office papers
Oversize Folder
Box 25 12. List of mail routes, post offices and postmasters, April 1, 1836
12. List of mail sent from New Orleans to Texas by Samuel Ricker, Jr., November 31, 1831-December 1, 1838
12. Post Office Department, statement of condition of department, February 27, 1839
12. Post Office Department, Austin, including list of contractors, December 17, 1839 [?]
12. Memorial of citizens of Houston for removal of postmaster, February 22, 1840
12. Statement of R. Barr, Postmaster General; list of vouchers, undated
12. Statement of the quarterly returns made by postmasters from January 1 to September 30, 1843, December 4, 1843
12. Document A-C,
[4 sheets]
Volume
2-1/336 Letter book, 1840-1842
Volume
2-1/337 Account of contractors and post offices, 1840-1841
Volume
2-1/338 Journal account of expenditures, 1840-1842
Volume
2-1/339 Day book: daily accounts, summaries of accounts due, 1840-1841
Volume
2-7/751 List of Post Offices and Post Masters, undated

Return to the Table of Contents