An Inventory of the Andrew Jackson Houston Collection at the Texas State Archives, 1812-1941, undated, bulk 1835-1859
Sam Houston was born in Virginia on March 2, 1793, moved to Tennessee in his early teens, and lived almost three years with the Cherokee Indians in his late teens. He was wounded in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814), gaining the admiration of Andrew Jackson. His legal and political career began in 1818: he was elected district attorney of Nashville, adjutant general, congressman, and finally governor of Tennessee. In 1829 marital difficulties probably moved Houston to resign the governorship and leave the state. He spent the next six years in diplomatic and business ventures, especially among the Cherokee.
Although he represented Nacogdoches, Texas in the Convention of 1833, he was not a permanent resident of Texas until 1835. Houston was a delegate to the Consultation in 1835 and was elected major general of the Texas army by the General Council. As delegate from Refugio, he was a leading figure at the Convention of 1836, which then named him commander-in-chief of the Texas Army. After leading the victory at San Jacinto, he was elected second president of the Republic of Texas. He was representative from San Augustine County in the 4th and 5th Congresses before being elected president once again in 1841. After annexation, he served in the U.S. Senate (1846-1859), during which tenure he was defeated by Hardin Runnels in the gubernatorial election of 1857. Houston was elected governor of Texas in 1859. His term was dominated mainly by his anti-secessionist activities, in which he warned of the dangers of civil war and worked for a compromise. When he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America in March of 1861 (arguing that now Texas was again an independent republic), Houston was replaced by his lieutenant governor, Edward Clark. He died at his farm near Huntsville on July 26, 1863.
(Sources include: inventory of Governor Sam Houston records at the Texas State Archives.)
Andrew Jackson Houston, second son of Sam and Margaret (Lea) Houston, was born at Independence, Texas, on June 21, 1854. He was a lawyer and politician. In 1938 he published Texas Independence, a book about his father's role in the Texas Revolution. He had inherited this collection of documents from his father, and maintained it until his death in 1941. He died in Washington D.C. a few weeks after his appointment to the U.S. Senate; on June 26, 1941, Houston's body was returned to Texas and buried at the State Cemetery in Austin. Two daughters survived him.
(Sources include: George N. Green's article in the Online Handbook of Texas, at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fho69.)
Sam Houston was Governor of Tennessee, Commanding General of the Texian Army during the Texas Revolution, twice President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator from Texas and Governor of Texas. Sam Houston's second son Andrew Jackson Houston inherited this collection of documents from his father and maintained it until his death in 1941. This manuscript collection contains correspondence, reports, resolutions, proclamations, affidavits, depositions and other court documents, broadsides, speeches, invitations, receipts, drawings, and maps, dating 1812-1941, and undated, bulk 1835-1859. There are approximately 4,866 items, which were previously calendared in a card-file index in the Archives search room, arranged chronologically, and also with a name index. The calendar (edited for errors) is now in a Microsoft Access database, which replaces the card-file index.
About 76 percent of the items are letters either to Sam Houston (63%) or from Sam Houston (13%). Correspondents with at least six items each include, in alphabetical order: A.C. Allen, Ebenezer Allen, John K. Allen, Nathaniel Amory, K.L. Anderson, James Auchincloss, Thomas M. Bagby, Barnard E. Bee, John Birdsall, Gail Borden, Colonel Bowles, Thomas Bridges, Asa Brigham, J. H. Brower, William Bryan, Benjamin Bryant, David G. Burnet, B.F. Butler, Pierce M. Butler, John C. Calhoun, Valentine Canaliza, Eli Chandler, William Christy, James H. Cocke, Thomas P. Collins, the Texas Congress, William G. Cooke, Vicente Cordova, William Henry Daingerfield, Gen. James Davis, Viconte I. de Cramayel, P. Dimitt, A.J. Donelson, John M. Dor, Richard G. Dunlap, P. Edmunds, Joseph C. Eldredge, Charles Elliott, Joseph Eve, James W. Fannin, George Fisher, S. Rhoads Fisher, John Forsyth, L.B. Franks, James Gadsden, Edmund P. Gaines, Gen. Gibbs, William Goyens, Peter W. Grayson, Edward Hall, James Hamilton, M.C. Hamilton, J. Pinckney Henderson, George W. Hill, George W. Hockley, A.C. Horton, Mrs. Sam Houston, Memucan Hunt, A. Huston, R.A. Irion, Andrew Jackson, R.D. Johnson, Anson Jones, H.W. Karnes, David S. Kaufman, William Kidd, Mirabeau B. Lamar, William B. Lewis, Abner S. Lipscomb, F. R. Lubbock, H. McLeod, Thomas F. McKinney, L.H. Mabbitt, James S. Mayfield, Charles F. Mercer, Washington D. Miller, John W. Moody, Edwin W. Moore, James Morgan, William S. Murphy, M.P. Norton, John M. Overton, Clark L. Owen, Benjamin Owen Payn, George W. Poe, Henry Raguet, Charles H. Raymond, James Reily, J. Roberts, Arthur Robertson, James W. Robinson, R.R. Royall, Thomas Jefferson Rusk, A. de Saligny, Jose Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, Juan N. Seguin, the Texas Senate, the U.S. Senate, James B. Shaw, William Miller Shepherd, Charles H. Sims, Dr. Ashbel Smith, Gov. Henry Smith, Jacob Snively, A. Somervell, Samuel St. John Jr., H. Stuart, Samuel Swartwout, Henry Teal, George W. Terrell, David W. Thomas, Waddy Thompson, A.S. Thruston, Thomas Toby, D.K. Torrey (Torrey and Brothers), Joseph G. Totten, Isaac Van Zandt, Thomas William Ward, H. Washington, Daniel Webster, J.G. Welschmeyer, Thomas G. Western, D.F. Weymouth, G. Wheelwright, Samuel M. Williams, M.P. Woodhouse, John Woodward, Jefferson Wright, A.J. Yates, and H. Yoakum.
An enormous variety of topics appear throughout the Texas career of Sam Houston as General, President, U.S. Senator and Governor, including the Texas Revolution (especially the military aspects), Texas politics during the Republic era and the pre-Civil War period of statehood, annexation, secession, Indians, the Republic of Texas navy, land, colonization, claims, the Archives War, financial affairs, appointments, introductions, and friendship, to name a few. Some of the items are public and official, others are private and personal.
Documents 4602.1 thru 4602.195 are the later correspondence of the Republic of Texas Legation in Washington, D.C., 1839-1841, thus supplementing the earlier records in the Republic of Texas Legation in Washington correspondence, 1835-1839, 1841, 1843-1845, undated, bulk 1836-1839, 4.75 cubic ft. (272 items). Based on records in the Texas State Archives, following the close of the Legation Office in 1845, Acting Secretary of State Charles Mariner, in a letter to the newly elected U.S. Senator Sam Houston dated March 7, 1846, directed Houston, at the request of Governor James Pinckney Henderson, to "obtain control over the books, papers, etc. belonging to the Legation of the late Republic of Texas" that had been placed with the Office of the U. S. Adjutant General in Washington, D.C., following the close of the Legation. Houston did acquire custody of the records but, rather than depositing them with the Texas Secretary of State in Austin as requested, he instead took them to his home. From all indications, the records were passed down to Sam Houston’s second son, Andrew Jackson Houston, who died in 1941, leaving two daughters. In 1961, during Hurricane Carla, the house where the documents were located was destroyed and caught on fire. Most of the extensive collection of Texas documents in the house were rescued and ended up in the Andrew Jackson Houston collection at the Texas State Archives, part of which can be identified as records of the Republic of Texas Legation in Washington, D.C. (1839-1845). The earlier records of the Texas Legation (1836-1839), however, were somehow missed, and at an undetermined time came to be in the custody of other individuals who lived in Southeast Texas. The Legation records were received by the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission from the Texas State Historical Association on June 8, 2006 (2006/385).
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
In regards to the private correspondence contained in this collection (the bulk of the collection, mainly correspondence to and from Sam Houston): under the Copyright Law of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished manuscripts are protected at a minimum through December 31, 2002 or 70 years after the author's death. The term of copyright for published materials varies. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
In regards to the Legation correspondence contained in this collection: most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. 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.).
(Identify the item), Andrew Jackson Houston collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1973/110
These records were transferred to the Archives Division of the Texas State Library and Historical Commission by Jean Houston (Mrs. F.T.) Baldwin and Price Daniel Sr. on March 5, 1973. Legal custody had been preceded by nine years of physical custody, authorized by Ariadne Houston (A.J. Houston's daughter) on March 13, 1966.
Inventoried by various archival staff, March 1966-February 1973
Access database created from card index file by volunteer Rose Jacobs, September 2011
Finding aid encoded by Tony Black in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project, March 2012
Access database calendar proofread and corrected by Tony Black, November 2012
Additional corrections by Tony Black, December 2012
Additional corrections, and link to related records added by Tony Black, December 2013
Broken link corrected by Tony Black, February 2016
Other Finding Aids
Each document in the Andrew Jackson Houston Collection was abstracted in a card file index. This index (or calendar) has been formatted as a Microsoft Access database, and can be searched electronically at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/apps/arc/ajhouston/index.php.
Detailed Description of the Records