Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Governor Richard Coke:

An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1873-1877


Creator: Texas. Governor (1874-1876 : Coke)
Title: Records
Dates: 1873-1877
Abstract: Types of records are correspondence, proclamations, messages to the Texas Legislature, printed material, letterpress books, petitions, and reports, dating from 1873 to 1877. Records are from Richard Coke's tenure as governor of Texas from 1874 to 1876.
Quantity: 2.35 cubic ft.
Language English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Biographical Sketch

Richard Coke, governor of Texas, held office from January 15, 1874 to December 1, 1876. Coke was born March 13, 1829 in Williamsburg, Virginia. He graduated from the College of William and Mary and began practicing law before moving to Waco, Texas in 1850. In 1859 he was a member of a commission which removed the Brazos Reservation Indians to the Indian Territory. After serving in the Secession Convention of 1861, Coke rose in the ranks of the Confederate Army from private to captain. In 1865 he was appointed district judge, and in 1866 was elected Supreme Court justice, but was removed by General Philip Sheridan in 1867 as an "impediment to reconstruction."

In 1873, Coke won the governor's chair over E.J. Davis. Several tense days in January 1874 saw the state capitol turned into an armed camp, with two rival legislatures, as Davis refused to surrender his office. When President U.S. Grant would not support Davis' request for troops, Davis conceded and Coke was inaugurated. During Coke's term in office, he faced a state government which was in debt and without funds, an unprotected frontier, and problems with Indians and Mexican bandits. Coke reduced expenditures and made a new beginning of the public school system. He was re-elected in 1876 after the Constitution of 1876 had returned the governor's term of office to two years. Later the same year, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and so resigned the governorship on December 1, 1876. Coke served three terms in the Senate (1877-1895) and died in Waco on May 14, 1897.

Scope and Contents of the Records

Types of records are correspondence, proclamations, messages to the Texas Legislature, printed material, letterpress books, petitions, and reports, dating from 1873 to 1877. Records are from Richard Coke's tenure as governor of Texas from 1874 to 1876. Letters include requests and recommendations for appointment to office and for pardon of convicts; reports on Mexican border problems, such as gangs of thieves freely crossing the Rio Grande; and discussions regarding school lands, railroads, violence, and the creation of ranger companies. Correspondence is with state and local officials, citizens of various counties, and newspaper editors.


Arrangement of the Records

Arrangement is generally by type of material, then chronological.


Restrictions on Access


Restrictions on Use


Technical Requirements


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Coke, Richard, 1829-1897.
Corporate Names:
Texas. Office of the Governor.
Texas Rangers.
Texas. Constitutional Convention (1875)
Texas--Politics and government--1865-1950.
Texas--Officials and employees--Selection and appointment.
Texas--Frontier troubles.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Governors --1873-1877.
Letterpress copybooks--Texas--Governors--1873-1877.

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
Texas Secretary of State, Executive record books, 1835-1917, 14 reels of microfilm.
Governor Richard Coke resignation, 1876 Dec. 1, 1 item [negative photostat] [Manuscripts Collection]
Texas Secretary of State, Governor's clemency proclamations, 1870, 1874-2002, 14.71 cubic ft. (originals), 165 reels of microfilm

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Records, Texas Governor Richard Coke. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

No accession information for these records was located.

Processing Information

June 1984

Tonia J. Wood, December 1995

Detailed Description of the Records


Records, 1873-1877,
2.35 cubic ft.

Box Folder
301-93 1. Correspondence, February 1873
2. Correspondence, October 1873
3. Correspondence, November 1873
4. Correspondence, December 1873
5. Correspondence, January 1874
6. Correspondence, February 1874
7. Correspondence, March 1874
8. Correspondence, April 1874
9. Correspondence, May 1874
10. Correspondence, June 1874
11. Correspondence, July 1874
12. Correspondence, August 1874
13. Correspondence, September 1874
14. Correspondence, October 1874
Box Folder
301-94 15. Correspondence, November 1874
16. Correspondence, December 1874
17. Proclamations, February 1874
18. Proclamations, April 1874
19. Proclamations, May 1874
20. Proclamations, June 1874
21. Miscellaneous, undated
22. Correspondence, January 1875
23. Correspondence, February 1875
24. Correspondence, March 1875
25. Correspondence, April 1875
26. Correspondence, May 1875
27. Correspondence, June 1875
28. Correspondence, August 1875
Box Folder
301-95 29. Correspondence, September 1875
30. Correspondence, October 1875
31. Correspondence, November 1875
32. Correspondence, December 1875
33. Correspondence, undated
34. Correspondence, January 1876
35. Correspondence, February 1876
36. Correspondence, March 1876
37. Correspondence, April 1876
38. Correspondence, May 1876
39. Correspondence, June 1876
40. Correspondence, July 1876
41. Correspondence, August 1876
42. Correspondence, September 1876
43. Correspondence, October 1876
44. Correspondence, November 1876
45. Correspondence, December 1876, October-December 1877
46. Correspondence, 1876
47. Messages & proclamations, December 1876
48. Messages & proclamations, undated
49. Messages, January 1874
Box Folder
301-96 50. Messages, March 1874
51. Messages, undated
52. Messages, 1875
53. Printed messages, 1875
54. Printed messages, 1874-1876
Letterpress, September 18, 1875-June 6, 1876
301-92 Telegrams, Davis-Coke, January 1874-April 1875
[filed with Governor Edmund J. Davis' records]
Letterpress, Davis-Coke, January-August 1874
[filed with Governor Edmund J. Davis' records]
301-97 Letterpress, August 20, 1874-April 5, 1875
Letterpress, April 2, 1875-September 16, 1875