Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Alexander Watkins Terrell:

An Inventory of Papers at the Texas State Archives, 1890-1912



Overview

Creator: Terrell, Alexander Watkins, 1827-1912.
Title: Papers
Dates: 1890-1912
Abstract: The Alexander Watkins Terrell papers contain correspondence (mainly letters received), printed material, literary productions, scrapbook material, legal documents, and financial documents, covering the last two decades of Terrell's life, 1890-1912. The bulk of the material is incoming correspondence, dating especially from the years of his diplomatic mission in the Ottoman Empire (1893-1897); the literary productions also heavily reflect that period of his career. There is another, smaller surge of documentary activity in 1905, the year of the Terrell Election Law. The Ottoman material is richest in describing the Turkish anti-Armenianism and anti-Americanism of the time; in addition, there are scattered references to commercial and education exchanges with the United States.
Quantity: 0.35 cubic ft.
Language English.

Biographical Sketch

Alexander Watkins Terrell was born November 3, 1827 in Patrick County, Virginia. In 1832 his family moved to Cooper County, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he read law at Booneville, and was admitted to the Missouri bar in 1849. His first law practice was in St. Joseph. After moving to Austin, Texas (1852), he became judge of the Second Judicial District (1857-1862). In 1863, he enlisted as major in the 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment, Arizona Brigade; after promotion to lieutenant colonel and then colonel, he commanded Terrell's Texas Cavalry, participating in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. In 1865, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. Fleeing to Mexico at the end of the civil War, he served briefly under Emperor Maximilian. Upon his return to Texas, he practiced law in Houston for a short time before retiring to his plantation in Robertson County. In 1871 he returned to Austin. From 1876 to 1883 he served four terms in the Texas Senate, and in 1891 he was elected to the first of three terms in the Texas House of Representatives. President Grover Clevel and appointed him minister plenipotentiary to the Ottoman Empire (1893-1897). He was elected as state representative twice more, in 1903 and 1905. Among the legislative bills he authored were the Railroad Commission bill, the bill which donated public land to build the capitol, the bill requiring jurors to be literate, and the Terrell Election Law of 1905 (which began the system of Direct Primaries). From 1909 to 1911, he was on the University of Texas board of regents, and was instrumental in raising funds to build the library building. He was also chairman of the publications committee and, at the time of his death, president, of the Texas State Historical Association. His first wife, and mother of his five children, was Ann Elizabeth Boulding of Missouri, who died in 1860; his second wife, Sarah D. Mitchell of Robinson County, Texas, died in 1871; his third wife, and widow, was Anne Holiday Anderson Jones. Alexander W. Terrell died in Mineral Wells on September 9, 1912, and was buried in the state cemetery. Terrell County was named in his honor.


Scope and Contents of the Papers

The Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers contain correspondence (mainly letters received), printed material, literary productions, scrapbook material, legal documents, and financial documents, covering the last two decades of Terrell's life (1890-1912). The bulk of the material is incoming correspondence, dating especially from the years of his diplomatic mission in the Ottoman Empire (1893-1897); the literary productions also heavily reflect that period of his career. There is another, smaller surge of documentary activity in 1905, the year of the Terrell Election Law. The Ottoman material is richest in describing the Turkish anti-Armenianism and anti-Americanism of the time; in addition, there are scattered references to commercial and educational exchanges with the United States. A handful of letters are in French. Approximately one-third of the letters received cover Terrell's Texas years after he returned from his overseas post (1898-1912). The legal documents concern land in Travis County, and there are numerous financial documents, most cancelled checks.


 

Organization of the Papers

The Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers are organized into six series and two sub-series:
Correspondence, 1890-1912, undated, 0.2 cubic ft.
  • Letters received, 1890-1912, undated, 0.2 cubic ft.
  • Letters sent, 1893-1895, undated, fractional
Printed material, 1898, undated, fractional
Literary productions, 1894-1905, undated, fractional
Scrapbook material, 1896, 1934, undated, fractional
Legal documents, 1885, 1887-1888, 1900, fractional
Financial documents, 1893-1905, undated, fractional

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

Under the Copyright Law of 1976 as amended in 1998, the unpublished papers are protected by copyright through December 31, 2002.


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:
Terrell, Alexander Watkins, 1827-1912.
Subjects:
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Turkey.
Anti-Americanism--Turkey.
Election law--Texas.
Places:
Turkey--History--1878-1909.
Turkey--Politics and government--1878-1909.
Armenia--History--1801-1900.
Document Types:
Correspondence--1890-1912.
Financial records--1893-1905.

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
Alexander Watkins Terrell Family Papers, 1876-1934 (bulk 1890-1910, 1930-1934), 0.71 cubic ft.
Alexander Watkins Terrell Reminiscences, 1912, fractional
Judge A. W. Terrell Literary Production ["Terrell's Eulogy of Booth"], [186-?], 1 item
Sam Lanham Collection, 1861, 1957, undated, 8 items [including a speech by A. W. Terrell, 1861]
Erminia Thompson Folsom Papers, 1856-1965, 3.06 cubic ft. [containing posthumous references to Terrell's belief in woman's suffrage, 1912]
Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin
Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers, 1877-1912, 6 ft., 8 inches

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Alexander Watkins Terrell Family Papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1985/022

These papers were donated to the Texas State Archives by an unknown furniture storage warehouse circa 1955. For purposes of control, an accession number was assigned in October 1984.

Processing Information

Tony Black, June 1985


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Correspondence, 1890-1912, undated,
0.2 cubic ft.

Papers are correspondence, dating from 1890 to 1912, of Alexander Watkins Terrell. The bulk of the material is incoming letters, especially dating from the years of his diplomatic mission in the Ottoman Empire, 1893-1897. Subjects covered include Turkish anti-Americanism and anti-Armenianism and the Terrell Election Law of 1905.
Organization
The correspondence is organized into two groups:
Letters received, 1890-1912, undated, 0.2 cubic ft.
Letters sent, 1893-1895, undated, fractional
Index Terms
Personal Names:
Terrell, Alexander Watkins, 1827-1912.
Subjects:
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Turkey.
Anti-Americanism--Turkey.
Election law--Texas.
Places:
Turkey--History--1878-1909.
Turkey--Politics and government--1878-1909.
Armenia--History--1801-1900.
Document Types:
Correspondence--1890-1912.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Correspondence, Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Letters received, 1890-1912, undated,
0.2 cubic ft.
Papers are letters received by Alexander Watkins Terrell, dating 1890-1912, and undated. The bulk of the material covers the years of his diplomatic mission in the Ottoman Empire, 1893-1897. Subjects covered include Turkish anti-Americanism and anti-Armenianism and the Terrell Election Law of 1905.
Arrangement
Arranged chronologically.
box folder
1985/22-1 1. Mother, May 3, 1890
1. George J. Atkins, August 14, 1891
1. J. J. Arthur, December 14, 1891
2. J. Galloway Weir, April 26, 1893
2. A. H. Terrell, May 9, 1893,
telegram
2. [Daniel] Walker, June 26, 1893 (?),
telegram
2. [Daniel] Walker, June 26, 1893 (?),
telegram
2. George F. Herrick, August 1, 1893
Enclosure: George F. Herrick to Sir Edward Gray, July 31, 1893 [re: Armenians], copy
2. George F. Herrick, August 21, 1893
2. John H. Leeds, director, Stamford Manufacturing Company, September 22, 1893
3. Dr. Mary Pierson Eddy, October 26, 1893
3. Charles Andersen, November 6, 1893
3. M. M. Rockhill, November 8, 1893
3. Calice, Austro-Hungarian Embassy, December 11, 1893
4. Daniel Walker, Stamford Manufacturing Company, January 26, 1894
4. Nicholson, February 2, 1894
4. Swedish-Norwegian Legation, February 10, 1894
4. Yaver Ekrem, Vali of Aleppo, post, Arabic with French translation, February 20, 1894
4. Consular agency of the United States, Aleppo, French, March 1, 1894
4. The G[rand] V[izier] to the Vali of Aleppo, French, June 28, 1894,
telegram transcript
4. Dr. A. W. Terrell, nephew, June 24, 1894
4. H. B. Yacaribi, August 22, 1894
4. French ambassador, French, August 26, 1894
4. Hiram Blaisdell, [re: Swiss fugitive], September 7, 1894,
typescript
4. Henry O. Dwight, September 11, [1894]
4. Thomas R. Gibson, [re: attacks on Americans], September 29, 1894
4. T. P. Langhans, September 20, 1894,
typescript
4. A. d'Orsley, September 26, 1894
5. Herbert H. D. Peirce, chargé d'affaires at St. Petersburg, October 4, 1894
5. William Dulles, Jr., Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, October 9, 1894,
typescript
5. Thomas R. Gibson, October 10, 1894
5. Herbert H. D. Peirce, October 13, 1894
5. Edward B. Butler, President of Butler Brothers, October 23, 1894,
typescript
5. J. C. Ayer Company, [re: patent medicine], November 7, 1894
5. British embassy, Constantinople, November 10, 1894
5. F. R. Calvert, November 19, 1894
Enclosure: F. R. J. Calvert to Se'lim Efendi, Minister of Agriculture, November 27, 1893 [re: custom of "SalmÍ "], translated extract
5. S. M. Swenson & Son, December 11, 1894,
typescript
Enclosure: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co. to S. M. Swenson & Son, December 11, 1894, typescript
5. Mr. Tripp, U.S. Legation in Vienna, December 14, 1894
5. F. R. Calvert, [re: Trojan vases], December 15, 1894
5. O. de Lébedeff, December 19, 1894
6. Edwin Pears, January 2, 1895
6. Andrew Lysim Calocherinos, January 10, 1895
Enclosure: Wax effigies of three "antique stones probably of Greek art"
6. Esmeralda, January 17, 1895
6. Luther Short, Consul General of the United States, Constantinople, February 6, 1895
Enclosure: Edwin S. Wallace to Luther Short, January 29, 1895, copy
6. J. G. Vore, February 13, 1895
Enclosure: Declaration of the Consultation in regard to Texas Cherokees, copy; and Copy of Treaty between Texas and the Texas Cherokees
6. Dodds, [re: anti-Americanism], February 14, 1895
6. Luther Short, [re: attacks on missionaries], February 18, 1895
6. Philip Cumi (?), [re: attacks on missionaries], February 23, 1895
6. S. P. Langley, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution, February 25, 1895
6. W. W. Pect (?), April 2, 1895
6. H. E. Stockbridge to Walter Gresham, U.S. Secretary of State, [re: application for academic position in Turkey], April 4, 1895,
typescript
6. Reginald Sister, April 6, 1895
6. George C. Raynolds, [re: oppression], April 23, 1895
typescript
6. A. S. Stevenson to Walter Gresham, [re: application for superintendent of art in Constantinople], April 28, 1895
7. Benjamin Lacy, June 14, 1895
7. J. A. McKenzie, [re: possibility of exhanging posts (Lima, Peru); reply in outgoing correspondence, July 26, 1895], June 20, 1895
7. George Washburn, July 12, 1895
7. [?], [re: petition for excavation of antiquities], July 22, 1895
7. Thomas D. Christie, [re: attack], August 2, 1895
7. Eleanor [Whislow], [September 1895]
7. Vincent Cailland, [September 1895]
7. Eleanor Whislow, October 12, [1895]
7. Henry O. Dwight, November 25, 1895,
typescript
7. L. H. Moore, November 30, 1895,
typescript
8. Judson Smith, June 8, 1896
8. Howard D. Terrell, son, [re: illness, financial trouble], January 15, 1897
8. Louise Parks Richards, attached typescript newspaper copy, envelope attached [re: "Whims of the Sultan"], July 30, 1897,
8. John E. Parsan (?), December 21, 1897,
typescript
9. William Courtney, [re: Mr. Terrell's son], January 31, 1898
9. R. K. Smoot, June 16, 1898
9. Robert G. West, June 22, 1898,
typescript
9. Thomas W. Cridler, third assistant Secretary of State of the U.S., [re: commencement address at University of Texas: "Land, Its Individual Ownership and Culture, the Surest Safeguard of Free Government"], August 2, 1898,
typescript
9. James L. Barton, September 13, 1898,
typescript
9. George B. Terrell, [re: fence cutters], September 17, 1898
9. Milton W. Humphreys, University of Virginia, [re: land], September 19, 1898
9. N. P. Scudder, acting librarian, The Smithsonian Institution, [re: receipt of publication], September 21, 1898,
form letter
9. William E. Dodge, [re: land], October 26, 1898
9. Seth Shepard, October 27, 1898
10. John B. Clark, United States Treasury, August 12, 1899
10. S. C. Gavitzianaz, December 10, 1899
10. Roger Q. Mills, November 1901
10. J. W. Riddle, January 1, 1902
10. Sam B. Cooper, February 14, 1902,
typescript
10. J. J. Terrell, brother, September 23, 1904
10. Sam Webb, Texas Bankers Assocation, [re: state bank bill, and creation of insurance department], December 22, 1904,
typescript
11. James T. Brisby, [re: poem "The Soul"], January 19, 1905
11. Rabbi Henry Cohen, [re: poem "The Soul"], February 3, 1905
11. Leon Blu, April 27, 1905,
typescript
11. Edmund P. Turber, April 28, 1905
11. L. J. Tankersley, [re: Gatesville Reformatory], May 25, 1905
11. Curtis Hancock, [re: election law], May 27, 1905
11. Rufus Hardy, [re: election law], July 4, 1905,
typescript
11. D. C. McCoy, [re: election law relating to crippled Negroes], July 11, 1905
11. W. H. Lewis, July 17, 1905,
typescript
11. D. A. Frank, University of Texas Debating Council, [re: University land], July 25, 1905
11. A. T. Folsom, Trans-Pecos News, July 30, 1905
11. Jeff McLemore, State Topics, A Journal of the People, September 1, 1905
11. W. C. Kroeger, chairman United Confederate Veterans, September 4, 1905
11. A. E. Wilkinson, September 11, 1905
11. William D. Williams, handwritten reply on face of typescript letter dated October 23, 1905
12. George W. Brackenridge, [re: killing of prairie dogs], March 13, 1909,
typescript
12. W. B. Silliman, August 31, 1909,
typescript
12. A. N. Marquis & Company, Publishers, [re: Who's Who in America], October 4, 1909,
typescript
12. John F. Marshall, November 4, 1909
12. Hampson Gary, December 3, 1909
12. J. C. Terrell, Jr., cousin, to Mrs. Lila Rector, [note: after A. W. Terrell's death], November 4, 1912
Enclosure: E. F. Mathews, secretary of Board of Regents, to J. C. Terrell, J. D. Terrell, A. W. Terrell, executors, November 1, 1912
13. Erben, [189-],
telegram
13. Charles Anderson, July 2, []
13. Henry C. Roberts, October 28, []
13. Josephine Gro, undated,
typescript, page two only
13. Morris Sheppard to The Scientific Temperance Foundation, Dallas, December 6, [193-],
typescript, copy
Letters sent, 1893-1895, undated,
fractional
Papers are letters sent by Alexander Watkins Terrell, dating 1893-1895, and undated. The materials cover the years of his diplomatic mission in the Ottoman Empire, 1893-1897.
Arrangement
Arranged chronologically.
box folder
1985/22-1 14. Thad A. Thompson, March 19, 1893,
telegram
14. Gresham, secretary, [re: request to remove American missionaries], September 14, 1893
14. Mr. Gresham, draft of cipher telegrams [re: arrests and a murder], January 29, 1894, February 9, 1894
14. United States Embassy in London, [re: application of Mr. Garabed A. Kuajian, a native Armenian, for a passport], 1894,
memorandum, typescript
14. Sir Philip Currie, British ambassador, July 3, 1895
14. Richard Olney, U. S. Secretary of State, July 25, 1895
14. J. A. McKenzie, Lima, Peru, [reply to letter of June 20, 1895], July 26, 1895
14. Gibson, Beyrouth, December 14, [],
copy of telegram with reply



 

Printed material, 1898, undated,
fractional

Papers are printed materials, dating from 1898 and undated, which belonged to Alexander Watkins Terrell. Included are a guest pass to the Metropolitan Club, a newspaper clipping on the "European Conspiracy," and a broadside entitled "What Senator Coke Said of John Ireland in 1877."
Index Terms
Personal Names:
Ireland, John, 1827-1896.
Coke, Richard, 1829-1897.
Places:
Texas--Politics and government--1865-1950.
Document Types:
Clippings--Europe--Politics and government--[18--?].
Broadsides--Texas--Politics and government--[18--]
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Printed material, Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
box folder
1985/22-1 15. Guest pass to Metropolitan Club, January 3, 1898
15. Newspaper clipping, "European Conspiracy,"Farmer's Review, August []
15. Broadside, "What Senator Coke Said of John Ireland in 1877," undated



 

Literary productions, 1894-1905, undated,
fractional

Papers are literary productions, including notes, poetry, drafts, memorandum, and a news release, dating from 1894 to 1905, with some undated material. Several items relate to Terrell's time in Turkey as a diplomat. One document is about Terrell's candidacy for the state legislature. Alexander Watkins Terrell wrote one of the poems, the author of the other poems is unknown.
Arrangement
These papers are arranged by type of material, then chronologically.
Index Terms
Personal Names:
Terrell, Alexander Watkins, 1827-1912.
Subjects:
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Turkey.
Anti-Americanism--Turkey.
Places:
Turkey--History--1878-1909.
Armenia--History--1801-1900.
Document Types:
Poetry--[c. 1905], undated.
Notes--1894-1895.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Literary productions, Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
box folder
1985/22-1 16. Notes on Ottoman police incident of December 2, 1894 involving Reverend Lee, [1894]
16. Two drafts of formal protest against imprisonment of Adam Aivazian, [1894]
16. "Memorandum [sic] as to the application of Mr. Garabed A. Kuajian, a native Armenian, for a passport, to the United States Embassy," [1894]
16. "The situation at Marsovan a week after the massacre," November 22, 1895,
typescript
16. News release by R. W. Finley, [re: taxation in Texas], March 11, 1902,
typescript
16. Judge Terrell's candidacy [for state legislature], [1902],
typescript
16. Poem by A. W. Terrell, "The Soul," [ca. 1905],
typescript
16. Poems, author unknown: "Relatives;""I know something good about you;""Life's Lesson," undated
16. Poems, author unknown: "Christmas Time is happiest;""Thoughts for the Day," undated



 

Scrapbook material, 1896, 1934, undated,
fractional

Papers are scrapbook material, dating from 1896, 1934, and undated. Included are notes to accompany visual material on Ottoman Empire (visual materials not present in papers), proposed text for plaque honoring Alexander Watkins Terrell for service to the University of Texas, and a newspaper photograph from Terrell's service as U.S. Minister in Constantinople.
Index Terms
Personal Names:
Terrell, Alexander Watkins, 1827-1912.
Subjects:
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Turkey.
Places:
Turkey--History--1878-1909.
Document Types:
Photographs--1896.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Scrapbook material, Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
box folder
1985/22-1 17. Notes to accompany visual material on Ottoman Empire, undated
[visual material not here]
17. Proposed text for plaque (?), "Alexander W. Terrell, known as the Father of the University of Texas, presented by his daughter, Mrs. Lilla Terrell Rector. 1934," undated
17. Newspaper photograph, Mr. Terrell, U. S. Minister in Constantinople, 1896



 

Legal documents, 1885, 1887-1888, 1900,
fractional

Papers are legal documents, dating from 1885, 1887-1888, and 1900, regarding Radford land in Travis County.
Index Terms
Personal Names:
Terrell, Alexander Watkins, 1827-1912.
Subjects:
Land use--Texas--Travis County.
Places:
Travis County (Tex.)
Document Types:
Legal documents--Travis County (Tex.)--Land use--1885, 1887-1888, 1900.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Legal documents, Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
box folder
1985/22-1 18. Documents concerning Radford land, Travis County



 

Financial documents, 1893-1905, undated,
fractional

Papers are financial documents of Alexander Watkins Terrell, dating from 1893 to 1905. Material includes a credit report, promissory notes, bills, receipts, memoranda, a list of drafts from the United States State Department, statements, and cancelled checks.
Index Terms
Personal Names:
Terrell, Alexander Watkins, 1827-1912.
Document Types:
Financial records--1893-1905.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Financial documents, Alexander Watkins Terrell Papers. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
box folder
1985/22-1 19. Credit reports, 1893,
1 item
19. Promissory notes, 1893,
2 items
19. Various bills and receipts, 1893-1894, 1897,
14 items
19. Memoranda of expenses, 1894-1895,
4 items
19. United States State Department, lists of drafts, January 15, 1896,
1 item
19. Bank statements, 1904-1905,
4 items
19. Schedule of specimens of Internal Revenue Stamps, undated,
1 item
20. Cancelled checks, 1899-1900,
94 items