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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents

Organization of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Minutes, 1876-1892,

Opinions, 1876-1892,

Dockets, 1876-1892,

Indexes, 1876-1892,

Other records, 1880-1889,

Case files, 1880-1892,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Court of Appeals:

An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1876-1892



Overview

Creator: Texas. Court of Appeals.
Title: Records
Dates: 1876-1892
Abstract: Records consist of minutes, opinions, dockets, indexes, account books (all in bound volumes) and case files, dating 1876-1892, that document the activities of the Texas Court of Appeals. The activities of the court are most thoroughly documented through the minutes and opinions. Bound opinions should be supplemented by published opinions or reports. The dockets have gaps, although the general index is apparently complete for the entire period of the Court of Appeals (plus the Court of Criminal Appeals to 1920). Case files are almost totally absent.
Quantity: 15.48 cubic ft.
Language English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Court of Appeals was created by the Texas Constitution of 1876, Article V, Section 4, which removed all criminal jurisdiction from the Supreme Court. Organized by the legislature effective May 1876, the Court of Appeals had final and exclusive appellate jurisdiction in all cases not appealable to the Supreme Court; this included all criminal appeals (for both felonies and misdemeanors), and all civil appeals of which the county courts had original or appellate jurisdiction. The court consisted of three judges elected by the voters, for terms of six years. The judges selected one of their number to be presiding judge. Like the Supreme Court at that time, the Court of Appeals held three terms annually, of three months each, at Tyler (October through December), Galveston (January through March), and Austin (April through June). The court appointed a separate clerk, and maintained separate records, for each geographical term. Opinions were published on criminal appeals, but not on civil appeals unless required by law. These opinions were printed in 30 volumes of Texas Criminal Reports and 4 volumes of Texas Civil Reports, 1876-1892; in addition, several thousand cases, both criminal and civil, were disposed of in oral and unpublished written opinions.

By a constitutional amendment adopted in September 1891, followed by legislation approved April 1892, all civil jurisdiction was removed from the court, and its name was changed to the Court of Criminal Appeals. Or, to put it another way, the Court of Appeals was abolished and replaced by the Court of Criminal Appeals and three (eventually fourteen) Courts of Civil Appeals. The three judges on the Court of Appeals were to serve out their elected terms as judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

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Scope and Contents

These records consist of minutes, opinions, dockets, indexes, and account books (all in bound volumes), of the Texas Court of Appeals dating 1876-1892, plus a mere handful of case files. The activities of the court are most thoroughly documented through the minutes and opinions, but these have gaps. The opinions should be supplemented by the published opinions or reports. The Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library has an almost complete set of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Appeals (usually called simply Texas Criminal Reports), lacking only volumes 4, 7, 12, 13, and 14. It also has volume 3 of the four-volume Condensed Reports of Decisions of Civil Causes in the Court of Appeals. The dockets also have many gaps, although the general index is apparently complete for the entire period of the Court of Appeals (plus the Court of Criminal Appeals to 1920). The most serious deficiency, of course, is the almost total absence of case files.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

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Organization of the Records

The records are organized into six series and eight subseries:
Minutes, 1876-1892, 3.39 cubic ft.
Opinions, 1876-1892, 2.52 cubic ft.
Dockets, 1876-1892, 6.99 cubic ft.
  • Assignment dockets, 1878-1892, 2.88 cubic ft.
  • Execution dockets, 1876-1892, 2.02 cubic ft.
  • Assistant Attorney General's docket, 1883, 0.05 cubic ft.
  • Bar docket, 1876-1878, 0.35 cubic ft.
  • Motion dockets, 1876-1890, 0.92 cubic ft.
  • General dockets, 1887-1892, 0.77 cubic ft.
Indexes, 1876-1892, 1.03 cubic ft.
  • General index, [1876-1892], 0.88 cubic ft.
  • Indexes to dockets, 1877-1889, 0.15 cubic ft.
Other records, 1880-1889, 0.88 cubic ft.
Case files, 1880-1892, 0.67 cubic ft.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

None.

Technical Requirements

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Court records--Texas.
Judicial opinions--Texas.
Appellate courts--Texas.
Document Types:
Minutes--Texas--Court records--1876-1892.
Decisions--Texas--Court records--1876-1892.
Dockets--Texas--Court records--1876-1892.
Indexes (reference sources)--Texas--Court records--1876-1892.
Account books--Texas--Court records--1876-1892.
Functions:
Adjudicating.

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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 Supreme Court, Records, 1840-1980, 6,155.41 cubic ft. [includes criminal appeals prior to 1876]
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Records, 1892-2003, 3,806.75 cubic ft.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Records, Texas Court of Appeals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1979/238, 1993/088, 2002/150

These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (via the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin), on June 9, 1992. A single case file, lacking provenance information and found with unrelated records, was given an accession number for purposes of control and added to the finding aid on July 15, 2002. The General dockets were transferred to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, a Regional Historical Resource Depository [RHRD] of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, by the First District Court of Civil Appeals on July 30, 1979. In 2003, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center chose to drop its RHRD status and the records of the First Court were shipped to the Texas State Archives in Austin during December 2003 and January 2004.

Processing Information

Tony Black, July 1993, June 2004

Nancy Enneking, July 2002

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Minutes, 1876-1892,
3.39 cubic ft.

These records consist of seven volumes containing minutes of the Court of Appeals, 1876-1892. The Galveston term appears complete, 1877-1892, with an index for the first book (through January 1886). The Tyler term appears to be missing minutes for December 1882 through December 1886. The Austin term appears to be missing minutes for May 1876 through May 1881.
Arrangement
Arrangement is by term, and then chronological.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Minutes, Records, Texas Court of Appeals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession number: 1993/088
These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (via the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin), on June 9, 1992.
Processing Information
Tony Black, July 1993
Minutes
Volume
211-027 Tyler, October 2, 1876-November 24, 1882
Volume
211-030 Tyler, October-December 1887
Tyler, October-December 1888
Volume
211-032 Tyler, Vol. 3, December 5, 1888-June 25, 1892
Volume
211-033 Tyler, October-December 1892
Volume
211-028 Galveston, January 1, 1877-January 20, 1886
[with index]
Volume
211-031 Galveston, January 20, 1886-June 25, 1892
Volume
211-030 Galveston, January-March 1888
Galveston, January-March 1889
Volume
211-029 Austin, June 8, 1881-May 20, 1885
Volume
211-030 Austin, May 23, 1885-June 25, 1887
Austin, April 2, 1888-June 30, 1888
Volume
211-033 Austin, April 1, 1889-June 25, 1892

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Opinions, 1876-1892,
2.52 cubic ft.

These records consist of five volumes containing the full text Records of Opinions for some terms of the Court of Appeals, namely Tyler (1878-1881 and 1889-1891), Galveston (1888-1892), and Austin (1876-1885). To fill in the gaps, the researcher should consult the published reports (labelled either Texas Court of Appeals Reports, or Texas Criminal Reports), in 30 volumes (1876-1892). The Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library has 25 of the volumes, missing only volumes 4, 7, 12, 13, and 14. The researcher should also consult the published Condensed Reports of Decisions of Civil Causes in the Court of Appeals, 4 volumes (1876-1892), of which the Archives Division has volume 3, covering the Tyler Term of 1885 through the Austin Term of 1889.
Arrangement
Arrangement is by term, and then chronological.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Opinions, Records, Texas Court of Appeals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession number: 1993/088
These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (via the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin), on June 9, 1992.
Processing Information
Tony Black, July 1993
Opinions
Volume
211-035 Tyler Term, December 14, 1878-November 2, 1881
Box
211-038 Tyler Term, 1881
[pp.455-603]
Volume
211-037 Tyler Term, February 4, 1889-December 22, 1891
Volume
211-036 Galveston Term, Number 4, April 25, 1888-March 5, 1892
Volume
211-034 Austin Term, May 22, 1876-June 7, 1879
Box
211-038 Austin Term, April 15, 1880-June 10, 1885

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Dockets, 1876-1892,
6.99 cubic feet

These records consist of assignment dockets, execution dockets, an assistant attorney general's docket, a bar docket, motion dockets, and general dockets, dating from 1876 through 1892.
Organization
These records are organized into six subseries:
Assignment dockets, 1878-1892, 2.88 cubic ft.
Execution dockets, 1876-1892, 2.02 cubic ft.
Assistant Attorney General's docket, 1883, 0.05 cubic ft.
Bar docket, 1876-1878, 0.35 cubic ft.
Motion dockets, 1876-1890, 0.92 cubic ft.
General dockets, 1887-1892, 0.77 cubic ft.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the subseries), Dockets, Records, Texas Court of Appeals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession number: 1979/238, 1993/088
The bulk of these records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (via the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin), on June 9, 1992. The General dockets were transferred to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, a Regional Historical Resource Depository [RHRD] of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, by the First District Court of Civil Appeals on July 30, 1979. In 2003, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center chose to drop its RHRD status and the records of the First Court were shipped to the Texas State Archives in Austin during December 2003 and January 2004.
Processing Information
Tony Black, July 1993
Assignment dockets, 1878-1892,
2.88 cubic ft.
These records consist of 15 Assignment Dockets, volumes which include the following information: [docket] number, attorneys, parties (i.e., style), county, number of years in the sentence (or whether the case involves a misdemeanor or habeas corpus), date filed, orders of the former term, and orders of the present term. These last two columns provide a case history (e.g., "November 11, 1882: Motion to dismiss submitted, 756; November 15: Motion granted and appeal dismissed on account of death of appellant, 759)." Separate series of dockets were maintained for each of the three terms of the court (Tyler, Galveston, and Austin). Only one of the extant dockets has a separate index (Austin, 1877). One (possibly two) indexes exist to dockets which are not extant (Austin, 1889; and an undetermined term, 1885). Many years are not represented, especially in the Tyler and Galveston terms; the extant dockets represent less than one-third of the total possible.
Arrangement
Arrangement below is by term, and then chronological. Arrangement within each docket volume is by assignment (1st through 5th), and then numerical within each assignment.
Volume
211-004 Tyler Term, 1878, #26-517, October 3, 1876-December 13, 1878
Volume
211-007 Tyler Term, 1882, #1047-1464, September 9, 1881-November 15, 1882
Volume
211-006 Tyler Term, 1889, #3057-3358, April 4, 1889-December 26, 1889
Volume
211-001 Galveston Term, 1885, #1466-1823, January 29, 1883-March 16, 1885
Volume
211-011 Galveston Term, 1890, #2743-2928, July 1, 1889-March 21, 1890
Volume
211-002 Galveston Term, 1891, #2931-3131, August 12, 1890-March 19, 1891
Volume
211-013 Galveston Term, 1892, #2589-3505, January 7, 1889-March 26, 1892
Volume
211-016 Austin, April Term, 1877, #2-610, November 15, 1873-November 21, 1877
[index = 211-126]
Volume
211-017 Austin, April Term, 1878, #4-1034, January 10, 1874-January 20, 1879
Volume
211-005 Austin, April Term, 1879, #35-1504, April 19, 1875-March 29, 1880
Volume
211-116 Austin, April Term, 1882, #1934-2549, April 11, 1881-March 9, 1883
Volume
211-008 Austin, April Term, 1885, #3249-3727, June 30, 1884-March 17, 1886
Volume
211-009 Austin, April Term, 1886, #3597-5336, May 25, 1885-April 15, 1887
Volume
211-010 Austin, April Term, 1889
[Index only to approximately #5460-6656]
Volume
211-012 Austin, April Term, 1890, #5615-7104, December 6, 1887-July 19, 1890
Execution dockets, 1876-1892,
2.02 cubic ft.
These records consist of six Execution Dockets, which document the collection of monetary payments (NOT the execution of prisoners condemned to die). These ledgers give the following information: number, parties (style), amount, date, county, and returns. The Returns column contains such comments as "felony" or "dismissed" or "against state" when the Amount and Date and County columns are blank--which they often are. Otherwise this column says "returned, no property found,""lost in mail,""paid,""satisfied," etc. For the Tyler term, only one execution docket is extant, for 1876; there is none for the Galveston term; but for Austin, five dockets cover the entire period of the Court of Appeals, 1876-1892.
Arrangement
Arrangement is chronological.
Volume
211-018 Tyler Term, #1-127, 1876
Volume
211-119 [Austin, Number 1], #1-2119, 1876-1881
Volume
211-120 [Austin, Number 2], #2120-3944, 1882-1889
Volume
211-020 Austin, Number 3, #3946-5517, 1886-1889
Volume
211-121 [Austin, Number 4], #5514-7732, 1888-1892
Volume
211-122 Austin, [Number 5], #7739-7974, 1892
Assistant Attorney General's docket, 1883,
0.05 cubic ft.
These records consist of one Assistant Attorney General's Docket, presumably documenting cases in which the assistant attorney general represented the state. This ledger gives the following information: number, style, nature of action (felony or misdemeanor; sometimes the name of the county is substituted), and proceedings of the court (e.g., affirmed, reversed and dismissed or remanded). The year represented is 1883.
Volume
211-014 #1378-2583, 1883
Bar docket, [1874?]-1878,
0.35 cubic ft.
These records consist of one Bar Docket dated 1878 (mostly civil cases filed between 1874 and 1878), with separate index, giving the following information: number, attorneys, parties (style), county, date filed, and orders (always blank).
Volume
211-015 #4-887, 1874-1878
[index = 211-023]
Volume
211-023 Index [to 211-015], 1876-1878
Motion dockets, 1876-1890,
0.92 cubic ft.
These records consist of three Motion Dockets for the Austin term, plus one additional fragment of a Motion Docket for an undetermined term (ca. 1878-1882), giving the following information: (in 1876-1882) number, attorneys, parties, for what purpose, date filed, orders; or (in 1888-1890) number, case number, assignment number, parties (style), for what purpose filed (e.g. motion to affirm on certificate, motion for rehearing, motion to dismiss appeal, etc.), and orders. The first two contain indexes.
Volume
211-123 [Austin, April Term 1876], May 19-June 23, 1876
[with index]
Volume
211-074 Austin, April Term 1877, January 11-June 29, 1877
[with index]
Volume
211-021 Austin, 1888-1890
Volume
211-127 Undetermined term, 1878-1882
[fragment, extremely deteriorated]
General dockets, 1887-1892,
0.77 cubic ft.
These records consist of two General Dockets dating 1887-1892, giving the following information: a number, the names of the parties, the county, date when issued, to whom delivered or sent, remarks, a bill of costs, and additional remarks. The volumes have correspondence and clippings attached to some of the pages throughout.
These volumes were probably created by the Texas Court of Appeals which was replaced by the Court of Criminal Appeals and three (eventually fourteen) Courts of Civil Appeals in April 1892. All of the civil cases originally assigned to the Court of Appeals were divided among the three new Courts of Civil Appeals. The general dockets were probably transferred to the First Court (Galveston) along with the civil cases.
Volume
221-1036 Volume 1, #2071-3299, February 11, 1887 thru September 3(?), 1892
Volume
221-1037 Volume 2, #3300-3520, 1892

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Indexes, 1876-1892,
1.03 cubic ft.

These records consist of one general index, covering 1876-1892, and three indexes to dockets, dating 1877, 1885, and 1889.
Organization
The records are organixed in two subseries:
General index, [1876-1892], 0.88 cubic ft.
Indexes to dockets, 1877-1889, 0.15 cubic ft.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the subseries), Indexes, Records, Texas Court of Appeals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession number: 1993/088
These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (via the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin), on June 9, 1992.
Processing Information
Tony Black, July 1993
General index, 1876-1892,
0.88 cubic ft.
This record consists of a General Index of cases, combining the Court of Appeals with the Court of Criminal Appeals (thus extending from 1876 through 1920). All terms of the Court of Appeals seem to be represented, although the spine says "Austin." This ledger gives the following information: appellant, appellee, county, how disposed of (e.g. "R[eversed],""R[eversed] & R[emanded],""Aff[irmed]," etc.), opinion by [name of justice], [opinion?] record (e.g. J531, L66, N180, etc.), and [page] number. Docket numbers are thus not provided for Court of Appeals cases.
Arrangement
Arrangement is roughly alphabetical by last name of the appellant, and roughly chronological within each letters of the alphabet. Unfortunately there is no easy way to determine where cases for the Court of Appeals end and those for the Court of Criminal Appeals begin.
Volume
211-025 General Index, [1876-1892]
Indexes to dockets, 1877-1889,
0.15 cubic ft.
These records consist of three scattered indexes to assignment dockets, dated 1877, 1885, and 1889. Only the first (Austin 1877) has been identified as to which docket it pertains. There is no assignment docket extant to accompany the index to the Austin 1889 cases. The information these indexes provide includes number, parties, county, and page number.
Volume
211-126 [Austin], April Term 1877
[Index (Cases #2-610) to 211-016]
Volume
211-026 1885 (?)
[not to either 211-001 or 211-008]
Volume
211-010 Austin, April Term 1889:
[Index (Cases #5460-6656)]

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Other records, 1880-1889,
0.88 cubic ft.

These records consist of three miscellaneous volumes maintained by the Texas Court of Appeals, dating 1880-1889. One labeled "Attorney's Receipts for Transcript and Papers," 1887-1889, contains the following information: number of case, number of papers, style of case, name of attorney receiving the papers, when received, and when returned. Another volume is a fee book, 1882-1887, which gives the following information: number, parties and county, mandate (when issued and to whom delivered), execution (when issued and to whom sent), bill of costs, and remarks. Finally an account book, 1880-1881, arranged alphabetically by county, contains the following information: date, number [of case?], debit amount, and credit amount.
Arrangement
These records are arranged chronologically.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Other records, Records, Texas Court of Appeals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession Information
Accession number: 1993/088
These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (via the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin), on June 9, 1992.
Processed by
Tony Black, July 1993
Volume
211-019 Account book, 1880-1881
Volume
211-022 Fee book, 1882-1887
Volume
211-003 Attorney's receipts for transcript and papers, August 10, 1887-January 10, 1889

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Case files, 1880-1892,
0.67 cubic ft.

These records consist of nine case files heard by the Texas Court of Appeals, 1880-1892, containing standard legal documents of such files: original petitions, statements of fact, testimony, briefs, motions, charge of the court, bills of exception, final judgments and verdicts, assignment of errors, writs, orders, bills of costs, certificates of clerks, etc. Six of the cases are civil appeals, and three are criminal appeals.
Arrangement
Arrangement is chronological.
Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1993/088, 2002/150
These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (via the Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin), on June 9, 1992. A single case file, lacking provenance information and found with unrelated records, was given an accession number for purposes of control and added to the finding aid on July 15, 2002.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Case files, Records, Texas Court of Appeals. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Processing Information
Tony Black, July 1993
Nancy Enneking, July 2002
Box
2002 Accessions Box (2002/150) Milam M. Hubby v. State of Texas, #1420 (from Milam County District Court), 1880
Box
1993/088-3285 Robert Costly v. State of Texas, #2682 (from Travis County District Court), 1883
P. and J. Hymes v. Randall & Nephews (from Denton County Court), 1885
Thomas Ham v. M. N. Woffina (from Val Verde County Court), 1888
Lee Woods v. J. D. Jamison, #26 [?] (from Montague County Court), 1889
S. H. Tittle, et al. v. W. B. Parmer (from Greer County Court), 1891
Texas & Pacific Railway Company v. W. G. Gooch, #388 [?] (from Mitchell County Court), 1891
Box
2-9/381 George W. Lacy v. the State of Texas (from District Court of Burnet County, filed in Court of Appeals May 30, 1891)
[Note: This case file is found with the file of George Lacy, Applications for pardons, Executive clemency records, Statutory Documents Section, Texas Secretary of State.]
Box
1993/088-3285 O. H. Gorman v. First National Bank of Abilene (from Parker County Court), 1892
T. W. Mash v. State of Texas (from Hill County District Court), 1892

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