James A. McAmis Letters:
Tennessee native, James A. McAmis was a house painter by trade who found his way to Texas by way of Alabama. Letters written home to his sister indicate that he lived in Dallas, Mansfield, Breckenridge, and Albany between the years 1874 and 1883. McAmis moved to Breckenridge on June 1, 1876. Friends from Tarrant County helped establish him there as a merchant with a small stock of goods on August 31, 1876. He was appointed the first postmaster of Breckenridge on December 15, 1876.
This group of seven letters were written by James A. McAmis to his sister (probably Matilda) in Alabama between 1874 and 1883. The letters begin in Mansfield with great optimism and a goal of owning 80 acres of land, but the tone of his letters soon change to reflect the hard times he experienced during this Reconstruction period following the Civil War. The letter written from Breckenridge on October 27, 1879 provides great insight into economic conditions, citing prices of agricultural commodities, crop failures, and widespread drought conditions. Two envelopes dated 1872 and 1890 bookend the collection of letters.
Open for research.
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Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum, 2009 .
James A. McAmis Letters, GA212, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.
Accessioned as number 2009-64.