Jefferson Peak Mexican War Diary Collection:
Beloved Fort Worth educator Robert Lee Paschal was born in North Carolina. Educated at Wake Forest College, Paschal came to Fort Worth in 1894 to study law. That same year he passed the exam to become principal of the old Missouri Avenue elementary school (now gone), a position he retained for 12 years. In 1906, Paschal was appointed principal of Fort Worth High School, a building constructed in 1891 on a full city block bounded by Hemphill Street, Daggett Avenue, Jennings Avenue and Jarvis Street. This building burned in 1910 and a new high school opened at Jennings and Rosedale in 1911. The senior high school grades moved again in 1918 to the new Central High School at College and Cannon Streets. When age forced Paschal to retire as high school principal in 1935, Central was renamed R.L. Paschal High School in his honor. But his career with Fort Worth schools was not over. From 1935 to 1939, Paschal served as supervisor of junior and senior high school libraries. In 1955, he saw the high school move to its current location on Forest Park Boulevard and Berry Street.
In 1942, Paschal was involved in a project to edit and transcribe the Mexican War diary of Jefferson Peak. Peak kept the diary during his one year enlistment in the Gallatin Rangers of the Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry, May 19, 1846 - May 20, 1847. This regiment traveled through Arkansas and Texas on its way to Rio Grande City and then on to General Zachary Taylor's army in Monterey, Mexico. When he enlisted, Peak was a successful merchant, a Kentucky legislator, postmaster of Warsaw, Kentucky, and the father of seven children. In 1852, Peak returned to Texas with his son, Dr. Carroll Marion Peak, and settled in Dallas. The remainder of the family followed in 1855. Jefferson Peak died October 21, 1885, in his Dallas home and is buried in the Old Masonic Cemetery located near the Dallas Convention Center.
Correspondence, research notes, and writings. This collection is comprised of Paschal's research on Peak and the route he traveled, in addition to research notes, draft narratives, and transcription of the Peak diary. Paschal corresponded with a number of county school superintendents trying to locate place names mentioned in the Peak diary. The largest lot of letters was to and from noted Texas Ranger captain James Abijah Brooks, later county judge of Brooks County, and at the time superintendent of Brooks County Schools. Two older letters unassociated with Paschal's Peak project -- a 1939 letter from Paschal to Governor W. Lee O'Daniel and a 1940 letter from I. H. Burney to Paschal, president of the Fort Worth Historical Society -- are also included and reference historical topics.
Open for research.
Literary Rights Statement
Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.
The materials were discovered in the attic of the Mildred Barnes residence at 2521 Fifth Avenue, Fort Worth. Gift of Jay and Millie Beavers, December 6, 2011.
Jefferson Peak Mexican War Diary Collection, AR583, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.
Gift, December 6, 2011.
Accessioned as number 2012-40.
The collection was processed and arranged by Brenda S. McClurkin in July 2012.