University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the James F. and Stephen S. Perry papers, 1785-1942



Descriptive Summary

Creator Perry, James F. and Stephen S.
Title James F. and Stephen S. Perry papers,
Dates: 1785-1942
Abstract James Franklin Perry was the second husband of Stephen F. Austin's sister Emily. He served as the administrator of Austin's estate, and in 1839 declined to become secretary of the treasury of the Republic of Texas. Correspondence, daybooks, letterbooks, memorandum books, maps, estate papers, and literary productions by James Perry and his son Stephen Samuel Perry and their extended families cover significant events in Texas history from the early years of colonization up to the twentieth century.
Extent 13 ft., 9 in.
Language Materials are in English.
Note: Pre-1865 material is available on microfilm. Photocopies should be made from microfilm, not from originals. See access restrictions below for further information.
Repository Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

James Franklin Perry was the second husband of Stephen F. Austin's sister Emily. Born in 1790, he emigrated from Pennsylvania to Missouri where he married Emily Austin Bryan in 1824. In 1830 the couple were granted eleven leagues of land in Texas. Perry and his family set up a store in San Felipe, then moved to Peach Point Plantation, near a settlement on the Brazos River that later became known as Perry's Landing. He managed some of Stephen Austin’s business affairs while Austin was in Mexico, and became more politically active during the Texas Revolution, serving at various conventions and on the Committee of Safety. He served as the administrator of Austin's estate, and in 1839 declined to become secretary of the treasury of the Republic of Texas. He owned about twenty slaves, and was one of the first Texas planters to shift from cotton to sugar as a primary product. After Emily’s death in 1851, Perry and his daughter traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi to meet his son Henry. Both James and Henry Perry contracted yellow fever there; Perry died on September 13, 1853 and was buried in Biloxi. His oldest son Stephen Samuel Perry (1825-1874) continued to manage Peach Point Plantation, which declined after the Civil War until the discovery of petroleum on the property brought a brief return of prosperity in the early twentieth century.


Scope and Contents

Correspondence, daybooks, letterbooks, memorandum books, deeds, surveys and plat maps, estate papers, and literary productions by James Perry and his son Stephen Samuel Perry and their extended families cover significant events in Texas history from the early years of colonization up to the twentieth century. Correspondence and business records concern Stephen F. Austin's land holdings, James Franklin Perry's mercantile business and other family-related business enterprises, the establishment and operation of Peach Point Plantation, and the daily concerns of paternalistic slaveholders who found it difficult to make ends meet raising cotton, corn, and sugar; to educate their children where there were no public schools; and to handle chronic health problems. The papers accentuate the contrast between life in various sections of the United States since the Perrys traveled for business, health reasons, and pleasure; attended schools in Ohio, Connecticut, Virginia; and corresponded with and visited relatives in the northeast as well as Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri.


Restrictions

1. Pre-1865 material is available on Center for American History [CAH] microfilm 18,335, Series G, Part 1, Reels 12-31. See microfilm inventory in the microfilm room (Winkler Study) under the title, “Ante-Bellum Plantations.” Photocopies should be made from microfilm, not from originals.

2. The microfilm of this collection is part of the Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations, Series G, from University Publications of America (OCLC: 16125404).

3. Correspondence from this collection is available in transcripts. See the transcript volumes in the inventory.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836.
Brown, Hiram L.
Bryan, Guy Morrison, 1821-1901.
Bryan, Moses Austin, 1817-1895.
Bryan, William Joel, 1815-1903.
Hammeken, George Lewis.
Hopkins, Matthew, 1808-1883.
Leaming, Thomas F.
McLeod, Hugh M., 1814-1862.
Perry, Emily Austin Bryan, 1795-1851.
Perry, James Franklin, 1790-1853--Archives.
Somervell, Alexander, 1796-1854.
Subjects (Organizations)
Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas.
Brazos and Galveston Railroad Company (Tex.)
Confederate States of America. Army. Texas Infantry Regiment, 4th--History.
Kenyon College.
Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.)
Subjects
Epilepsy.
Land titles--Texas.
Medicine--practice.
Merchants--Texas.
Plantations--Texas.
Railroads--Texas.
Reconstruction--Texas.
Slavery--Texas.
Sugar -- Texas.
Brazoria County (Tex.)--History--Sources.
Brazos River (Tex.)
Peach Point Plantation (Brazoria County, Tex.)
San Luis Island (Tex.)
Texas--History--Revolution, 1835-1836.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

The James F. and Stephen S. Perry papers, 1785-1942, the Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Inventory

box folder
2J29 General correspondence:
1785-1786, 1803-1816
1812-1818
1819-1830
box
2J30 June, 1830-December, 1833
box
2J31 January, 1834-June, 1837
box
2J79 July, 1837-April, 1840
box
2J32 May, 1840-December, 1843 and [undated]
box
2J33 1844-1848
box
2J34 1849-March, 1853
box
2J35 April, 1853-April, 1856
box
2J36 May, 1856-[December,] 1861
box
2J37 1862-1868 and [undated]
box
2J38 1869-1872 and [undated]
box
2J39 1873-1878 and [undated]
box
2J40 1879-1883 and [undated]
box
2J41 1884-1918 and [undated]
box
2J42 Undated, pre-1865
Undated, post-1865
Miscellaneous financial papers, [undated]
Literary efforts, [undated]
Miscellaneous land surveys and notes, [undated]
Miscellany and fragments, [undated]
Ledgers and books:
James F. Perry letterbook, 1831-1847
Plantation cotton accounts and daybook, 1839-1861
box
2J43 James F. Perry ledger, 1831-1833
James F. and Stephen S. Perry daybook, 1837-1863
Peach Point ledger and slave list, 1837-1855, 1866, and 1874
box
2J44 San Luis account books with plat, [circa 1841-1843]
Order book of Second Batallion, Fourth Regiment, Texas Volunteers, 1861
Miscellaneous account and memorandum books 1810-1838, 1850-1870, 1884-1889
Check stubs, 1860-1900
box
4L39 James F. Perry Ledger
1830-1838
box
4L40 1833-1841
box
4L41 1830-1834
box
4L43 1836-1874 (photocopy)
box
4L42 Peach Point Plantation account book, 1881-1898, 1912
box
2R135 Transcripts:
James Franklin and Stephen Samuel Perry Papers:
Miscellaneous Bryan-Perry correspondence, 1815-1863
[not in following volumes; originals interfiled with collection--2 copies]
Volume 1-2 1786-1829
[2 copies]
box
2R137 Volume 3-5 1832-1837
[2 copies]
box
2R138 Volume 9-11 1838-1844
[2 copies]
box
2R139 Volume 12-15 1845-1848
[2 copies]
box
2R140 Volume 15-17 1847-1851
[2 copies]
box
2R141 Volume 18-20 1851-1853
[2 copies]
box
2R142 Volume 20-22 1853-1855
[2 copies]
box
2R143 Volume 23-25 1855-1857
[2 copies]
box
2R144 Volume 25-27 1856-1859
[2 copies]
box
2R145 Volume 28-30 1859-1867
[2 copies]
box
2R146 Volume 31-33 1859-1867
[2 copies]
box
2R147 Volume 34-36 1875-1884
[2 copies]
box
2R148 Volume 37 1885-1940
[2 copies]
Volume 38 [undated]
[2 copies]
Volume 39, letter book, account papers, calendar, miscellaneous 1831-1847
[2 copies]
box
2R149 Emily Austin Bryan Perry letters collected from various sources, 1815-1845 and [undated]
“Notes on James Perry and His Descendants and Notes on the Perrys of Rhode Island,” by James M. Brown, C. T. Elliott, and Mrs. John Caldwell, 1891, 1939, 1942
Emily M. Bryan’s book--Vocal Music, 1819 [photocopy]
box
2.325/V36 Oversize papers, 1830-1940 and [undated]
box
OD 1277 Oversize papers, 1866, 1867, 1877, [undated]