A Guide to the Lawrence Sullivan Ross Letters, 1846-1894
Soldier, governor, and university president Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross (1838-1898) was born in the Iowa Territory and immigrated to Texas in 1839. After earning his A.B. from Wesleyan University in Florence, Alabama in 1859, Ross joined the Texas Rangers, initially as a lieutenant and later as a captain. Ross' fame in Texas greatly increased when, during the battle of the Pease River, his company rescued Cynthia Ann Parker. In 1861, he married Elizabeth Dorothy Tinsley, and promptly joined the Confederate Army, serving first as a major, then a colonel, and finally as a brigadier general in 1864, commanding the Texas Cavalry Brigade (or Ross's Brigade). After working as a farmer in Waco during Reconstruction, Ross was elected sheriff of McLennan County in 1873, and helped form the Sheriff's Association of Texas. Ross became a state senator in 1880, followed by governor in 1886, where he presided over completion of the new Capitol, and initiated a period of industrial, agricultural, and commercial growth. In 1891, Ross took over presidency of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (later Texas A & M University). As President, he facilitated the growth of the college and helped restore public faith in the institution.
Benner, Judith Ann. "Ross, Lawrence Sullivan [Sul]," Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 22, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fro81.
The Lawrence Sullivan Ross Letters, 1846-1894, document Ross’ career as a soldier, governor, and university president. The letters relate to the organization of a Confederate brigade by Ross, and Victor Rose, and also include Rose’s proposed history of Ross’s Brigade. Additionally, one letter from Jefferson Davis to Rose, relates Davis’ recollections of the Trans-Mississippi during the Civil War. The majority of the letters are Photostat copies, however, there is one original letter written during Ross’ time as president of A&M.
The collection is open for research use.
Lawrence Sullivan Ross Letters, 1846-1894, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers