A Guide to the James Bryan Papers, 1799-1822
James Bryan (1799-1822), merchant and mine owner, was the first husband of Emily Margaret Austin Bryan Perry, sister of Stephen F. Austin. He was the father of several early Anglo-American Texas settlers including William Joel Bryan, Moses Austin Bryan, and Guy Morrison Bryan. Bryan was born October 18 in Haycock Township, Pennsylvania. He and Emily Austin married August 31, 1813 at Durham Hall, in Mine au Berton, Missouri. They lived with Emily’s parents at Durham Hall in Missouri from 1813 to 1814. In 1815 they moved to Hazel Run Missouri, and later Herculaneum, Missouri. Emily and James had five children: Stephen Austin Bryan (July 17, 1814-August 12, 1814), William Joel Bryan (December 14, 1815-March 13, 1903), Moses Austin Bryan (September 25, 1817-March 16, 1895), Guy Morrison Bryan (January 12, 1831-June 4, 1901), and Mary Elizabeth Bryan (July 5, 1822-August 4, 1833).
Bryan was a mining entrepreneur whose efforts in concert with others brought economic development in Missouri. Bryan was a mining executive at the time and operated “Bryan’s Mines” on Hazel Run, north of Big River; this location is also known as “Hazel Run Lead Digging.” Bryan attained significance when the United States Supreme Court recognized details of a land transfer from Bryan’s father-in-law Moses Austin to Bryan in Bryan v. Kennett, which was the Court’s ratification of the Louisiana Purchase. Bryan was also a significant landowner in Arkansas and a plantation owner in Missouri. James Bryan died July 16, 1822 in Hazel Run, Missouri. The City of Bryan, Texas is named for him.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Perry, Emily Margaret Austin," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/PP/fpe39.html (accessed May 21, 2010).
The James Bryan Papers, 1799-1822, include receipts, deeds, legal documents, and business and family correspondence relating to his mining business in Missouri.
This collection is open for research use.
James Bryan Papers, 1799-1822, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, 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