University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the John W. Lawrence Papers, 1834-1933

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lawrence, John W.
Title: Lawrence, John W. Papers
Dates: 1834-1933
Abstract: John William Blount Lawrence (1815–1909) was a lawyer, soldier, land agent, and notary public. Papers include letterpresses of Lawrence, Lawrence and Clarke, Lawrence and Edwards, Lawrence and Son; tax book; correspondence; and legal and business documents relating to Lawrence's career activities.
Extent: 16 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

John William Blount Lawrence (1815–1909), lawyer, soldier, land agent, and notary public, was born in North Carolina. In 1837 he and his family moved to Florida where Lawrence had an unsuccessful career as a cotton speculator. After moving to Houston in 1841, Lawrence served in a Milam County volunteer army during the Rafael Vásquez invasion before attending law school. He voted for annexation in 1845 while practicing law in Matagorda. In 1847 he moved back to Houston to work for land agent Jacob de Cordova and later for James Morgan in the investigation of land titles.

During the Civil War, Lawrence served as captain of a company of Harris County home guards and worked to commission Texas troops across the state line in Louisiana. In 1866 Lawrence acted for a short time as assistant assessor of internal revenue for Harris County but soon resigned and went back to his land business.

Lawrence partnered in the law firms of Lawrence & Clarke, Lawrence & Edwards, and Lawrence & Son. He married Louisa J. (Mrs. William Milton) Tyron, and they had one son, John R. Lawrence.

Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Lawrence, John W.," (accessed May 27, 2010).

Scope and Contents

The John W. Lawrence Papers, 1834-1933, consist of correspondence, letterpresses, legal and business documents, account papers, land papers, tax book, literary productions, photographs, and printed material. The collection pertains to Lawrence's activities as a lawyer and land agent in the firms of Lawrence & Clarke (1870-1873), Lawrence & Edwards (1880-1883), and Lawrence & Son (1884-1909), all of which specialized in the purchase and sale of lands. Papers also relate to the payment of taxes for nonresidents, litigation of land titles, settlement of estates, and searches for lost lands for owners or heirs. Also included are the papers of John R. Lawrence, who continued the firm of Lawrence & Son after his father's death. Papers of both father and son relate to agriculture, commerce, cultural and social affairs.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Lawrence, John W., 1815–1909--Archives.
Lawrence, John R., 1860–1936--Archives.
Adriance, John Sabin, 1861-
Clarke, W. H.
Clarke, William F., 1883-1961
Cope, Charles West, 1811-1890
De Cordova, Jacob, 1808-1868
Jones, C. Anson (Cromwell Anson), b. 1850
Nelson, Aaron Alma, 1878-1946
Waggaman, George Augustus, 1790-1843
Wells, James B., 1850-1923
Subjects (Organizations)
Lawrence & Clarke
Lawrence & Edwards
Lawrence & Son
Lawyers--United States
Real estate investment--Texas
Land use--Texas
Real estate business--Texas
Land titles--Texas
Estate planning--Texas
Inheritance and succession--Texas
Raleigh (N.C.)
Austin (Tex.)
Harris County (Tex.)
Houston (Tex.)
Matagorda (Tex.)
Travis County (Tex.)

Related Material

See also: Jones (Cromwell Anson) Papers, 1837-1926

See also: Wells (James B.) Papers, 1837-1926

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John W. Lawrence Papers, 1834-1933, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

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



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