A Guide to the John W. Lawrence Papers, 1834-1933
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.," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/fla55.html (accessed May 27, 2010).
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.
The collection is open for research.
John W. Lawrence Papers, 1834-1933, 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