A Guide to the Joseph Draper Sayers Papers, 1834-1911
Texas governor Joseph Draper Sayers (1841-1929) moved to Bastrop, Texas, from Mississippi with his father in 1851. Sayers attended the Bastrop Military Institute from 1852 until 1860 and joined the Confederate Army in 1861. He served in the Fifth Regiment, Mounted Volunteers until 1864 when he achieved the rank of major and joined the staff of Major General Thomas Green. He returned to Bastrop and practiced law for ten years with his partner, George W. Jones.
Sayers served in the Texas Senate in 1873, chaired the Democratic state executive committee from 1875 to 1878, and served as lieutenant governor from 1879 to 1881. After his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1884, Sayers served on the committee for naval affairs and the committee for appropriations. Additionally, he helped secure long delayed back payment for the Texas Rangers. With the support of Edwin M. House, he won both the 1898 and 1900 Texas gubernatorial elections. During his terms as governor, Sayers weathered several major disasters, including Texas State Penitentiary fire, the Brazos Flood of 1899, and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.
Following his governorship and before his death in 1929, Sayers practiced law in San Antonio, became a regent for the University of Texas in 1916, chaired the state Industrial Accident Board from 1913 to 1915, and sat on both the board of legal examiners and the board of pardon advisors.
"Sayers, Joseph Draper," Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed March 26, 2012 http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsa41.html.
Correspondence, essays, a biography, speeches, clippings, a purchase journal, checks, an inventory, endorsements, tables, promissory notes, bills, laws, invitations and photographs comprise the Joseph Draper Sayers Papers, 1834-1911, and relate to Sayers’ political career and personal life. His correspondence includes letters from and to his wife, letters during his term as a United States congressman, letters from Governor C. A. Culberson, political endorsements, and invitations. Additionally, the papers contain personal financial records; clippings, scrapbooks, and biographical sketches pertaining to Sayers; and photographs relating to Sayers’ political career.
This collection is open for research use.
Joseph Draper Sayers Papers, 1834-1911, 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