Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Henry Smith Papers, 1834-1879



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Smith, Henry
Title: Smith, Henry Papers
Dates: 1834-1879
Abstract: Henry Smith was the first governor of Texas. The papers include correspondence, deeds, land grants, land surveys, powers-of-attorney, certificates, petitions, summons, depositions, receipts of sale, receipts of taxes, a bill, a suit, and photographs.
Accession No.: 2001-173
Extent: 6 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Henry Smith (1788-1851), the first governor of Texas, was born in Kentucky and moved to Brazoria County, Texas, in 1827. He was severely wounded in the battle of Velasco, 1832. In 1833 Smith was elected magistrate of Brazoria and appointed a delegate to the Convention of 1833. The governor of Coahuila and Texas designated him political chief of the department of the Brazos in 1834. An avid force for Texas independence, Smith served on the Columbia committee of safety and correspondence and was a delegate to the Consultation, 1835. Later that same year he was elected first governor of Texas, but due to various conflicts, the council impeached him in 1836. His break from politics was short-lived, as he was on the ballot for the presidency in 1836, though he supported Sam Houston in the election. Smith served as secretary of the treasury during Houston’s presidency. From the 1830s to 1840 Smith worked as a land developer along the Gulf Coast near Aransas Bay. He then served in the House of Representatives, 1840, where he was known for his work as chairman of the committee on finance. After his one term in Congress, Smith retired, and in 1849 traveled to California to pan for gold. He died at a mining camp near Los Angeles in 1851.

Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Smith, Henry," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsm23.html (accessed July 28, 2010).

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Scope and Contents

The Henry Smith Papers, 1834-1879, include correspondence, deeds, land grants, land surveys, powers-of-attorney, certificates, petitions, summons, depositions, receipts of sale, receipts of taxes, a bill, a suit, and photographs. The papers relate to Smith’s career as a land agent, including the sale, issuance, purchase, and settlement of claims as well as the surveying of Texas lands. Additionally, the collection pertains to the financial affairs of the Republic of Texas and to court proceedings of a complaint by Smith against James Power, his one-time land development partner.

The papers also include a woodcut engraving and halftone reproduction of a lithograph of Smith, as well as a transcript of "Stormy Days of 1836," by Smith, a reminiscence of the events leading to Texas Independence, 1835-1836.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Smith, Henry, 1788-1851--Archives.
Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836
Brigham, Asa
Carleton, William, 1794-1869
Fulton, G. W.
Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859
Lubbock, Francis Richard, 1815-1905
Mason, Charles
Power, James
Robertson, Edward
Travis, William Barret, 1809-1836
Webb, James, 1792-1856
Williams, Samuel M.
Woodward, John
Subjects
Governors--Texas--History
Land grants--Texas
Places
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846
Kentucky
New Orleans (La.)
Brazoria County (Tex.)
Houston (Tex.)
Velasco (Tex.)

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Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Map Collection.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Henry Smith Papers, 1834-1879, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Subsequent revisions were made by Larry Cook, July 1983 and Lawrence A. Landis, October 1990.

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.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

box
2G239 Letters, 1834-1879
Deeds and land grants
Land surveys and field notes
Power of Attorneys and certificates
Suit, Henry Smith vs. James Power
Receipts and accounts
Miscellaneous
box
3T214 Woodcut engraving and halftone reproduction of a lithograph of Henry Smith
box
2G239 3H125 Transcript of "Stormy Days of 1836," by Henry Smith, a reminiscence of the events of 1835-1836 leading to Texas Independence

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