A Guide to the Nathaniel Townsend Papers, 1821-1865
Nathaniel Townsend (1804-1864) moved to Natchez, Mississippi in 1828 to live with his brother after unspecified health issues required that he depart his home state of New York. He married Maria Roach in 1829, with whom he had four children. After meeting Stephen F. Austin on a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, the Townsend family moved to San Felipe de Austin.
Following the formation of the Republic of Texas, President Sam Houston named Townsend consul at New Orleans, where he served from 1837 to 1838. During this time, his wife passed away. The next year, Townsend moved to Austin, where he opened a general store to replace the one burned by the Mexican Army in March 1836. While visiting his children at their school in the East in 1847, he married Angeline Townsend of Williamstown, Massachusetts, and the family returned to New Orleans for three years. In 1850, Townsend moved back to Austin and opened a merchandising business; however, by the time of the Civil War, failing health drove him to return to New York.
“Townsend, Nathaniel.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 3, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fto33.
Correspondence, letterpress book, daybooks, and account books comprise the Nathaniel Townsend Papers, 1821-1865. The collection concerns Nathaniel’s career, relating to his land deals, lawsuits over lands, orders for merchandise for his business, and the letters he exchanged with a number of personal acquaintances such as the merchants Robert Mitchell Forbes and James Cochran and plantation owner John Hunter Herndon.
This collection is open for research use.
Nathaniel Townsend Papers, 1821-1865, 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