A Guide to the John N. Barnhart Papers, 1950-1961, 1992
John Newhall Barnhart, from Beeville, Bee County, Texas, represented district 70 in the 52nd session of the Texas House of Representatives from 1951 to 1953. He entered a solo vote in the 52nd Legislature opposing the Red Scare resolution demanding the firing of Dr. Clarence Ayres at the University of Texas. An economics professor, Ayres held anti-capitalism views that led to conflicts with Texas legislators as well as University of Texas administrators. Barnhart’s solo vote went against 130 votes in the Texas House to dismiss Ayres from his position.
Barnhart collected material related to a campaign against Bee County Sheriff Vail Ennis, who killed seven people. Additionally, Barnhart played a role in the organization of a committee for the Democratic Party when faced with competition from the Republican Party beginning in 1952.
Sources: Legislative Reference Library of Texas. "Members of the 52nd Legislature (1951)." http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legis/members/roster.cfm (accessed August 6, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Ayres, Clarence Edwin," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/AA/fay4.html (accessed August 6, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Democratic Party," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/DD/wad1.html (accessed August 6, 2010).
The John N. Barnhart Papers, 1950-1992, include correspondence, legal documents, financial records, clippings, and printed materials created by Barnhart during his years in the Texas House of Representatives. The collection contains two letters from Maury Maverick, Sr., to Barnhart (1951) related to communism and a news clipping (1992), pertaining to the Communist Control Act of 1954. Additionally, the papers include correspondence concerning his solo vote in the 52nd Legislature opposing the Red Scare resolution; various correspondence and data on legislative activities; and a folder of material on a campaign against Bee County sheriff, Vail Ennis. Finally, the collection contains documentation related to the efforts of creating a Texas Democratic Organizing Committee when the Republican Party took over the Texas Democratic Party.
The collection is open for research.
John N. Barnhart Papers, 1950-1961, 1992, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Jessi Fishman, August 2010, and Stacey Helmerich, January 2011.
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