A Guide to the Burges-Jefferson Family Papers, 1836 (1857-1892) 1960
John R. Jefferson, Jr. (1804-1888), brigadier general in the Mississippi militia (1842-1846), tavern owner, and stage line operator, was born in Cumberland, Virginia in 1804. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee and then to New Orleans in 1829, where he worked as a stage line operator. He married Eliza A. Coorpender in 1841 and they had ten children. Jefferson moved to Seguin, Texas, in 1853, where he operated stage lines and owned a tavern. He became Confederate marshal for the Western District of Texas in 1862 and was granted amnesty in 1866.
William H. Burges (1838-1898) of Seguin, Texas, a lawyer and state senator (1880-1881), was married to Bettie Rust. Their children include Richard Fenner Burges (1873-1945), El Paso lawyer, state legislator (1913-1915), conservationist, and state and federal commissioner and counselor. After Bettie died, William H. Burges married Mary Lou (Mamie) Jefferson, one of the daughters of John R. Jefferson, Jr. and Eliza Coorpender.
Sources: Burges-Jefferson Family Papers, 1836 (1857-1892) 1960, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Jefferson, John R.," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/JJ/fje2.html (accessed August 6, 2010).
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Burges, Richard Fenner," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/BB/fbu28.html (accessed August 6, 2010).
The Burges-Jefferson Family Papers, 1836 (1857-1892) 1960, contain correspondence, photographs, legal documents, slave lists, a broadside, a bible, printed material, receipts, and clippings relating to the Burges and Jefferson families. The papers pertain to civilian and military life during the Civil War, religious life, and family affairs.
The bulk of the collection consists of family correspondence and business documents of the Jefferson and Burges families, including personal correspondence of John R. Jefferson, Jr., written during the Civil War, pertaining to camp life, family, and community affairs. Official documents in the collection relate to John Jefferson and include a copy of his amnesty from President Andrew Johnson; slave lists and a bill of sale; and an obituary of a former slave of Joseph Henry Polley, one of Stephen F. Austin’s colonists. Additionally, the papers contain an invitation to the commencement of the New Orleans School of Medicine, 1859; a ticket for a concert given by the ladies of Seguin for a benefit of the hospital at Richmond, Va., and Victoria, Texas, for Texas soldiers, January 1862; and a broadside advertising damaged cotton, 1864. Furthermore, the collection includes material relating to a flag made by Seguin women and presented to Hood’s Texas Brigade in 1861 as well as several letters from William C. Walsh, Tom Green Rifles lieutenant and state land commissioner, to Jefferson, 1836-1924, discussing various topics such as the process of winemaking.
The Burges family materials in the collection include the correspondence of William H. Burges, his wife, Mary Lou Jefferson Burges, and William and Bettie Rust’s son, Richard Fenner Burges. One letter contains a firsthand account by William H. Burges of the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862. Additionally, a few materials relate to Benito A. Lozano, a pilot from Garland, Texas, and his wife, Henrietta Moore.
The collection is open for research.
Burges-Jefferson Family Papers, 1836 (1857-1892) 1960, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Katherine McIver, October-November 1987.
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