A Guide to the John R. Burke Papers, 1828, 1832, 1851
Born in the 1790s in England or the United States, "Colonel" John R. Burke founded the town of Burkeville, Newton County, Texas, in 1844. Before that time, he acquired considerable wealth, possibly in Tennessee or Georgia, and befriended both Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, perhaps while in military service. In his new town, Burke served as a school trustee and a postmaster. He also represented Newton County in the Texas Legislature from 1853 to 1855. Although the nature of their relationship is unclear, Burke and Mary W. Burke donated land for Burkeville’s Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and he was the first buried in the Church’s cemetery upon his death in 1855.
Eckel, Jennifer. "Burke, John R."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed October 28, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbuav.
One volume of transcribed correspondence and a list of home furnishings composes the John R. Burke Papers, 1828, 1832, 1851, and documents Burke’s belongings and his friendships with Sam Houston and Andrew Jackson. The correspondence includes an 1832 letter to Burke from Andrew Jackson, thanking Burke for the gift of a cane, and a personal letter from Sam Houston, dated Huntsville, Texas, July 19, 1851. Additionally, the collection contains an invitation to a ball honoring Andrew Jackson in New Orleans, Louisiana, dated January 10, 1828, and a list of pictures, furnishings, and personal items in the Burke home in Chirino, Texas, with a few genealogical notes.
This collection is open for research use.
John R. Burke Papers, 1828, 1832, 1851, 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