A Guide to the Samuel Price Carson Papers, 1827-1913
Politician Samuel Price Carson (1798-1838) was born to Col. John and Mary (Moffit) Carson, in Pleasant Gardens, North Carolina. John represented Burke County in the North Carolina General Assembly for many years. Educated by his older brother Joseph, Samuel Carson was elected to the North Carolina Senate in 1822.
Two years later, Carson ran for U. S. Senate against Robert B. Vance, who charged that Carson’s father was a traitor during the Revolutionary War. Carson challenged Vance to a duel and prepared by training with David Crocket in Tennessee. In 1827, the duel finally took place in Saluda Gap, South Carolina, and Carson mortally wounded Vance with his first shot.
In 1825, Carson began the first of four terms in the U. S. House of Representatives. He was defeated in 1833 after supporting John C. Calhoun’s nullification meeting. In 1834, Carson was reelected to the North Carolina State Senate and was a delegate to the 1835 North Carolina Constitutional Convention. In 1831, Carson married Catherine Wilson, with whom he had a daughter. The couple also adopted his illegitimate daughter with Emma Trout.
By 1836, Carson had moved to Lafayette County, claimed by both Texas and Arkansas, and was chosen to represent the area of Pecan Point at the Convention of 1836, where he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. After losing the position of president ad interim to David C. Burnet by a vote of 29 to 23, Carson was elected the Republic of Texas’s first Secretary of State, a position he held only for a few months. In April 1836, Carson traveled to Washington, D.C., to help secure aid for the new republic. He retired to his Arkansas home only a month later.
Ericson, Joe E. “Carson, Samuel Price.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed October 28, 2010.
Fulmore, Z. T. “Samuel Carson Price.” The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association. Vol. 8, No. 3 (January 1905): 263-266.
The Samuel Price Carson Papers, 1827-1913, document Carson’s political career, focusing on a duel in which Carson killed Robert B. Vance. The collection consists of a typed transcript, with handwritten annotations, of letters and biographical information related to Carson’s activities as a North Carolina legislator and the 1827 duel. Silas McDowell of Mason County, North Carolina, collected the transcribed papers in 1875.
This collection is open for research use.
Samuel Price Carson Papers, 1827-1913, 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