A Guide to the Centennial Farmers Alliance No. 3344 Records, 1886-1985
The Centennial Farmers Alliance No. 3344 was a farmers union chartered on December 11, 1886 in Bell County, Texas, in response to the excessive cost of agricultural supplies, the falling price of cotton, and absorption of profit by production middlemen after the Civil War. Numerous farming unions were formed across the country and particularly flourished in the South in the 1880s, including the National Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial Union, more commonly referred to as the Southern Farmers’ Alliance, which eventually claimed a membership of almost three million. Strategies for economic improvement employed by farmers alliances included cooperatively owned stores and mills as well as trade-agreements in which committees promised merchants their members’ cash business in exchange for low prices. Farmers’ organizations also called for changes in governmental land policies, railroad regulation, and the use of silver as legal tender. Though the movement was largely unsuccessful, it served as the roots of the Populist Party.
Barnes, Donna A. “Farmers’ Alliance,” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed November 5, 2010.
The Centennial Farmers Alliance No. 3344 Records, 1886-1895, consist of a ledger documenting the activities of the agricultural organization’s political activities. The ledger includes minutes of Alliance’s meetings, most of which were recorded by Secretary W. H. Madely, as well as accounts of the organization’s finances, membership lists, and quarterly reports.
This collection is open for research use.
Centennial Farmers Alliance No. 3344 Records, 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