A Guide to the John H. Chrisman Reminiscences, 1915, 1921
Born in Charleston, Indiana, John H. Chrisman (1821-1922) moved with his parents to Illinois when he was at the age of one. In 1846, he sought to move to Texas with his wife, Samantha Minnis, and two children. En route to Texas, Chrisman’s wife died in Arkansas. Chrisman left his children briefly in Arkansas and returned to Illinois, where he married Sarah Mitchell, with whom he later had nine children. After reclaiming his children from Arkansas, Chrisman arrived with his family in Fort Gates, Texas, on April 4, 1854. Chrisman surveyed and settled in the town of Gatesville, and also created a plot map of Coryell County. As an involved member of his community, he built the first jail in the county and served as justice of peace from 1855 to 1861. Chrisman engaged in a number of trades, including selling dry goods and groceries from Houston, transporting mail between Comanche and Gatesville in 1858, and driving a herd of cattle to Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1859. During the Civil War, he joined the Frontier Regiment composed of Texas Rangers and Confederate soldiers, which protected the western frontier from Native American depredations. Following his service in the regiment, Chrisman returned to Gatesville and practiced law until his death in 1922.
Edwards, Sylvia. "Chrisman, John H. "Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed Novmember 8, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fch36.
The John H. Chrisman Reminiscences, 1915, 1921, was written by Chrisman in 1915, and chronicles his life from 1854 to 1865. The collection consists of two typescripts of his reminiscences from 1921. Chrisman ruminates his journey from Illinois to Texas, his role in organizing the community of Gatesville, and his experiences as a grocer, mail carrier, cattle driver, Texas Ranger, and Confederate soldier. In addition, he discusses frontier life and conflicts between Native Americans and settlers in the region.
This collection is open for research use.
John H. Chrisman Reminiscences, 1915, 1921, 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