A Guide to the William Carroll Crawford Papers, 1842-1848, 1875-1894
The last surviving signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, William Carroll, or Carrol, Crawford (1804-1895) was born to Archibald and Nancy (Carroll) Crawford in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After the family moved to Georgia, Crawford apprenticed as a tailor (1821/1822-1830) and became a Methodist minister in Alabama in 1830. Four years later he married Rhoda Jackson Watkins (d. 1881), with whom he had nine children, including W. C. Crawford, Julia A. Luck, L. F. Fewell, L. V. (Mrs. B. B.) Moore, Alice C. Koonce Dickerson, and W. W. Harpold.
In 1835, the Crawfords settled with the Watkins family near Shelbyville in Shelby County, Texas. Crawford and Sydney O. Penington represented Shelby County at the Convention of 1836, where they signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. In 1859, Crawford moved to Pittsburg, where he served as postmaster from 1874 to 1881. He then lived in Hill County, until 1884, and in Alvarado, until his death.
Kemp, L. W. "Crawford, William Carrol."Handbook of Texas Online Accessed November 10, 2010.
Composed of correspondence, legal and financial documents, and an autobiography, the William Carroll Crawford Papers, 1842-1848, 1875-1894, illuminate the business career and family life of Crawford. The handwritten correspondence from Crawford to his children discusses social activities and business ventures. Additional correspondence to the Crawfords concern schooling, family history, the Texas Veterans Association, Texas Confederate Home, and Crawford’s work at the Pittsburg, Texas, Post Office. The legal and financial documents include indentures and deeds involving Crawford, sheriff’s warranty deeds for his daughter Alice and her husband Dan Koonce, a divorce decree for Dan and Isabella Koonce, Pittsburg Post Office registry receipts and account forms, and a report from the Shelby County treasurer. Additionally, Crawford’s handwritten autobiography describes his life, including his career as a Methodist minister and his experiences during the Texas Revolution and Republic of Texas.
This collection is open for research use.
William Carroll Crawford Papers, 1842-1848, 1875-1894, 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