A Guide to the Benjamin Holland Epperson Papers, 1834-1876
Born in Amite County, Mississippi, Benjamin Holland Epperson (1826-1878) moved to Clarksville, Texas, in the mid-1840s. He soon passed the bar in Texas and served as a county commissioner. In 1847, Epperson was elected to the Texas Legislature, and as a member of the Whig Party, he ran for governor in 1851. After losing to incumbent P. H. Bell, Epperson joined the Know-Nothing Party. He then returned to his law practice and became director of the Memphis, El Paso, and Pacific Railroad in the 1850s. In 1859, he was reelected to the Texas Legislature, where he opposed secession. However, when Texas left the Union and the Civil War begun, Epperson contributed funds and supplies to the Confederate Army and ran for the Confederate Congress in 1861. Following the war, Epperson became president of the Memphis, El Paso, and Pacific Railroad in 1866. That same year, he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but the Republican-controlled Congress prevented him from serving. In 1870, he left the Railroad and moved to Jefferson, where he built his home, House of the Seasons. From 1874 to 1875, he again served in the Texas Legislature.
Wooster, Ralph A. "Epperson, Benjamin Holland."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed November 22, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fep01.
The Benjamin Holland Epperson Papers, 1834-1876, document the legal, political, and business career of Epperson, primarily during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Correspondence, speeches, financial and legal documents, newspaper clippings, and literary efforts concern Epperson’s legal activities while representing the Chickasaw Indians’ campaigns to retrieve 1851 Texas Indemnity Bonds as well as his support of the Confederacy and sympathy for the Union during the Civil War. Additionally, correspondence with well-known Texas political figures, including James W. Throckmorton, Henry McCulloch, Milton Stapp, and Samuel Bell Maxey, document Epperson’s Whig Party candidacy for governor of Texas; his tenure as a Texas legislator and president of the Memphis, El Paso, and Pacific Railroad; and his service as a delegate-at-large to the 1868 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
This collection is open for research use.
Benjamin Holland Epperson Papers, 1834-1876, 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