A Guide to the James Perry Bryan Papers, 1819-1903, 1932, 1956-1965
The son of W. Joel and Cassie (Perry) Bryan, James Perry Bryan, Sr. (1909-1975) was an attorney, Texas historian, and University of Texas regent. Following his graduation from the University of Texas at Austin around 1929, Bryan joined the law firm of Masterson and Bryan in Angleton. He then served Brazoria County as county attorney (1936-1940), worked as general counsel for Dow Chemical (1942-1958), and was vice president of the Brazos Oil and Gas Company (1946-1958). Bryan also served on several school boards and the boards of numerous local companies, such as the Lake Jackson State Bank.
A relative of Stephen F. Austin, Bryan avidly researched the history of the Austin-Bryan-Perry family and of Brazoria County and surrounding areas. He joined numerous historical associations, including the Sons of the Republic of Texas and the Texas State Historical Association, serving as president of the latter. In 1957, Bryan became a regent of the University of Texas, to which he later donated a large collection of Texan and Southwestern maps and books. His historical research and collecting led to several publications, including Texas in Maps (1961) and Mary Austin Holley: The Texas Diary, 1835-1838 (1965).
"Bryan, James Perry, Sr."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed January 12, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbrbt.
Correspondence, printed materials and publications, financial and legal documents, photographs, and other research materials compose the James Perry Bryan Papers, 1819-1903, 1932, 1956-1965. Publications and articles, biographical and historical narratives, diaries, census records, correspondence, and notes comprise the historical research regarding Brazoria County, Texas, its settlers, and surrounding areas, especially during the colonial, Republic, and early statehood periods of Texas. Legal and financial documents, publications, photographs, drawings, diaries, and correspondence document the history of the Austin-Bryan-Perry family and the activities of specific members, such as Moses Austin Bryan and Emily Margaret Austin Bryan Perry. Additionally, the papers contain Bryan’s business records, correspondence with his family and friends, and his writings, including poetry and historical publications. Correspondents and associates include Joseph C. Clopper, Adolph Flake, and Ball, Hatchings & Co. The photographs depict the Bryan and Perry family members as well as 30 maps relating to Texas and the New World from the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain, arranged chronologically.
Archivist’s note: The paper copy of the finding aid in the Briscoe Center Reading Room contains an in-depth inventory of the collection.
This collection is open for research use.
James Perry Bryan Papers, 1819-1903, 1932, 1956-1965, 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