A Guide to the Milam-McKinney Collection, 1797-1860
Born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, Collin McKinney (1766-1861) helped support his family during the Revolutionary War. Following the war, he moved to Lincoln County, Kentucky, and married Annie Moore in 1792, with whom he had four children. After her death, McKinney married Elizabeth Leek Coleman in 1805 and fathered six more children. McKinney moved with his family to Tennessee, where he managed a trading post and supervised the estates of Senator George W. Campbell from 1818 to 1821. McKinney relocated in 1827 to Fayette County, Arkansas, serving as justice of the peace. In 1830, McKinney moved to Red River County, Texas, where he became involved in the political struggles of the Texas Revolution. Serving as a delegate to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, McKinney was also one of five appointed to draft the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Entrepreneur, soldier, and colonizer Benjamin R. Milam (1788-1835), befriended McKinney in 1826. Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, Milam served in the Kentucky militia during the War of 1812, Milam moved to Texas in 1818, engaging in trade with members of the Comanche tribe. The following year, Milam joined José Félix Trespalacios on an expedition to help revolutionaries in Texas and Mexico rebel against Spain. In 1824, Milam met Arthur G. Wavell, with whom he entered into a partnership to manage a silver mine in Nuevo Léon. In addition, Milam and Wavell received empresario grants in Texas, and Milam became an agent for Wavell’s Red River colony in Northeast Texas in 1830. During the Texas Revolution, Milam joined George Collinsworth’s company of soldiers. When the majority of the army decided not to defend San Antonio, Milam solicited three hundred volunteers on December 4, 1835, to go to the city. Milam was shot and killed in battle three days later.
Garver, Lois. "McKinney, Collin."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed February 16, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmc73.
Garver, Lois. "Milam, Benjamin Rush."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed February 16, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmi03.
Composed of correspondence, legal and financial papers, genealogical materials, and maps, the Milam-McKinney Collection, 1797-1860, documents Milam’s and McKinney’s friendship, as well as the former’s experiences as a soldier, entrepreneur, and colonizer, and the latter’s activities as a politician and land developer, and their family histories. Correspondence consists of letters exchanged between Milam and McKinney, as well as with other friends and family members, and concerns the settlement of Texas and the Texas Revolution. Legal and financial documents include land grants, colony lists, immigration certificates, church certificates, and account papers, while memoirs, charts, and a narrative comprise genealogical items.
This collection is open for research use.
Milam-McKinney Collection, 1797-1860, 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