TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Ben Caldwell Prather Papers, 1781-1973.
Born in Palestine, Texas, ca. 1902-1972, Ben Caldwell Prather was distantly related to James Bowie, an amateur historian, and gun collector. Prather wrote extensively about Bowie and his family and owned a restaurant and the Bowie Knife Museum in Alexandria, Louisiana.
The Ben Caldwell Prather Papers, 1781-1973, contain documents relating to Prather’s family history, especially pertaining to James Bowie’s life. Legal papers relating to the Bowie family encompass mortgages, marriage licenses, bills of sale, a deed to land in Tennessee, Patsy Bowie’s will, land surveys and maps, and other business contracts. A booklet in the Bowie file describes the Sand Bar Duel, where Bowie was wounded and his knife became famous. The Prather family files include the family’s coat of arms, newspaper articles, a family tree, and family narratives. The Miscellaneous files consist of booklets with historical information about Tennessee, Louisiana, and the Lafayette Parish; the journal of the Louisiana Senate from the first and second sessions; André Barbier’s will; and notes on Belle Starr. The scrapbooks are composed of genealogical histories and newspaper articles about the Prathers and Bowies, and as well as photographs of family members.
This collection is open for research use.
Ben Caldwell Prather Papers, 1781-1973, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.