A Guide to the San Antonio (Texas) Papers, 1685-1942
The city of San Antonio grew out of San Antonio de Béxar Presidio, founded 1718, which included five Spanish missions located along the San Antonio River. In 1773, San Antonio de Béxar became the capital of Spanish Texas and by 1778 had a population of 2,060. The town supported Mexican independence in 1813 but was recaptured by Royalist forces after the battles of Alazán Creek and Medina. During the Texas Revolution, San Antonio was the site of several battles, including the siege of Bexar (1835) and the battle of the Alamo (1836). After the evacuation of Mexican forces, the Republic of Texas organized Bexar County in December 1836, and San Antonio was chartered as its seat. When Texas entered the Union in 1845, the city grew rapidly, becoming a service and distribution center for the western movement of the United States. By 1860, San Antonio had become the largest town in Texas, with Germans immigrants contributing largely to the population growth. The city served as a Confederate depot during the Civil War, and afterwards prospered as a cattle, distribution, mercantile, and military center for the border region and the Southwest.
Fehrenbach, T. R. “San Antonio, TX.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed February 23, 2011.
Comprising transcripts of historical sketches and papers, newspapers and clippings, city guides, a genealogical register, and city government records, the San Antonio (Texas) Papers, 1685-1942, document various events and activities of the city and its residents from its founding through the 20th century. City records include correspondence and notes on an 1819 flood, a calendar of the probate court’s records (1837-1878), a list of city officials and a calendar of city hall records (1870-1875), and a report to the city government on flood prevention (1920). Historical sketches and papers concern San Antonio newspapers, such as the Jewish Record, and postal service in Texas and San Antonio. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas of San Antonio created the genealogical register during the state’s centennial celebration in 1936. Newspaper clippings chronicle a strike of the city’s pecan workers in 1938 and the destruction of the San Jose Bell, while city guidebooks (1940, 1942) relate to San Antonio tourism in the 1940s. Additionally, the collection includes a 1908 letter related to the Texas division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
This collection is open for research use.
San Antonio (Texas) Papers, 1685-1942, 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