A Guide to the Henderson King Yoakum Papers, 1832-1857
Historian, lawyer, politician and soldier Henderson King Yoakum was born in Claiborne County, Tennessee, in 1810 and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1832. The following year, he married Evaline Cannon, with whom he fathered nine children, and began practicing law in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He served as mayor of the city in 1837 before reentering the military as a colonel in the volunteer Tennessee infantry in 1838.
After briefly serving in the Cherokee War, Yoakum won a seat in the Tennessee Senate, which he held from 1839 to 1845. During his tenure, Yoakum urged the annexation of Texas before moving to Huntsville, Texas in October 1845. He was admitted to the Texas bar the same year, though he left his practice to volunteer in the Mexican War, where he served at Monterrey. With the end of his enlistment, Yoakum returned to his law practice and befriended Sam Houston. He completed the two-volume History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846 in 1855. Unfortunately for Yoakum, he caught tuberculosis and died in 1856.
Yoakum, Thomas P. "Yoakum, Henderson King." Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed March 15, 2011.
Comprising Photostat copies of the correspondence, memoranda, inventories, military orders and a broadside, the Henderson King Yoakum Papers, 1832-1857, chronicle the life of Yoakum’s legal and military career in Texas and Tennessee. The bulk of the collection, correspondence between Yoakum and Sam Houston, between 1850-1851 discusses national politics and the Compromise of 1850 as well as European politics and Yoakum’s observations on the Mexican War. There are also lists of Yoakum’s lands and slaves as well as a permanent scholarship received from Austin College. Correspondence to Robert Cannon, his father-in-law, documents his personal life. The collection also includes additional correspondence, a muster roll, and a broadside relating to his military service in Tennessee.
This collection is open for research use.
Henderson King Yoakum Papers, 1832-1857, 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