A Guide to the Joseph Harold Beck Papers, 1839-1982
Born to Joseph Huguenin and Sarah Jane (Sledge) Beck in Alabama, Joseph Harold Beck (1839-1867) moved with his family to Victoria, Texas, in 1840, eventually settling in San Antonio. He graduated from Princeton University in 1858 and served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. In 1864, Beck married Mary Hester Shepard, and three years later the couple died without issue during a yellow fever epidemic.
Beck’s brother John Chappell Beck married Sarah Leonora Yelvington in 1877, and the couple had a son, Henry Lucien, the next year. A soldier in the United States Army, Henry had at least two sons, including William W. Beck.
Comprising two letters, a memoir and a biography, genealogical information, and two books, the Joseph Harold Beck Papers, 1839-1982, document Beck’s life and family in Texas. A May 19, 1865, letter from Beck near Hempstead, Texas, to his mother discusses the disorganization of the Confederate Army following the end of the Civil War and plans for a possible exile to Mexico. Photocopied portions of Henry Lucien Beck’s typescript memoir, 1942, describe Beck’s life from his birth in 1878 until his departure from Texas in 1903 and include a family history and a transcript of the 1862 will of Joseph Huguenin Beck. Additionally, the collection includes a 1982 biography of Joseph Harold Beck by his great-nephew William W. Beck, a letter to William from M. Haley Thomas of the Princeton University Archives about Joseph Harold Beck, and two books formerly belonging to Joseph Harold Beck, Chemistry in Its Application to Agriculture and Physiology (1843) by Justus Liebig from the library of the 8th Infantry and Regulations for the Government of the Ordinance Department (1839).
This collection is open for research use.
Joseph Harold Beck Papers, 1839-1982, 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