A Guide to the Texas Farmers' Alliance Records, 1880-1907, 1963-1969
Founded in 1877 by John R. Allen, the Pleasant Valley Farmers' Alliance of Lampasas County was the first chapter of the Farmers' Alliance in Texas. The union formed in response to the excessive cost of agricultural supplies, the falling price of cotton, and the absorption of profit by production middlemen after the Civil War. Numerous farming unions were formed across the country and particularly flourished in the South in the 1880s, including the National Farmers’ Alliance and Industrial Union, more commonly referred to as the Southern Farmers’ Alliance, which eventually claimed a membership of almost three million. Strategies for economic improvement employed by farmers alliances included cooperatively owned stores and mills as well as trade-agreements in which committees promised merchants their members’ cash business in exchange for low prices. Farmers’ organizations also called for changes in governmental land policies, railroad regulation, and the use of silver as legal tender. Although the movement was largely unsuccessful, it led to the birth of the Populist Party.
Barnes, Donna A. “Farmers’ Alliance.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed November 5, 2010.
Ephemera, a certificate, poems, and correspondence compose the Texas Farmers' Alliance Records, 1880-1907, 1963-1969, documenting the history of the Farmers' Alliance in Lampasas, Texas. Undated photographs, a Lampasas County Farmers Union Warehouse Company stock certificate (1907), and a booklet (1886) on the proceedings of the union's 3rd session chronicle activities of the farming union. The collection also contains correspondence (1963) between Mrs. P. A. Stevenson and Mrs. L. H. Baldwin concerning the early life of John Riley Allen, a founder of the Lampasas County Farmers Alliance and poems by A. P. Hungate, another founding member. Additionally, a program (1969) commemorates the dedication of a historical marker recognizing the Pleasant Valley Farmers' Alliance as the first in Texas.
This collection is open for research use.
Texas Farmers' Alliance Records, 1880-1907, 1963-1969, 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