A Guide to the John P. Coles Papers, 1824-1865
Born in Rowan County, North Carolina, John P. Coles (1793-1847) married Mary Eleanor Owen, with whom he would have six children, in Georgia in 1821. The following year, the couple arrived at Stephen F. Austin's Texas Colony along the Brazoria River, where Coles received 8 ½ leagues of land near present-day Burleson, Washington, and Brazoria counties. His cedar log cabin became the center of a community known as Coles' Settlement where he maintained a public house. In 1828, Coles was appointed alcade of Washington Municipality, and he served as a delegate to the Convention of 1833 at San Felipe de Austin. During the Texas Revolution, the family moved east of the Neches River, where Coles joined William Warner Hill's company of volunteers in July 1836. Following the war, he was elected chief justice of Washington County and then represented the county in the Senate of the Fifth Texas Congress (1840-1841).
Grisham, Noel and L. W. Kemp. "Coles, John P." Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed May 16, 2011.
Photostats of correspondence, financial and legal papers, and a passport compose the John P. Coles Papers, 1824-1865, documenting Coles' legal and political career as well as early Texas history. Correspondence concerns family news and activities, Cole's career, the Texas Revolution, and Stephen F. Austin's 1933 trip to Mexico. Receipts and inventories relate to Cole's finances and estate, while legal papers, such as petitions, depositions, powers of attorney, and contracts, pertain to his property and his work as a lawyer and judge. Additionally, the collection contains the Mexican passport and a U. S. citizenship document of Charles Baird, another member of Stephen F. Austin's Colony.
This collection is open for research use.
John P. Coles Papers, 1824-1865, 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