A Guide to the Charles L. Jessup Papers, 1913-1936
Born in Friendswood, Indiana, Charles L. Jessup (b. 1865) attended Earlham College and became an ordained Quaker minister before marrying Hannah T. Pratt in 1893. Jessup worked as an itinerant preacher until problems with his voice compelled him to move to a warmer climate. In 1908, he settled in Brownsville, Texas, where he served as director and vice president of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, president of the Rio Grande Valley Water Users Association, and vice president of the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce. Jessup became chairman of a campaign to secure a deep-water port for the Lower Rio Grande Valley in 1919, helping to raise $125,000 for the project. In addition to his civic duties, he worked as manager of both the Rio Grande Hardware and Machinery Company as well as the Piper Plantation.
Two scrapbooks containing correspondence, newspaper clippings, legal documents, financial records, and printed material compose of the Charles L. Jessup Papers, 1913-1936, chronicling Jessup’s involvement in the construction of the deep-water port in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Texas. Correspondence concerns the financial and logistical arrangements, while newspaper clippings include articles on the construction of the port, the Rio Grande Railroad, and Jessup’s activities. Legal documents consist of contracts with various companies and financial papers relate to expenditures for the project. Additionally, printed material includes circulars and reports pertaining the construction of Port Isabel, among other topics.
This collection is open for research use.
Charles L. Jessup Papers, 1913-1936, 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