A Guide to the Martin McHenry Kenney Papers, 1836-1907
Born to Maria McHenry and John Wesley Kenney near Rock Island, Illinois, Martin McHenry Kenney (1831-1907) lived in Kentucky before moving with his family to Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas. While his father served in the army of the Texas Revolution, Kenney and his mother fled their home during the Runaway Scrape. Following the revolution, he traveled throughout Mexico and participated in the California Gold Rush, returning to Texas in 1856. During the Civil War, Kenney enlisted as a captain in Company K in the 21st Texas Cavalry Regiment of the Confederate Army. He returned to Mexico in 1865, moving a year later to Honduras, where he worked in the mahogany exporting business while also traveling in South America.
In 1874, Kenney moved to Texas and briefly served as a Texas Ranger. Three years later, he married Annie Matthews, with whom he had three children. The couple settled in Belleville, Texas, where Kenney worked as a surveyor and began practicing law. In 1892, he was elected to the state legislature and became the Spanish translator in the General Land Office three years later. In addition to his career as a politician, Kenney was a member of the Texas State Historical Association and the Texas Folklore Society.
Cutrer, Thomas W. "Kenney, Martin McHenry."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed June 29, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fke28.
Composed of correspondence, reminiscences, literary productions, legal documents, a muster roll, and newspaper clippings, the Martin McHenry Kenney Papers, 1836-1907, chronicle Kenney’s experiences as a soldier in the Civil War and as a Texas Ranger as well as his travels throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America. Correspondence concerns familial and business affairs, while literary productions consist of essays on history of Texas and political thought. Legal documents pertain to land surveys and newspaper clippings relate to prominent individuals in Texas history. Additionally, the collection includes Kenney’s reminiscences and a muster roll for Kentucky volunteer soldiers during the Texas Revolution.
This collection is open for research use.
Martin McHenry Kenney Papers, 1836-1907, 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