A Guide to the Joseph William Robertson Papers, 1840-1940
Born in South Carolina in 1809, Joseph William Robertson (1809-1870) attended Transylvania University in Kentucky before practicing medicine in Alabama for a year. There he married Ann Philips with whom he had two children. In 1836, Robertson moved to Texas with his family arriving the next year. They settled in Bastrop County and Robertson represented the county in the House of Representatives in the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas and served in the Texas Rangers. Following his term in Congress, Robertson established a medical and pharmaceutical practice in Austin. His wife and daughter passed away in 1841 and the following year he married Lydia Lee with whom he had ten children. Two years later, Robertson was elected mayor of Austin and during the Mexican War he served as assistant surgeon in the Texas Mounted Volunteers. In 1846, Robertson purchased the French Legation building.
Cutrer, Thomas W. "Robertson, Joseph William." Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 15, 2011.
Composed of letters, legal documents, receipts, an amnesty oath, receipts, account papers, and a commission, the Joseph William Robertson Papers, 1840-1940, chronicle Robertson’s career as a physician and his acquisition of the French Legation building. Correspondence relates Robertson’s stint in the Texas Mounted Volunteers, while tax receipts and a promissory note document financial transactions. A certificate documents Robertson’s oath of allegiance following the Civil War.
The collection also contains documents of Joseph William Robertson’s fifth child, Sarah Robertson Smith. Her papers consist of financial documents, including tax receipts, account sheets, canceled checks, and correspondence relating to the French Legation and property on Robertson Hill.
This collection is open for research use.
Joseph William Robertson Papers, 1840-1940, 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