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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the John Lang Sinclair Papers, 1899-1977



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Sinclair, John Lang, 1879-1947; Anderson, James
Title: Sinclair, John Lang Papers
Dates: 1899-1977
Abstract: Papers contain the manuscript lyrics of "The Eyes of Texas" written by UT student John Lang Sinclair in 1903, as well as copies of some of his other poems. The papers also include undated photographs of Sinclair and his birthplace, collected school songs, copies of legislation regarding the copyright and official adoption of the song by the university, newspaper clippings, and select biographical material published about Sinclair by James Anderson.
Accession No.: 93-045; 85-10; 68-57
OCLC No.: 830677677
Extent: 3 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

John Lang Sinclair was born near Center Point, Texas, on November 26, 1879 and raised on a dairy farm in eastern Bexar County. Sinclair attended the University of Texas and was an active member of the university band and Glee Club; served as editor of the campus literary magazine and the literary section of the Cactus yearbook; and played football.

In March 1903, Sinclair wrote the verse for "The Eyes of Texas," set to the tune of "I’ve Been Working on the Railroad," on a scrap piece of laundry paper. Sinclair’s friend, Lewis Johnson, had been encouraging him to write a song for the university. His first attempt in 1902, "Jolly Students of the Varsity," was well received by students. The next year, though, Sinclair tried again and drafted "The Eyes of Texas." After significant revisions inspired by then UT President William L. Prather’s admonition to students that "the eyes of Texas" were upon them, the song was performed by the Glee Club quartet on May 12, 1903 at a university band minstrel show. Sinclair accompanied the quartet on banjo. The song’s popularity led to its eventual adoption as the official song of the University of Texas when in 1936 the UT Students’ Association had it copyrighted.

After graduating from UT in 1904, Sinclair tried farming near Artesia Wells in La Salle County. He returned to work on his family’s dairy farm with his brother in 1908. Around 1923, Sinclair moved to New York City, where he became a partner in a tax and investment advisory service and, in 1945, married Stella C. Anderson (1888-1959) of San Antonio. Sinclair died in New York on January 4, 1947, and is buried with his wife in the Masonic Cemetery in San Antonio.

Sources:

Margaret C. Berry, "EYES OF TEXAS,"Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xee01), accessed February 28, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Nicar, Jim. "History of School and Fight Songs."Longhorn Band: The Showband of the Southwest, University of Texas at Austin. Accessed February 21, 2013. http://mbe187.music.utexas.edu/Longhornband/History/Songs.aspx.

"The Eyes of Texas are Upon You." June 1, 2011. Inside the Gates, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library. Accessed February 21, 2013. http://drtlibrary.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/%E2%80%9Cthe-eyes-of-texas-are-upon-you%E2%80%9D/

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Scope and Contents

Papers contain the manuscript lyrics of "The Eyes of Texas" written by UT student John Lang Sinclair in 1903, as well as copies of some of his other poems. The papers also include undated photographs of Sinclair and his birthplace, collected school songs, copies of legislation regarding the copyright and official adoption of the song by the university, newspaper clippings, and select biographical material published about Sinclair by James Anderson.

Archivist’s note:

The bulk of these documents are photocopies of material written or collected by James Anderson about John Lang Sinclair (rather than the personal papers of Sinclair himself). These were originally a part of the UT Richard T. Fleming University Writings Collection Records, but were later separated to the Sinclair Papers.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Anderson, James
Sinclair, John Lang, 1879-1947 -- Archives.
Prather, William Lambdin, 1848-1905.
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas at Austin.
Subjects
Music in universities and colleges--Texas--Austin.
Students’ songs--Texas.
Texas--Poetry.
Places
Austin (Tex.)

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Related Material

See also the Agnes Sinclair Letter, 1921.

See also the Alex and Agnes Sinclair Family Album at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library in San Antonio, Texas.

See also the Pirie and Sinclair Families Papers at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library in San Antonio, Texas.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Lang Sinclair Papers, 1899-1977, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by archives staff.

Subsequent revisions were made by Vanessa Attia, February 2013.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

box
2J134 Manuscript lyrics of "The Eyes of Texas," by John Lang Sinclair, 1903
Biographical information
box
3B55 "The Eyes of Texas," legislation, 1935-1936, 1950, 1965
School songs, 1903-1904, 1918, 1939, 1974
"The University of Texas as John Lang Sinclair Knew It," by James Anderson, 1967
James Anderson, 1977
Poems, 1899-1921, 1967
Clippings, 1946-1977
box
3S50.2 Photographs:
John Lang Sinclair, undated
Birthplace of John Lang Sinclair, 1959, undated

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