University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Melanie Wiggins Collection, 1942-2005



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wiggins, Melanie, 1934-
Title: Wiggins, Melanie, Collection
Dates: 1942-2005
Abstract: The Wiggins Collection contains research papers, newspaper clippings, manuscript drafts, correspondence, photos, interview audio recordings and transcriptions, posters, videotapes of television productions, and maps related to two of Melanie Wiggins’ books, They Made Their Own Law: Stories of the Bolivar Peninsula, published in 1990, and Torpedoes in the Gulf: Galveston and the U-Boats, 1942-1943, published in 1995.
Accession No.: [2012-171]
Extent: 10 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English and German
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

A native of Arkansas, author Melanie Wiggins attended Newcomb and Hollins Colleges and graduated with a degree in art. She was prompted to write her first book, They Made Their Own Law: Stories of the Bolivar Peninsula in 1990 while managing family marshlands in a remote area of the Texas coast. Her interest in local history and a visit to the Hitchcock Naval Air Station inspired her second book, Torpedoes in the Gulf: Galveston and the U-Boats, 1942-1943. Wiggins’ other books include U-Boat Adventures, a collection of firsthand accounts primarily from the enlisted ranks and a few commanders, and Fatal Ascent, which details the German capture of the British submarine Seal in 1940 and the crew’s prisoner of war experiences. Wiggins is a member of the Galveston County Historical Commission and the Texas Gulf Historical Society.


Scope and Contents

The Wiggins Collection (1942-2005) contains research papers, newspaper clippings, manuscript drafts, correspondence, photos, interview audio recordings and transcriptions, posters, videotapes of television productions, and maps related to two of Melanie Wiggins’ books, They Made Their Own Law: Stories of the Bolivar Peninsula, published in 1990, and Torpedoes in the Gulf: Galveston and the U-Boats, 1942-1943, published in 1995. Wiggins conducted research for They Made Their Own Law from 1985 to 1990 and for Torpedoes in the Gulf from 1990 to 1995.

The They Made Their Own Law series includes interviews with Bolivar Peninsula locals, articles and essays on Native American and European settlement in Galveston Bay, a history of the pirate Jean Lafitte’s exploits in Galveston from 1817 to 1821, and articles on Wiggins’ great-grandfather, rancher and sheriff Captain Charles Taylor Cade, who bought Bolivar Peninsula land in the 1880s. The series also contains essays, articles, and news clippings documenting hurricanes that hit the area in 1900 and 1915, and an extensive collection of portrait and landscape photographs by Melanie Wiggins and Keith Carter.

The Torpedo series documents the presence of German U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II. Highlights include translations and photocopies of original U-boat war diaries as well as interviews and correspondence with US Navy and German U-Boat crewmen, WWII shipbuilders in Texas, and Galveston locals.

Major correspondents include Theordor Sterzinger, veteran of U-995; Dr. Gunther Reibhorn, History professor at Salzburg University and translator of U-boat war diaries; Hans Georg Hess, commander of U-995; Hannes Esken of the Luftwaffe; Erich Evers, German naval officer; Dr. Herbert Uhlig, commander of U-527; Dr. Ralph Uhlig, son of Dr. Herbert Uhlig and History professor at Kiel University; Otto Dietz, Pharmacist’s Mate on U-505; Horst Bredow, Director of the U-Boot Archiv in Cuxhaven, Germany; Tom Poser, a German Navy veteran; Wilhelm Grap, an oiler on U-506, and Peter Petersen, control room operator on U-518. Correspondence is grouped into four folders of research-related material and one folder of post-publication material. The original U-boat war diaries and a few correspondence materials are written in German, but the rest of the collection is in English.

The Wiggins Collection also contains post-publication materials—including correspondence, book reviews, and promotional posters—for both books.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use of audio material by appointment only; please contact sound archivist for more information.

Use of video material by appointment only; please contact repository for more information.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Wiggins, Melanie, 1934-
Subjects
World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- Submarine.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, German.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Mexico, Gulf of.
Galveston (Tex.) -- History.
Bolivar Peninsula (Tex.)--History.
Places
Bolivar Peninsula (Tex.)
Galveston (Tex.)
Mexico, Gulf of

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Melanie Wiggins Collection, 1942-2005, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Erin Donohue, October 2012.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Torpedoes in the Gulf:

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4M798 Research-related files:
Aliens
Athenia’s sinking
Baron Edgar Von Spiegel
"Big Inch"
Blimp base and blimps
Coast Guard
Coast Guard Auxiliary (Starney)
Coast Guard Records-Ships Sunk, Archives (Civil Div.), Bill Sherman
Congressional Record
Galveston, World War II
Defenses—Galveston and P.O.W.
Gulf Sea Frontier History
Harris, Brantley letters
Hoffman, Herrmann, U-172
Home front
Jockush Sr., Julius W.
Maceo family
Maps
Merchant Marine
Miscellaneous notes
Navy Armed Guard
Petersen, Peter (U-518)
P.O.W. camp
Resources—research
Shipbuilding
U-boats, war diaries
U-67
U-106
U-155U-155
U-157
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4La95h U-166
U-166, discovery
U-166 and SS Robert E. Lee
U-171
U-505
U-506
U-507
U-753
Uhlig, Herbert
Galveston Daily News and other research clippings:
US Naval Administration in WWII, History of the Gulf Sea Frontier, February 6, 1942-August 14, 1945
Galveston Daily News:
June 29, 1941 – October 10, 1941
November 1941 – February 1942
February 1942 – March 24, 1942
April 1942 – June 1942 (ships sunk)
June 29, 1941 – July 11, 1942
July 19, 1942 – August 10, 1942
August 13, 1942 – October 10, 1942
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4La95i October 10, 1942 – December 7, 1942
December 20, 1942 – June 27, 1943
September 1943 – November 1943
Interviews and research-related correspondence, : 1943-1993 and undated
Correspondence, : 1990-1993, undated
Interviews C-K:
Cudd, Glenn, May 30, 1991
Dodendorff, Sr., Jack, April 22, 1991
Hamilton, George, October 9, 1990
Harris, Fletcher, August 25, 1990
Hosey, Gene, March 30, 1990
Johnson, Adolph, May 3, 1990; January 13, 1991
Jockusch Towler, Hedda, July 29, 1990
Johnson, Herman, October 22, 1988
Kempner, Isaac, April 2, 1943
Kempner, Ruth Levy, August 22, 1990
Kempner Quinn, Lyda, July 5, 1990
Interviews M-T:
Kinietz, John, March 27, 1992
McKaig, Jim, May 31, 1991
Messina, Victor, July 26, 1990
Naumczik, John and Ruth, February 11, 1992
Plaschke, Alfred, November 2, 1991
Rice Johnson, Irene, July 13, 1990
Roberts, Joyce, June 6, 1990
Stannard, Dr. Amy N., November 1978
Suhler, H.A., July 25, 1990
Tate, Alicia, undated
Tronstad, Capt. Glenn, April 19, 1991
Turcich, Tom, June 16, 1990
Uhlig, Herbert, December 24, 1990
Consent forms
Post-publication materials:
Book reviews
Correspondence, 1985-2002, undated
Stories told at my talks
Photographs:
Galveston, WWII
Blimp base, National Archives
Old folks home ("Protestant Home for the Aged")
Uhlig, Herbert and family
U-Boat, Navy plane, Robert E. Lee, German POWs
U-166 and Kuhlmann
Von Spiegel Consulate, March 1992
Escort of SS Robert E. Lee, undated
John Naumczik photos—Fort Crockett, etc.
Corps of England
Galveston fortifications
Todd Shipyard
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4La95m Multimedia:
DVD: The History Channel: Deep Sea Detectives: Secret Allied Trap, July 2005
VHS: The History Channel: Deep Sea Detectives: Sinking by Sabotage, 2004
VHS: The History Channel: Discovery of U-166-Gulf of Mexico, Film by KPI TV—New York, April 12, 2004
VHS: Great Books, undated
Gulliver’s Travels
The Art of War
Catch-22
Freud
VHS: D-Day Museum, U-166 8 mm footage, 1942
Audiocassette tapes (interviews):
Brown, Harry, July 25, 1990 [side one]; Messing, July 26, 1990 [side two]
Hamilton, George, October 1990
Harris, Fletcher, August 27, 1990 [side one]; Johnson, Herman, August 28, 1990
Johnson, Adolph, May 3, 1990 [2 tapes], August 24, 1990
Johnson, Herman, October 22, 1988
Kempner Quinn, Lyda, July 5, 1990 [side one]; Thompson, Nonio and Love, Mary Margaret, July 12, 1990 [side two]
Levy, Sr., Adrian, July 25, 1990
McKaig, Jim, May 31 [no year]
Mills, Ballinger, April 15, 1992
Naumczik, John, February 11, 1992 [tape one of two] [side one]; Poser, Tom translating W. Grap’s letter, November 25, 1991 [side two]
Naumczik, John and Ruth, [tape two of two] February 11, 1992
Rice Johnson, Irene, July 13, 1990
Roberts, Joyce, June 1, 1990
Tronstad, Capt. Glenn, April 19, 1991
Wilkins, Dolores, May 30, 1990 [side ones]; Suhler, H.A., July 25, 1990 [side two]
Compact discs:
Brown, Harry
Galveston County military instillations [jpg photos]
Hamilton, George
Harris, Fetcher
Johnson, Adolph [four discs]
Johnson, Irene [two discs]
Johnson, Herman [two discs]
Kempner Quinn, Lyda
Levy, Sr., Adrian
Mills, Ballinger
Naumczik, John
Naumczik, John and Ruth
Roberts, Joyce
Tronstad, Capt. Glen
Wilkins, Dolores and Suhler, H.A.
Microcassette audiotapes:
Starney, Charles [two tapes]
box
OD1288 Oversized materials:
Photocopies of maps of Gulf Coast
Map of Gulf of Mexico
Map of Mississippi River Delta
Book promotion posters



 

They Made Their Own Law:

box
4La95j Research Files:
1900 storm
1915 storm
Andres, Joe and Lilie interview
Bolivar book signings
Bolivar marker
Bolivar Peninsula
Bolivar Point
Cornsilk—short version (early book drafts)
Correspondence
Cowboy talk and interviews
Crenshaw Cemetery
Early Texas (1800s)
Editors and publishers (book rejection letters)
Fort Travis
Gulf and Interstate Railroad
High Island
Hughes, Samuel diary
box
4La95k Indians [2 folders]
Interviews
Jones, Levi
Kokernot family
Lafitte, Jean
Lighthouse
Oil—High Island
Maps, Bolivar [photocopies]
Maps, Jim Glass [photocopies]
Port Bolivar
References: Texas history [general]
Schooners
Smugglers and settlers
Bolivar Peninsula clippings and printed material
Oversize:
Maps:
box
OD1283 James L. Glass autographed Bolivar Peninsula map, 1991
box
2.325/T45s High Island area, detail
box
2.325/T45t High Island [photocopy], undated
box
2.325/T45u High Island survey map, 1923
box
2.325/T45v Mexican derrotero [photocopy], 1849
box
2.325/T45w G and I Railroad map, 1916
Scrapbooks:
box
4N49b Hurricane Ike
box
4M699b Cade properties at High Island, Texas, 2004
box
OD1283 High Island photos [photocopies]
New Orleans Bulletin, Killed and Wounded at San Jacinto Battle, 1836
box
4La95l Bolivar research notebooks
Bolivar photographs:
Port Bolivar rodeo [slides], 1970s
Book review and book signing clippings
Keith Carter photographing subjects at Port Bolivar, January 1991
Old houses on High Island; October 19, 1988
Crenshaw boats, pre-1900
Port Bolivar cowboys, 1920s
Bolivar businesses, 1983-1988
Lighthouse and group photos, High Island
Herman Johnson and Vernon Kahla [Fall 1990], San Luis—Battery Hoskins, WWII Red Cross truck at Ft. Travis
High Island birds at rookery
Bolivar rodeos, 1972
Joe Andres at home portraits, 1997
Bolivar lighthouse [interior and exterior], October 20, 1991
Pike Kahla, assorted portrait negatives, March 1988
Pike and Elaine Kahla, 7 lb. turnip and 1 lb. radish [negatives], February 1988
Bolivar lighthouse with bull [negatives], Fall 1991
Crystal Beach, Bolivar marshes, portraits, 1980s
"Granny" O’Neal at Rollover Pass, ca. 1985
Takeout Junction, Port Bolivar shrimp fleet, Crainer gravesite, 1984-85
Bolivar Lighthouse, 1985, 1990
Santa Fe train, First ferry dock, WWI gun at Fort Travis
Bolivar landscapes and portraits taken by M. Wiggins, 1983-1995
Muskrat trapper Taft Turner, [includes slides] ca. 1985
Ruther Bower, [photocopies, clippings, negatives] early 1900s
Sea View Hotel, Jerry Simpton, Hughes house, undated
Photocopies of Judy Linsley photos
Melanie Wiggins portrait by Keith Carter, 1991
Goat roundups and branding photos by Melanie Wiggins
Uncle Pike’s goat roundup, June 27, 1991
Goat roundup at Bolivar essay
Pike Kahla and Joe Bill Kahla’s goat roundups, June 28-29, 1987 and calf branding, [photo album] June 1987
Uncle Pike Kahla branding
Goat roundup, July 1985
Pike Kahla goat roundup, 1989
Goat roundup with color negatives, undated
Bolivar cowboys counting and inoculating cattle, High Island, August 27, 1995
Branding, Port Bolivar, Uncle Pike Kahla director, June 1990
Goat roundup, undated
Goat roundup correspondence, 1986
Cattle branding negatives album, undated
Goat roundup at Goat Island, Port Bolivar album, June 30, 1990
box
OD1283 Portraits by Keith Carter
box
4La95n Assorted Bolivar Photographs
C.T. Cade portrait slides and prints, February 1987
Guest cottages at Seaview Hotel, built 1897, High Island, TX, , Margaret Cater and Melanie Wiggins June 1994
Roll Over Hotel at Gilchrist, undated
Lighthouse, National Archives, undated
C.T. Cade’s house in New Iberia, LA, April 1985
High Island school gym auditorium, August 15, 1939
Dixie Shaw scrapbook, undated
Caplen photos from Ruth McLean Bowers, San Antonio, undated
Ernest Stephenson’s portrait at home, Port Bolivar, ca. 1987
Old homes, Port Bolivar, March 1987
Ona Shaw Fredericksen, undated
Gordon house, Caplen before moving, March 1999
Sis Bouse Mouton collection
Bolivar Peninsula after Ike, October 29, 2008
Oil field fire at High Island, 1920s, Ruth Bowers collection, undated
Fort Travis, 2003
Post Bolivar, 1914
Photos from Kate Hughes’ photo album, 1914, undated
Uncle Pike’s house, July 4, 1988
Gertrude Standley home at Port Bolivar, 1986, undated
Ernest Stephenson photos, ca. 1900- ca. 1915
Frenchtown and miscellaneous, ca. 1930 and undated
Port Bolivar, Louis Hughes, Mary Da Fonte, Ft. Travis, 1932, 1914-1939 and undated
Point Bolivar boat yard and Uncle Pike portraits, ca. 1989
Charles Cronea (Jean Lafitte’s cabin boy) marker ceremony, High Island cemetery, March 1, 1997
Photos of M. Wiggins for use in article, undated
They Made Their Own Law—book signing at Stingaree Restaurant on Bolivar, 1991
Green Acres, Robt Kunce, "The Wharf", 1985, 1999
Green Acres, December 1987
Hotel Sea View, undated
For talk, "History of Bolivar" [slides and speech], November 6, 2009
box
4La95m Multimedia:
Audiocassette tapes:
Bouse, Jim and Shaw, Dixie Bouse, April 30, 1987
Bouse, Paulene Johnson and Brister, Barbara Johnson, April 9, 1987
Bouse, Jr., R.C.; Bouse, Jim; Mouton, Odessa; Kahla, Ora; and Kahla, Arnold, April 2, 1987
Broussard Mouton, Ann, June 10, 1987
Broussard Mouton, Ann, June 10, 1987 [side one]; Broussard, Eloge and Simpton, Eljie Broussard, June 10, 1987 [side two]
Carr, Harvey and Carr, Helen Blume, April 10, 1987
DaFonte, Mary, October 24, 1987
Frederickson, Ora Shaw, May 8, 1987
Guidry, Bernard, July 13, 1985 [side one]; Brannan, Sadie Lee, June 1985 [side two]
Hughes, Harry, August 1986
Hughes, Jessie, August 11, 1986
Hughes, Kate, August 8, 1986
Hughes, Kate, August 1986 [side one] and Kahla, Pike, August 22, 1986 [side one and two]
Hughes, Kate, March 27, 1987
Kahla, Bertha, July 27, 1986
Kahla, Pike, July 1985
Kahla, Pike, August 22, 1986
Kahla, Pike, September 21, 1987
Kahla, Pike and Barrow, Butch, February 21, 1988
Kahla, Pike, July 4, 1988
Kahla, Pike, October 7, 1988
Kahla, Vernon, March 14, 1987
Kahla, Vernon, October 26, 1988
Simpton, Earnest (Jerry), October 12, 1985
Simpton, Jr., Frank, June 17, 1988
Shaw, Vera Miller; Shaw, Dixie Bouse; and Stephensen, Dorothy, April 30, 1987
Standley, Gertrude, July 18, 1986
Stephenson, Ernest and Stephenson, Agnes Bloom, October 1986
Suhler, Stella, May 8, 1987
Turner, Mr. and Mrs. Taft, undated
Microcassette audiotapes:
Andres, Joe and Lillie interview, March 7, 1997
Guidry, Bernard and Shirley interview, January 31, 1995
Kahla, Joe Bill interview (Bolivar cowboys), January 30, 1995
Pike jackasses, August 8, 1995
Turner, Taft; Franklan, Evelyn; Allen, Betty, April 4, 1997
Compact discs:
Andres, Joe and Lillie, March 7, 1997
Broussard Mouton, Ann, June 10, 1987
Bouse, Jim and Shaw, Dixie Bouse, April 30, 1987
Bouse, Paulene Johnson and Brister, Barbara Johnson, April 9, 1987
Bouse, Jr., R.C.; Bouse, Jim; Mouton, Odessa; Kahla, Ora; and Kahla, Arnold, April 2, 1987
DaFonte, Mary, October 24, 1987
Carr, Harvey and Carr, Helen Blume, April 10, 1987
Frederickson, Ora Shaw, May 8, 1987
Guidry, Bernard, July 13, 1985 and Brannan, Sadie Lee, June 1985
Guidry, Bernard and Shirley, January 31, 1995
Hughes, Harry, August 1986
Hughes, Jessie, August 11, 1986
Hughes, Kate, August 8, 1986
Hughes, Kate, August 1986 and Kahla, Pike, August 22, 1986
Kahla, Bertha, July 27, 1986
Kahla, Joe Bill (Bolivar cowboys), January 30, 1995
Kahla, Pike, July 1985
Kahla, Pike, August 22, 1986
Kahla, Pike, September 21, 1987
Kahla, Pike, February 21, 1988
Kahla, Pike, July 4, 1988
Kahla, Pike, August 8, 1995
Kahla, Pike, October 7, 1988
Kahla, Vernon, March 14, 1987
Kahla, Vernon, October 26, 1988
Shaw, Vera Miller; Shaw, Dixie Bouse; and Stephensen, Dorothy, April 30, 1987
Simpton, Earnest (Jerry), October 12, 1985
Simpton, Jr., Frank, June 17, 1988
Standley, Gertrude, July 18, 1986
Stephenson, Ernest and Stephenson, Agnes Bloom, October 1986
Suhler, Stella, May 8, 1987
Tuner, Mr. and Mrs. Taft, undated
Turner, Taft and Frankland, Evelyn; Allen, Betty, April 4, 1997