TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Erastus "Deaf" Smith Collection of Steve C. Baldwin, 1985-2012
BA in American History, MA in Special Education and PhD in Theater History, Theory and Criticism from the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Steve C. Baldwin spent more than 30 years researching and writing about Texas Revolution hero Erastus “Deaf” Smith. “Deaf” Smith (1787-1837), who lost his hearing due to a childhood disease, was a scout for Stephen F. Austin’s army, served as a messenger from William B. Travis and fought in the battle of San Jacinto close to Sam Houston. He died and was buried in Richmond, Texas.
As an advocate for deaf rights, Dr. Baldwin was the president, newsletter editor and secretary of the Texas Association of the Deaf between 2006 and 2012, and received several awards from institutions such as the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and the National Association of the Deaf. In 1985 he was awarded a Texas Humanities grant for producing a sesquicentennial play about “Deaf” Smith, premiered at the Texas School for the Deaf on May 25th. In April 2012 he curated an exhibit celebrating “Deaf” Smith’s 225th Birthday that was displayed on the ground floor of the Texas Capitol Rotunda. The event was celebrated with a public commendation from Governor Rick Perry. Dr. Baldwin has also been a history instructor for 39 years in various cities and states, including 17 years at TSD, and authored a theater history book, 30 community plays, 122 cable interview scripts, several documentaries and over 75 articles covering an eclectic list of topics.
Consisting of papers, articles, clippings, photocopies, original writings, photographs, videos, maps, theater scripts and programs, mounted posters and music sheets, the Erastus “Deaf” Smith Collection of Steve C. Baldwin, 1985-2012, documents the research performed by Dr. Steve C. Baldwin for more than 30 years on the figure of Erastus “Deaf” Smith and his role in the Texas Revolution.
The research materials comprise photocopies of original documents obtained at the Texas Rangers Museum and Library, Texas State Archives and the Dolph Briscoe Center. They also include articles and clippings, books, “Deaf” Smith pictorial representations, papers and photographic reproductions, Richmond maps and photographs of monuments, music sheets of traditional Texas songs and documentation about the 1840 Republic of Texas five dollars bill portraying “Deaf” Smith.
Original writings include published articles, an essay and a poem. Programs, scripts, photographs and a video of his play “Deaf Smith: The Great Texian Scout”, first staged in 1985, are also contained in the collection, as well as a Deaf Theater flyer for a later representation of the play in 1998. Also covered by the collection is the 225th Birthday Celebration “Deaf” Smith exhibit displayed at the Texas Capitol in April 2012, including foam board mounted posters and labels.
This collection is open for research use.
Erastus "Deaf" Smith Collection of Steve C. Baldwin, 1985-2012, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Paloma Graciani Picardo, May 2014.