Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

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 Jon Winfield Scott Dancy Papers



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Dancy, Jon Winfield Scott
Title: Jon Winfield Scott Dancy Papers
Dates: 1832-1977
Abstract: Papers of Dancy (1810-1866), Fayette County farmer and legislator during the Republic and early statehood periods, include seven volumes of a diary and an account book.
Accession No.: 81-61; 2008-154; 2015-175
Extent: 8 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Jon Winfield Scott Dancy's association with Texas began on December 28, 1836, when he landed at Velasco after a journey from Alabama aboard the steamer Corolla. Dancy was born to William and Percilla Turner Dancy on September 3, 1810, in Greenville County, Virginia. The family moved to Decatur, Alabama while Jon was young and he graduated from the University of Tennessee in Nashville and subsequently earned his law license. In July of 1835 Dancy married Evalina Rhodes, who died about a year after their wedding. Her death led to Dancy's decision to move to Texas.

Soon after arriving in Texas, Dancy became a citizen of the Republic. After travelling extensively throughout the settled regions of the state her purchased land on the Colorado River near La Grange in Fayette County in 1837. Dancy became a successful farmer and also participated in political affairs. He was elected to the Republic of Texas legislature in the early 1840s and the state legislature in the late 1840s and 1850s. He made unsuccessful bids for governor in 1853 and 1859. In October 1849 Dancy married Lucy Nowlin of Austin, and the couple had six children, four of whom survived to adulthood.

Dancy was involved in many significant activities. He was a key developer in the settlement of the Fayette County town of Colorado City in the 1830s, which was to be the capital of the Republic until this plan was vetoed by President Sam Houston. During the Mexican War, Dancy served for three months in Ben McCulloch's regiment as a colonel. He later edited the Texas Monument, was a strong proponent of railroad development in Texas, and helped found Rutersville College near La Grange. Dancy died of yellow fever on February 13, 1866, in La Grange.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

The Jon Winfield Scott Dancy Papers include an original diary and transcripts/photocopies of the diary dating from 1836-1856 and arranged chronologically in seven section. The diary relates to travel in Texas with other materials including accounting information, correspondence with his daughters, and a speech used in Dancy's 1859 gubernatorial campaign. Major themes of this dairy are weather, farming activities, Dancy's travels, visitors to his farm, and descriptions of major events. Entries were usually made daily and range in length from one word to two pages.

Also included is a manuscript account book relating to his various business endeavors: Colorado City Land Company, Colorado River Ferry, legal practice, construction of a cotton gin, plantation accounts (including notes on slaves), newspapers in which Dancy was involved, etc. The account book also includes later notes, descriptions, and scrapbook items added by Dancy's daughter, Lena Dancy Ledbetter, from 1927-1932.

In addition, the papers include official papers such as a citizenry certificate, discharge papers from Ben McCulloch's forces, a roster of the Texas House of Representatives in 1841, photographs, biographical information, etc.

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Dancy, Jon Winfield Scott -- Archives
Ledbetter, Lena Dancy
Places
Texas -- History.
Fayette County (Tex.)--History.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

See also the Lena Dancy Ledbetter Papers.

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jon Winfield Scott Dancy Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

Box
4Zc170 Original diary [Restricted for preservation], November 21, 1836 - August 4, 1837
Discharge papers [Restricted for preservation], 1847
Box
3N186 Photocopies of diary, November 21, 1836 - August 4, 1837
Typescript of diary, 1838-1839
Remnant of account book, 1832
Letters of Lena Dancy Ledbetter
Typescript of speech, "To the People of Texas," given by Jon Dancy as candidate for governor of Texas (2 copies), 1859
Personal papers (photocopies), 1836-1947
Essay by Dancy (photocopy), undated
Related materials, 1841-1977
Box
4Zc172 Manuscript account book, divided among Dancy's businesses, including later notes and items added by Lena Dancy Ledbetter, 1838-1863, 1927-1932
Box
3S147 Oversize documents:
List of members of the Texas House of Representatives, November 1841
Affidavit to discharge papers, August 1856
Box
3S29 Photographs:
Jon W. S. Dancy
Josephus C. and Olivia Dancy Brown
Jon W. S. Dancy house, Fayette County, Texas
William Brookfield house near Hostyn, Fayette County, Texas, after fire, ca. 1911

Return to the Table of Contents