A Guide to the Israel Worsham Family Papers, 1842-1879, 1975
The Worsham and Landry families came to Texas, then part of Mexico from Alabama in 1829. Israel Worsham's parents, Jeremiah and Catherine Landrum Worsham, received Headright grant # 5, (a league and labor of land), in Stephen F. Austin's colony. Israel, born in 1820, received 320 acres of land in Montgomery County in the Republic of Texas in 1839. He was elected to the Sixth Texas legislature in 1855-56, and was in the Montgomery County Home Guard in the U.S. Civil War. After the war, he represented Montgomery, Grimes, and Brazos counties for the House of Representatives, in the Eleventh Texas Legislature (1866), where he helped sponsor an act for the punishment of vagrants. In 1867, he wrote the description of Montgomery County for the Texas Almanac. His home, "The Worsham Place," was on the old Post Road to Houston; the two-story Greek Revival House was known for its hospitality.
Israel and his wife, Emily Womack Worsham, had five children: Ophelia Frances, Alice Tabitha, Mattie Myrtella, Josephine, and Jefferson Davis Worsham. Israel died in 1882 and was buried in the family cemetery on his plantation.
The collection contains papers of Israel Worsham and his immediate family, and those of his great-great-granddaughter Ella K. Daggett Stumpf dealing with her research on Israel Worsham, which led to a biographical entry on him in the New Handbook of Texas.
Israel Worsham's papers, which are largely financial, are divided into two subseries: Slave Sales and Financial Records. The slave bills of sale and receipts (folders 1 and 2, 1842-64) identify slaves that Worsham purchased by name, relationships, and physical description.
The Financial Records include both pre- and post-Civil War documents. The accounts and receipts (folders 3-12, 1844-79) include receipts for taxes, dry goods, memberships, and services such as music lessons for his daughters. Of special interest are the records from the Civil War years (folders 7 and 8) which include receipts for his sales of cotton, those for musical lessons for his three daughters, and receipts for war taxes and "tithes" from both the Confederate and Texas state governments. Post-Civil War records include accounts with freedmen; contracts with Royall's Cotton Worm Destroyer and the International &amp; Great Northern R. R. Co.; and an insurance policy for his home with the Merchants' Insurance Company. An undated item (folder 12) may be a list of groceries, containing items like cabbage and corn sugar.
The Ella K. Daggett Stumpf papers date from around 1975. Folder 13 contains her notes, bibliography, and transcriptions on Israel Worsham, and a carbon copy of a letter (17 May 1975) she wrote to Joe Frantz, then director of the Texas State Historical Association, that accompanied her biographical sketch of Worsham for possible inclusion in the Texas Handbook. Folder 14 contains several typescript drafts of her sketch, with her handwritten annotations.
This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.
Permission to publish material from the Israel Worsham Family Papers must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
[Identification of item], Israel Worsham Family Papers, 1842-1975, MS 144, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
Received as a purchase from Maggie Lambeth, rare book dealer, in 2005 (Acc. 2005-078).
Processed by Glenn L. McMullen, May 2006.
Detailed Description of the Collection