Introduction to the Andrew Jackson Houston Collection

Related Links
Andrew Jackson Houston collection | Texas Legation (U.S.) correspondence | Search the Index

The Andrew Jackson Houston Collection is comprised of papers inherited by A. J. Houston, from his father, Sam Houston. The collection was maintained by A. J. Houston until his death in 1941. These records were transferred to the Archives Division of the Texas State Library and Historical Commission by Jean Houston (Mrs. F.T.) Baldwin and Price Daniel Sr. on March 5, 1973.

The collection of approximately 4,800 items contains correspondence, reports, resolutions, proclamations, affidavits, depositions and a wealth of other material dated, primarily, between 1835 and 1859.

As Governor of Tennessee, Commanding General of the Texian Army during the Texas Revolution, twice President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator from Texas and Governor of Texas, Sam Houston witnessed and participated in significant political, military, and governmental affairs. Topics covered in the collection include Texas politics during the Republic era and the pre-Civil War period of statehood, annexation, secession, and Indian affairs, to name a few. Correspondents include many Texas political and military figures of the era, as well as members of the public. The Andrew Jackson Houston Collection is described in greater detail in the online finding aid.

The collection also includes correspondence of the Republic of Texas Legation in Washington, D.C., primarily dated 1839 through 1841. Additional correspondence is found in the Texas Legation (U.S.) correspondence.

For information on accessing and obtaining copies of the records, pleases contact the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at 512-463-5455 or


How to Search the Database

The Andrew Jackson Houston Collection can be searched in two ways: Search by Name, Date, or Subject and Search by Keyword.  Our recommendation is to start with a Keyword search, progressively becoming more specific if there are too many hits.  If there are still too many hits, choose the Name, Date, or Subject search, but again starting most generally and progressively getting more specific. 

The Search by Name option allows a variety of searches and options. To search by name, enter the first and/or last name in one of the search boxes for Written By or Addressed To. This allows greater flexibility.

Additional search types are available in the Search Options box. You can select from Find Any (the default), Begins Like, and Exactly. Results of a “Written By” search on House using each option, are given below.

Find any: 18 records found. E. Moorehouse, Andrew House, House of Representatives, etc.
You will notice that each contains the string house somewhere in the field.

Begins Like: 5 records found. House, Andrew and House of Representatives.
All begin with House in the “Written By” field. 

Exactly: no records found.
The record for House was not found because there was something before or afterwards, e.g. “of Representatives” or “Moore-”. Therefore, there is no exact match. Andrew House is not found because first and last names are in the same field.

Searches on “Date” are trickier.  A “Find any” search for 1836 yields 530 records; for January 14, 1836; for January 1836; and for January, 1836 each yields 10). The month need not be spelled out in a “Date” search.  Here again, a Keyword search for dates is different (they mostly appear in chronological order anyway).  A Keyword search for 1836 yields 535, just 5 more than a “Date” search.  Keyword search for January 1836 (or Jan 1836) yields 952 (since it also finds all 1836s and all Januarys).  A “Date” search is most useful as a limiter when using a “Written By” or an “Addressed To” search.

Searches on “Subject” should almost always be by “Find any.”  A “Find any” Subject search for Indian yields 358 records.  A “Begins like” search yields 33 records.  An “Exactly” search yields 0 records.  But again, a Keyword search will pick up the 5 instances where Indian is used in a person’s title, yielding a total of 363 records.  (The researcher performing this general search should not forget specific tribes:  Coushatta, Comanche, Cherokee, Lipan, etc.)  Using “Subject” with another limiter like a “Date” (e.g. year) can be useful. 

The Search by Keyword option allows searchers to conduct the broadest search. Enter a word or sequence of letters and all fields will be searched. For example, a search on the word Indian will find 363 records; on House will find 116 records.  Keyword searches can usually find names (but not dates) with less fuss than Name, Date, or Subject searches.

To search for a specific document number using Keyword, remember to begin with enough zeros to make 4 digits.  Also remember that a document number might pull up many dates also.  (A search for 852 by Keyword yields 11 records, including document number 0852, 1852, 2852, and 3852, plus all dates in the year 1852.)

Revised by Tony Black, October 4, 2013.

Page last modified: January 13, 2023