Document Spotlight: The Nacogdoches Archives
The Texas Legislature in 1876 established the Department of Insurance, Statistics, and History. Part of its mandate was to collect and care for the historical records of Texas. Among the items transferred from the Department of State were the “Nacogdoches Archives.” The Department of Nacogdoches was a political region located in the northeastern portion of the state of Coahuila and Texas during Spanish and Mexican rule between 1737 and 1836. The records, confiscated during the Texas Revolution, include government correspondence, election returns, entrance certificates, oaths, military, land, and census records documenting official actions and the lives of residents on the Texas frontier.
Map of Texas, 1835. State Archives Map Collection, 2750. TSLAC. Map of Texas outlining departments of Bexar, Brazos, and Nacogdoches. Municipalities in red created by the Consultation, those in green created previously.
Cover for book entrance certificates, 1835 and 1836. Nacogdoches Archives, 4-25/2. TSLAC. Foreigners who entered Texas obtained from the government certificates and citizenship by registering country of origin, family members, occupation, and other details. In addition, they declared an oath to the Mexican Constitution. Click or tap thumbnail image to view larger version.
Entrance certificate for Thomas J. Rusk, Feb. 11, 1835. Nacogdoches Archives, 4-25/2. TSLAC. Thomas J. Rusk (1806-1857) went to Texas on business in 1835 and became a citizen of Mexico with this official document that Sam Houston and Nathaniel Robbins signed as witnesses. Rusk went on to serve as a military leader in the Texas Revolution and applied his legal knowledge to the government of the new republic. Rusk served as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and as U.S. senator. Click or tap thumbnail image to view larger version.
Mission San Jose Texas by G. Bealey, print illustration. Prints and Photographs, 1954/051-1. TSLAC. Built by the Spanish in 1720, the San Jose Mission y San Miguel de Aguayo near San Antonio became known as “Queen of the Missions.”
Padron de los Indios – Mission San Jose, census page, January 24, 1798. Nacogdoches Archives, 299. TSLAC. Census (padron) records in the Nacogdoches Archives for the period 1783-1796 include mission rolls, reports of foreigners, and statistical recapitulations. Information on mission rolls like this one varies, but most give names of Indians as heads of household and all other names in the family. Click or tap thumbnail images to view larger versions.
Document Spotlight: Treaties of the Republic of Texas
Following the defeat of the Mexican Army at San Jacinto and the ratification of the Constitution of 1836, the Republic of Texas proceeded to request recognition by other nations and for the exchange of diplomatic representatives. This resulted in the signing of treaties between the Republic of Texas and France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Hanseatic League (part of modern-day Germany), and the United States, primarily for amity, navigation, and commerce. Treaties between the Republic of Texas and other nations were created as the most formal and official records of diplomacy. The State Archives has in its holdings signed copies of treaties between the Republic of Texas and other nations, dating 1838-1844.
Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Great Britain (November 13, 1840), ratified by Queen Victoria, May 26, 1842. Artifacts Collection, ATF0423. TSLAC. In the fall of 1838, President Sam Houston sent James Pinckney Henderson abroad to seek recognition of Texas by Great Britain and France. Great Britain had just settled the Maine boundary issue with the United States but faced hostilities over her claims in Oregon and the controversial Pacific Northwest boundary. In the fall of 1840, Lord Aberdeen announced that Her Majesty's government would recognize Texas independence, and on November 13-16, treaties were signed that dealt with commerce and navigation, as well as suppression of the African slave trade. The treaties were officially ratified by Queen Victoria on May 26, 1842. View larger image of Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the Great Britain (November 13, 1840), ratified by Queen Victoria, May 26, 1842 on our Texas Digital Archive site.
In This Exhibit: Document Spotlight: The Nacogdoches Archives / Treaties of the Republic
Stephen F. Austin and Anglo-American Texas | Art of the Revolution | An Independent Republic
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