Try Recipes from the US Army for Your Thanksgiving Feast

By Clinton Drake, Reference Librarian

Will you be cooking enough food to feed an army this Thanksgiving?  The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) can assist you with that!  As part of our U.S. Documents collection, we hold the 1916 Manual for Army Cooks. The pumpkin pie recipe included in the manual begins with 25 pounds of pumpkin, “sufficient for about 15 pies.”  And, if you are trying to keep critters—or people!—out of your pie, there are instructions for suspending food in a swinging cage.

According to the National Park Service, “during the Spanish-American War, less than 200 men died from battle injuries, but over 5000 died from sickness or disease. And much of the sickness was attributed to the lack of trained cooks. So, in 1905, the War Department opened the first school for bakers and cooks at Fort Riley, Kansas. It soon added schools at the Presidio, at Washington Barracks, D.C., and at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.”

Recipe #567. Pie, pumpkin or squash, Manual for Army Cooks (244-245).

Prior to his promotion to head the organization of bakery companies under the Office of the Quartermaster General, Colonel Leonard Lyon (L. L.) Deitrick organized the School for Bakers and Cooks in the Southern Department (Fort Sam Houston), and assisted in the preparation of manuals for bakers and cooks, including this version held by TSLAC.

Tip for how to store food while at camp.

A few recipes that probably won’t be making it to our Thanksgiving table include: pancreas, thymus gland, rolled wheat mush, brains without eggs, or gruel. For a look at more recipes and explore more cooking tips from the Army Manual there is an online version here: http://www.314th.org/numbered-documents/0564-manual-for-army-cooks.pdf.

As one of two regional and 54 selective depositories in Texas belonging to the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), TSLAC assists in providing publications of the federal government free to the public at no cost.  As a regional depository, TSLAC develops and manages a comprehensive, perpetual Federal depository collection and provides reference and interlibrary loan services to selective depositories within the state or region.


Bibliography:

“Cooking School for Camp Bowie.” The Houston Post. January 6, 1918.

“To Start Army School for Bakers at Ft. Sam Houston.” El Paso Herald. May 29, 1915.

United States. Department of the Interior. “Bakers and Cooks School: Philippines War Tour.” National Park Service. March 2, 2021.

United States. War Department. Manual for Army Cooks, 1916. New York: Military Pub. Co., [1916].

Sharpe, Henry G. The Quartermaster Corps in the Year 1917 in the World War. New York: The Century Co., 1921.


For questions about TSLAC collections please contact our reference staff at ref@tsl.texas.gov or 512-564-5455.

Alabama-Coushatta Craftwork Collections at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center

Lisa Meisch, Archivist/Museum Curator


Spanish moss mat, moss spinner, and needle, Frances Broemer Collection of Alabama-Coushatta Indian Artifacts, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center maintains two extensive collections of  Alabama-Coushatta craftwork. The Frances Broemer Collection of Alabama-Coushatta Indian Artifacts and the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Collection include rivercane baskets, long leaf pine needle baskets, beadwork items, pottery, wood carvings, and other craftwork. Basketry and beadwork make up the majority of the items, which were created by tribe members at the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation in Polk County, Texas. Items date primarily from the 1930s to the 1990s.

rivercane elbow basket, v-shaped, with cane handle.
Rivercane elbow basket, about 1960, Frances Broemer Collection of Alabama-Coushatta Indian Artifacts, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.

Cane basketry is an important aspect of southeastern Native American societies, including the Alabama-Coushattas. It is one of their oldest artistic traditions. These baskets are plaited from strips of rivercane, a large bamboo-like grass native to the southeastern United States. Some are used for gathering or storing plant foods, sifting grain, or other utilitarian purposes. Sometimes geometric designs created with dyes from plant or animal sources are added as decorative enhancements.

rivercane gathering basket with open body and cane handle.
Rivercane gathering basket, about 1976, Alabama-Coushatta Indian Collection, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.
Rivercane wall pocket basket, about 1960, Frances Broemer Collection of Alabama-Coushatta Indian Artifacts, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.

The Alabama-Coushattas are more closely identified with pine needle basketry. Needles of dried long leaf pine, common to East Texas, are coiled and sewn together with raffia (fiber from the leafstalks of the raffia palm). Finished baskets may then be decorated with pinecones, raffia flowers, or geometric patterns. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including animal effigies (whimsical decorative baskets in the shape of animals, birds, or insects).

rounded pine needle basket used for food storage.
Longleaf pine needle food storage basket, about 1976, Alabama-Coushatta Indian Collection, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.

The Sam Houston Center’s collections include decorative baskets as well as those for household or agricultural use. Many of the animal effigy baskets represent species common to East Texas. The armadillo and turtle baskets shown below also utilize pinecone sections to create portions of the bodies.

four animal baskets include a duck, armadillo, butterfly and turtle.
Animal effigy baskets (armadillo, duck, butterfly, and turtle), about 1970, 1998, Frances Broemer Collection of Alabama-Coushatta Indian Artifacts, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.
tall, slender pine needle basket with pine cones affixed on two sides.
Longleaf pine needle vase with pinecone decorations, about 1975, Frances Broemer Collection of Alabama-Coushatta Indian Artifacts, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.

Many tribe members are also skilled crafters of colorful beadwork. Beadwork items in the Center’s collections include jewelry, purses, and bolo ties, as well as other personal accessories. Shown here are a necklace, bolo tie, brooch, belt buckle, coin purse, and earrings.

Various beadwork items, about 1960, 1975, 1976, 1986, Frances Broemer Collection of Alabama-Coushatta Indian Artifacts and Alabama-Coushatta Indian Collection, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. TSLAC.

Selected items of Alabama-Coushatta craftwork are displayed in the Sam Houston Center’s museum as part of the permanent exhibits on the history of Southeast Texas, including a mat woven of Spanish moss, a moss spinner, and needle. The Center’s hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. No appointment is required to tour the museum. For more information, go to Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center | TSLAC (texas.gov) or call 936-336-8821.

Sources: 

Frances and Walter Broemer Archives, SHC.
Alabama-Coushatta Indian Collection, SHC.
Native American Basketry, 64parishes.org


The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center museum is open Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm and Saturdays 9:00am – 4:00pm.

Contact:

Call (936) 336-8821 for assistance.
Physical Address: 650 FM 1011, Liberty, TX 77575
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 310, Liberty, TX 77575
Telephone: (936) 336-8821
Email: SamHoustonCenter@tsl.texas.gov

2022 TSLAC Research Fellow Follow-up: Caitlyn Jones

2022 TSLAC Research Fellow, Caitlyn Jones examines media from the State Archives.

TSLAC Research Fellow Caitlyn Jones from the University of Houston spent some time with us over the summer working on her project, Texas Women and International Women’s Year, 1977. We followed up with her after her research trip to learn a little about how the collections at the State Archives are supporting her work. TSLAC Research Fellowships in Texas History are made possible by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation and are administered through the Texas State Historical Association. The deadline for 2023 fellowships is November 15, 2022. More information and the submission form is available here:https://www.tshaonline.org/awards/texas-state-library-and-archives-commission-research-fellowship-in-texas-history


Please tell us about your research project, including what TSLAC collections you are using.

I am researching the Texas Women’s Meeting, which took place in June 1977 in Austin as part of the United Nations International Women’s Year initiative. This meeting was one of 56 state and territory meetings that served as a precursor to the 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston. Because this was a federally funded event, the TSLAC holds all the records from the Texas IWY Coordinating Committee, which includes meeting minutes, correspondence, outreach materials, oral histories, press clippings, and video footage that reveal the behind-the-scenes struggles of planning this event.

What did you discover in the State Archives that was surprising or changed the direction of your research?

At this juncture in history, we hear a lot about the battle between anti-feminists and feminists over the Equal Rights Amendment and reproductive freedom, but the Texas IWY records add nuance to this story. Many groups, including Black women, Chicanas, and lesbians, were actively pushing their own concerns and working to make sure they were represented at the meeting. Often, this led to tensions with the official committee, which was struggling to “balance” the racial, religious, and economic diversity of the attendees. These challenges are important to recognize as we consider the multi-faceted nature of women as a group and the reality that there are “feminisms” rather than a singular “feminism.”

International Women’s Year press conference stage, November 10, 1975. Public relations committee files, 1978/032-7-Unmarked images-2, Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee records. TSLAC.

Describe how your research will contribute to scholarship in your field or subject area.

International Women’s Year has received renewed attention in recent years as historians consider the event on a state, national, and global scale. However, Texas is a unique case study because it was the host state of the National Women’s Conference. If the Texas meeting fell apart, it did not bode well for the success of the national conference and organizers knew that. Texas is also interesting because we see the political dichotomy of the state in the 1970s. The Texas legislature ratified the Equal Rights Amendment just days after Congress passed it, and the state was at the center of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. However, Texas was also the home of a substantial conservative movement and the birthplace of the Women Who Want to be Women group that helped put together a “pro-family” counterrally at the Astrodome during the National Women’s Conference.

Additionally, the Texas State Meeting gives us a lens to view some of our more modern women politicians in the early days of their careers.

Future Texas Governor Ann Richards as well as future U.S. representatives Sylvia Garcia and Eddie Bernice Johnson all participated in the Texas meeting and the National Women’s Conference. My research looks at how these events shaped their politics moving forward. More broadly, this work centers women in politics and highlights their tremendous impact, both in office and at the grassroots level

Image: Ann Richards, 1977. Program committee files, 1978/032-15-Photograph album-13, Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee records. TSLAC.

What was the most exciting item you accessed at TSLAC?

TSLAC is helping to digitize video footage of the first planning meeting for the Texas Women’s Meeting and I’m very excited to see that. Of course, there are written minutes of the meeting but those don’t convey the emotion or delivery of the heated debates these women engaged in about representation. This footage could provide additional context and serve as visual confirmation of some of the struggles these women wrote about in their personal letters.

Box of media from the archival collection the research fellow is using.



What tips can you provide for other researchers, when visiting the State Archives?

Bring a sweater, even in 100-degree heat! In all seriousness, though, contacting archivists before your visit to talk about the collection makes the in-person research process so much smoother. The TSLAC archivists are some of the most helpful people I’ve worked with and can point you in the right direction. Also, make sure to peruse the books in the suggested reading section of the library. They have some wonderful titles on Texas history that dig into all the quirks and complexities of the state.

Thank you Caitlyn Jones! Best of luck on your project.


For more information on the collection mentioned in this interview:

Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records: An Inventory of International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records at the Texas State Archives:

Planning a visit to the State Archives in Austin? Check out the Before You Visit page from our reference staff. Contact reference for more information about research at the State Archives at ref@tsl.texas.gov or 512-463-5455.


Texas State Library and Archives Commission Research Fellowship in Texas History

The Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) is now accepting applications for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) Research Fellowship in Texas History. The fellowship includes a $2,000 stipend and is awarded for the best research proposal utilizing the collections of the State Archives in Austin.

The TSLAC Research Fellowship in Texas History is administered in partnership with TSHA and made possible by the generous support of the Texas Library and Archives Foundation.

The application must include the purpose of the proposed research, collections of interest, a description of the medium of the product of the research, a complete vita and why the fellowship is necessary to complete the project. The recipient of the fellowship may be asked to present the results of their research at a TSLAC event. The award will be announced at the TSHA’s annual meeting in El Paso in March 2023. Judges may withhold the award at their discretion. 
 
Visit www.tshaonline.org/awards/texas-state-library-and-archives-commission-research-fellowship-in-texas-history to apply by Nov. 15.

Past Recipients
2022    Andrew Busch, Caitlyn Jones and Christopher Phillips
2021    Leroy Myers Jr., Marc A. Molina and Bobby Cervantes
2020     Sheena Lee Cox and Micaela Valadez
2019     Maggie Elmore and Deborah Liles


Please contact our reference staff at 512-463-5455 or ref@tsl.texas.gov for information about archival collections that may support your project. Some descriptive guides (finding aids) are available online on the Archives & Manuscripts webpage.

THRAB Presents 2022 Archival Awards: Gallery

three awards of different shapes sitting on a table.
THRAB 2022 Archival Awards

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) held a board meeting at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building on Friday, October 7 where members recognized recipients of the 2022 THRAB Archival Awards. Representatives from the Harry Ransom Center, Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO), and the Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA) were on hand to accept the awards. Thanks to Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) Communications for the photos! Read more about the 2022 awards here. Click on each photo below for a larger image.


award trophy featuring the THRAB logo and the text: Archival Award of Excellence: Harry Ransom Center.
THRAB Archival Award of Excellence: Harry Ransom Center
four individuals pose with an award. In front is a table with the THRAB logo drape, THRAB banner and awards.
Harry Ransom Center representatives Alejandra Martinez, Daniel Zmud, Jim Kuhn, and Coyote Shook

award with THRAB logo and Advocacy for Archives Award: Texas Archival Resources Online
THRAB Advocacy for Archives Award: Texas Archival Resources Online
Eight individuals pose at table with awards, THRAB drape and banner.
TARO representatives Rebecca Romanchuk, Penny Castillo, Jimmy Williamson, Kristi Nedderman, Ada Negraru, Molly Hults, Aaron Choate, and Amy Bowman

THRAB David B. Gracy II Distinguished Archival Service Award: Society of Southwest Archivists
THRAB member Linda Barrett poses with Society of Southwest Archivists representatives Jimmy Williamson, Ada Negraru, Molly Hults, Mark Lambert, Daniel Alonzo (holding award), Mike Miller, and Rebecca Romanchuk

Congratulations to the 2022 THRAB Archival Award recipients! The nomination period for the 2023 awards will open in late spring. To keep up with announcements from THRAB, join the mailing list by sending a request to THRAB@tsl.texas.gov.


Texas Archives Month 2022

October is Texas Archives Month! Each year, the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) team up to promote archives and archival work throughout the month. The annual celebration occurs in conjunction with the Society of American Archivists’ American Archives Month. The Texas Archives Month webpage provides a calendar of events, links to archival exhibits, proclamations, and more.

A key component of the Texas Archives Month celebration is an educational poster presented online with a range of resources related to the theme. The 2022 Texas Archives Month digital poster focuses on analyzing primary sources in the classroom and offers step-by-step tips for students and educators. The theme focuses on various types of primary sources students encounter and links to a webpage with helpful strategies for analyzing documents, photographs, and maps. Visitors will also find images from Texas archives to download and use with analysis worksheets provided by the National Archives Records Administration (NARA).

Texas Archives Month Poster 2022

If educators and students need more primary sources for practice and instruction, the poster webpage offers links to digital collections around the state providing access to thousands of images online.

Download the poster or just bookmark the webpage for quick reference here: www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/thrab/archivesmonthposter

Texas Archives Month activities also annual archival awards administered by members of THRAB. THRAB is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 archival awards!

THRAB 2022 Archival Award Recipients

THRAB selected as the 2022 Archival Award of Excellence recipient the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas for their projects surrounding the reorganization and digitization of Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers. Ransom Center staff collaborated to reorganize, digitize, and present online the collection as a digital archive available to an international audience. Additionally, they enhanced access with a of suite teaching guides to assist educators and students. Created in 2016, the Archival Award of Excellence recognizes significant achievements in preserving and improving access to historical records in Texas.

The Advocacy for Archives Award recognizes outstanding achievements and lasting impacts on the archival community and the historical record in Texas. The 2022 recipient of this award is Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO). TARO advocates for archives by coordinating with Texas repositories to create standardized, searchable online finding aids and offering a centralized portal for identifying and locating participating collections. TARO staff also train Texas archives personnel on how to use the software and employ the standards required to streamline access on the TARO platform, txarchives.org. THRAB members believe TARO has helped revolutionize access to the historical record in Texas and looks forward to the growth and continued success of the project.

“The TARO steering committee is thrilled with this wonderful honor from THRAB that acknowledges the tremendous efforts of the countless volunteers across the dozens of member repositories contributing to this project. The award will also raise the profile of TARO and perhaps encourage even more repositories to join,” said TARO steering committee chair Samantha Dodd of Southern Methodist University.

The Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA) is the recipient of the David B. Gracy II Award for Distinguished Archival Service. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, the award recognizes the vital role the professional organization plays in the archival community. SSA Past President (2014-2015) Katie Salzman said, “It seems fitting that an organization whose early foundation and development was so influenced by Dr. Gracy should receive this honor. SSA embodies the dedication, advocacy, and leadership that were the hallmark of his own career.” SSA hosts an annual meeting, provides low-cost professional development opportunities, scholarships, and recently introduced an Archives-in-Residence program.

The awards will be presented at the next THRAB meeting on October 7 at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


THRAB programming is supported by funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

New Exhibit: Texas Governors and Their Times (1846-1946)

The newest public exhibit at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), Texas Governors and Their Times, 1846-1946, is now on display in the lobby of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Exhibits are free and no reservations are required. Texas Governors and Their Times, 1846-1946 showcases materials from the State Archives documenting the official work and daily business of the state’s chief executive spanning 100 years.

Governor’s Mansion, about 1970-1980. Color slides and transparencies, 1991077/130/001. Texas Tourism and Development Agency records.

Explore how seven governors responded to the issues of their eras through a selection of proclamations, correspondence, photographs, legislation, postcards, and more. As Texas transitioned from an independent republic to the 28th state in the Union, these governors oversaw the growth and development of what would become the second most populous state in the country. Below are a few examples of items on display. The entire exhibit is also available for viewing anytime online in the virtual version of Texas Governors and Their Times.


Although he was born in Ohio, Wilbert Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel loved his adopted state of Texas, where he moved in 1925. He wrote his best-known song, “Beautiful Texas,” in 1933 and recorded it with his band the Light Crust Doughboys. The song was a fixture at O’Daniel’s campaign rallies and at events during his term as governor.

Sheet music for “Beautiful Texas” by W. Lee O’Daniel, 1933. Patriotic songs, Vocal music, Texas sheet music collection, Box 2015/083-7.


Part of the inauguration celebration of Texas governors is the inaugural ball. This small booklet includes a program of the events of the inauguration and a dance card. A woman attending the ball would have used this dance card to record the names of her intended dance partners for each dance of the night.

Inaugural Ball dance card in honor of Governor O.B. Colquitt, January 17, 1911. Inaugurations of Texas Governors, Box 2-23/902. 


This phonograph cylinder contains an early recording of a speech by Governor Hogg. It was donated to the Texas State Archive in 1910 by Oscar Branch Colquitt, who served as governor from 1911 to 1915.

Wax phonograph cylinder, undated. Hogg (James Stephen) speech, Box 2-22/L16a.


“Christmas greetings from the Allreds” sent to the Graham family. James V. Allred served two terms as governor of Texas from 1935-1939. Richard Niles Graham was the grandson of Governor Elisha Pease, and the Graham-Pease family were prominent leaders in Austin.

The Governor’s Mansion, undated. Photographs, Graham (R. Niles) Collection, 1964/306-620.


“We think this new exhibit illustrates the importance of government records, especially those of the state’s highest elected office, to understanding Texas history,” said State Archivist Jelain Chubb. “Historic photographs show us what it was like to be in the governor’s office in 1911, letters of both Union and Confederate military officials as well as civilians give us first-hand accounts of the periods of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and artifacts from inaugurations, like the programs and mementos on display, allow us to imagine what it was like to attend these historic events. The items we preserve in the State Archives really bring history to life.”

Named a National Literary Landmark, the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building is the agency’s flagship located directly east of the Texas Capitol. Lobby exhibits are open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the Second Saturday of each month, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit online: www.tsl.texas.gov/lobbyexhibits.

Texas Governors and Their Times will be on view until May 15, 2023.


For questions about our collections and how to access them, please contact the reference desk at ref@tsl.texas.gov or call 512-463-5455.

Hispanic Heritage in Texas: The Nacogdoches Archives

Clinton Drake, Reference Librarian

Map of Texas, 1835. State Archives Map Collection, 2750. TSLAC. Map of Texas outlining departments of Bexar, Brazos, and Nacogdoches.

The Nacogdoches settlement in Northeast Texas, named for the Caddoan “Nacogdoche” tribe that inhabited the area, once served as the government seat for Spanish and Mexican colonial ambitions in East Texas. On the eve of the Texas Revolution (1836), the territory governed from Nacogdoches extended from the town of Anahuac in the South, the Trinity River to the West, the Red River to the North, and Louisiana to the East [see 1835 map in TSLAC collection]. Colonial records remained at the Nacogdoches county courthouse through the Republic and statehood eras until their transfer to state custody in 1850. Adolphus Sterne, the House member that introduced the resolution to transfer the documents for their historical value, had served as an alcalde of the Ayuntamiento of Nacogdoches during the colonial period.

Joint Resolution Providing For the Removal of Certain Spanish Documents From Nacogdoches County to the State Department. 3rd Legislature, Regular Session (1849-1850), Texas Secretary of State legislative bills and resolutions filed (General and Special Laws). TSLAC. View in the TDA.

The “Nacogdoches Archives” was the name given to this original transfer of documents from county to state custody. These records are not a complete record of the Spanish and Mexican administrations in East Texas. When the Department of Nacogdoches (the larger political unit that included both the settlement and the municipality of Nacogdoches and most of East Texas) was created from the Department of Bexar in 1831 and government records were physically separated according to the new geographical divisions, evidence suggests that items from both departments were intermingled to some degree. (The Bexar Archives are available at the University of Texas at Austin and at the Bexar County Clerk’s Office.) In addition, not all colonial records at Nacogdoches were transferred in 1850: some remained at the county level. 

Since 1850, the “Nacogdoches Archives” has been held by three state agencies: Texas Department of State (1850-1876), Texas Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics, and History (1876-1909), and Texas State Library and Archives Commission (previously named the Texas Library and Historical Commission)(1909-present). The documents remained stored in tin boxes until 1878 when they were inventoried and ordered according to the government organizational structure of the colonial period. When Robert Bruce Blake began his monumental 89-volume transcription of the archives in the 1920s, the documents had been rearranged in chronological order and expanded with Spanish language materials from other collections. In the 1980s, a significant project headed by Dr. G. Douglas Inglis aimed to reverse changes made to the collection over the preceding 130 years. 

Letter from Stephen F. Austin to the governor of Spanish Texas, Lt. Col. Luciano Garcia, on preserving order in the colony, 1823, p.1. Nacogdoches Archives 004-37.1.
Letter from Stephen F. Austin to the governor of Spanish Texas, Lt. Col. Luciano Garcia, on preserving order in the colony, 1823, p.2. Nacogdoches Archives 004-37.1.

Spanning tens of thousands of pages, the Nacogdoches Archives are a rich resource, but given that the documents are written by hand and primarily in Spanish with no comprehensive index, accessing the contents of the collection can require time, patience, and education. For the academic researcher, the records chronicle the intersection of colonialism, cultures, politics, commerce, and settlement in a rugged, rapidly changing frontier. For family researchers, certain types of records document residency, military service, life events, and lived experiences in colonial East Texas. Prior to using the records, a brief introduction to the various resources providing enhanced access–transcriptions, translations, indexes–can save time and improve search efforts.

Accessing the Nacogdoches Archives

Original Spanish documents: microfilm and online
The Nacogdoches Archives documents were microfilmed following their 1980s rearrangement. Original materials from the Nacogdoches Archives are not pulled for research purposes unless the film copy is illegible. An inventory of the microfilm, including a brief content note for each reel, can be found on the TSLAC website: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/nacogdoches.html#microfilm. Microfilm access options include:

  • TSLAC Austin location. The Nacogdoches Archives microfilm may be viewed at our TSLAC Austin location. The Reference Reading Room offers microfilm viewers with printing capabilities as well as USB ports for downloading images to personal flash drives. For useful information prior to visiting the library, please visit our website: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/visit.html
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL). You can request to borrow reels through your local library for viewing at that library. After you have identified the desired reels, please see our website for more information about ILL: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/landing/ill.html
  • Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com digitized the Nacogdoches Archives microfilm and provides access online. The database containing these records is Nacogdoches, Texas, Spanish and Mexican Government Records, 1729-1836. Texas residents may access this database for free through  Ancestry.com Texas. TSLAC also provides free on-site access to Ancestry.com as do many local libraries nationwide.

Transcribed documents
Robert Bruce Blake produced several series of publications including materials from the Nacogdoches Archives; however, his most important was the 89-volume series begun in 1928. In his transcription, which includes many English language subject headings, but few translations, the original Nacogdoches Archives are thought to be included in their entirety (confirmation would require a comparison of between 20 and 30 thousand pages). The series was also supplemented with Spanish language documents from other collections as well as Nacogdoches documents from the Bexar archives. These transcripts are only available for on-site use at the TSLAC Austin location and can be located in our catalog.

Robert Bruce (R.B.) Blake Collection
In addition to the Nacogdoches Archives transcripts, Blake also produced a 93-volume series of transcribed material referred to as the Robert Bruce (R. B.) Blake Collection, or the “Blake transcripts.” This series includes items from the Nacogdoches archives, the Nacogdoches County Clerks’ office, the General Land Office, the Bexar Archives, and additional archival sources. Although only select documents from the Nacogdoches Archives are included, this series is more widely available at various institutions and online. 

Additional resources

Additional publications held by TSLAC that include indexes or transcriptions of Nacogdoches Archives documents include (but are not limited to) census records, entrance certificates, minutes, book of foreigners, and items related to East Texas.

Census records: [read more about the census records]

Padron de los Indios – Mission San Jose, census page, January 24, 1798. Nacogdoches Archives, 299. TSLAC. 

Census records for Latin America and the Hispanic United States by Lyman Platt

The first census of Texas, 1829-1836 : to which are added, Texas citizenship lists, 1821-1845, and other early records of the Republic of Texas by Marion Day Mulins

Entrance certificates: [read more about the entrance certificates]

Entrance certificate for Thomas J. Rusk, Feb. 11, 1835. Nacogdoches Archives, 4-25/2. TSLAC.

Nacogdoches archives 1835 entrance certificates by Betty Fagan Burr

Nacogdoches archives : Index to 1835 entrance certificates and citizenship applications

Certificates of entrance relative to admission to settle in Texas under colonization laws : translated from the Spanish as contained in University of Texas transcript of Nacogdoches Archives, contained in volumes 76, 80, and 89

Other:

Selections from the Nacogdoches Archives relating to the history of East Texas by Robert Bruce Blake

Minutes of Ayuntamiento of Nacogdoches, Texas from July 17, 1828 to August 8, 1835 by Robert Bruce Blake

Book of foreigners settled at Nacogdoches : with date of application for citizenship and action of the authorities on such applications from 1827 to 1834 by Robert Bruce Blake

For questions about these materials please contact our reference staff at ref@tsl.texas.gov or 512-463-5455.


Bibliography:

Carefoot, Jean. The Nacogdoches Archives. Undated printed manuscript. 8 pages. TSLAC Genealogy Vertical Files, Internal Document. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

Long, Christopher. “Nacogdoches County”. Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 03, 2022. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/nacogdoches-county.

McDonald, Archie P. “Nacogdoches, TX”. Handbook of Texas Online Accessed August 03, 2022. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/nacogdoches-tx.

Texas State Gazette. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 13, Ed. 1, Saturday, November 17, 1849, newspaper, November 17, 1849; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth80904/m1/4/?q=nacogdoches+records: accessed June 22, 2022), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. P . 4

Texas. Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History. Twenty-Ninth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics, and History for the year 1903. Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., State Printers, 1904.

New Online: Recent Updates to Finding Aids and Digital Images Available Online

Pages from a 42-page German diary from 1843-1844. A contractor found the volume while demolishing an old residence in Austin. The volume has been digitized and is now available online in the TDA.

As our archives staff work on an ongoing basis to arrange, preserve, describe, and make available to the public the materials under our care, we spotlight new additions to the website in a regular feature from Out of the Stacks. The column lists new and revised finding aids recently made available online, along with fresh uploads to the Texas Digital Archive, our repository of electronic items. For a comprehensive list of all recently added and updated finding aids visit Archives: Finding Aids (New & Revised).


New Finding Aids

State Records

Texas Governor Allan Shivers lieutenant governor files

Allan Shivers served as lieutenant governor of Texas from January 21, 1947, to July 11, 1949, during the 50th and 51st Texas Legislature. The Texas Constitution (Article IV, sections 1 and 16) gives the lieutenant governor power to act as governor in the event of the governor’s absence from the state or his/her death, resignation, impeachment, or inability or refusal to serve. The Constitution has also designated the lieutenant governor to serve as president of the Texas Senate. These records consist of the files of Allan Shivers in his capacity as lieutenant governor of Texas and consist of clippings, correspondence, directories, financial records, invitations, legislative records, bill files, memorandums, and proclamations, dated 1946-1949.


Image: Governor Allan Shivers, undated. People Collection, 1/102-713, Prints and Photographs. TSLAC.

Texas Governor Allan Shivers senate files
The Texas Senate is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas House of Representatives), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section I) vests with all legislative power of the state. Allan Shivers served as a Texas senator from January 8, 1935, to January 14, 1947. Records are the senate files for Governor Allan Shivers and consist of advertisements, application forms, clippings, correspondence, financial records, legislative records, memorandums, petitions, and speeches, dated 1932-1947 and undated. Shivers maintained his senate office records while serving as governor. Topics commonly mentioned in these files include, but are not limited to, the Democratic party and constitutional amendments. Files are personal and political in nature. There is also a significant number of records from the Shivers campaign for state senator.

Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner of Education correspondence, subject files, and other materials
The Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner manages the state education agency, provides leadership to schools, and coordinates with the state legislature, state agencies, and the US Department of Education. These records consist of correspondence, subject files, and other materials dating 1947-2007, bulk 1977-2003. Correspondence and subject files document topics such as educational committees, school districts, parenting, vocational education, legislation, special education, teacher certification, curriculum, school finance, textbooks, bilingual education, creationism, charter schools, and cooperation between state and federal agencies. Commissioner search documentation, various commissioner meeting notes and agendas, and Dr. William N. Kirby’s speeches make up the remaining materials.

Texas Declaration of Independence

This document is the Texas Declaration of Independence, completed and approved by vote on March 2, 1836. The 59 delegates attending the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, each representing one of the settlements in Texas, signed the declaration over the next several days, after which five copies were made and dispatched to the designated Texas towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and San Felipe. One thousand copies were ordered to be printed in handbill form by the printer in San Felipe, to circulate the news. This document has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Image: First page of original manuscript version of the Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836. TSLAC.



Manuscripts

German diary found in Austin, Texas
The collection consists of one 42-page portion of a bound journal written in German, dating September 1843-September 1844. The diary has not been translated, but upon cursory inspection it appears a substantial amount was written in Germany. H.R. Nieman Jr., obtained this diary during his time as the executive director for the State Building Commission. A contractor found the item while demolishing an old residence in Austin, Texas. This diary has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

William Barret Travis letter from the Alamo

This document, written by Commander William B. Travis, dated February 24, 1836, and signed “Victory or Death, “is the one that has come to be known simply as “The Travis Letter “among the other missives issued by Travis from the Alamo. Travis called for reinforcements with this heroic message, carried from the Alamo by Captain Albert Martin of Gonzales and passed to Lancelot Smither, both of whom added notes to the letter. Smither delivered this appeal to the citizens’ committee in San Felipe, where several copies were made, and transcripts of the letter began to appear in newspapers as early as March 2. Santa Anna’s troops broke through on March 6, and all of the defenders of the Alamo died. This document has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Image: William Barret Travis letter from the Alamo, Feb. 22, 1836. TSLAC.


Milford P. Norton papers
Milford Phillips Norton (1794-1860) was a lawyer, publisher, judge, and civic leader in Galveston, Black Point, Bayou City, Corpus Christi, and Houston, Texas. The Milford P. Norton papers consist of correspondence, land grants, deeds, and receipts, dated 1839-1860.

Revised Finding Aids

State Records

Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner of Education records
The Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner manages the state education agency, provides leadership to schools, and coordinates with the state legislature, state agencies, and the US Department of Education. These records consist of correspondence, subject files, and other materials dating 1947-2007, bulk 1977-2003. Correspondence and subject files document topics such as educational committees, school districts, parenting, vocational education, legislation, special education, teacher certification, curriculum, school finance, textbooks, bilingual education, creationism, charter schools, and cooperation between state and federal agencies. Commissioner search documentation, various commissioner meeting notes and agendas, and Dr. William N. Kirby’s speeches make up the remaining materials.

Texas Governor Rick Perry Texas Film Commission records
Under Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Film Commission (TFC) served the film, television, commercial, animation, visual effects, and video games industries in the state, offering an array of resources and incentives. The TFC’s main functions included administering the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and the Film Friendly Texas program; publishing the annual Texas Production Directory/Manual; maintaining a job hotline for cast, crew, and video game/animation positions; and providing resources and information to facilitate media production in the state. Records include correspondence, organizational charts, articles, presentations, speeches, handouts/informational documents, locations images, and databases. Dates range from 1996 to 2015, bulk 2000 to 2014. The records consist exclusively of electronic files and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic
Prior to the regular government established by the Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836, a variety of governmental entities, both legislative and executive, succeeded one another. Types of records include correspondence, reports, resolutions, decrees, ordinances, declarations, circulars, proceedings, minutes, delegate rolls, records of votes, rules, presidential addresses, commissions issued, a memorial, list of government officers, a resignation, and vouchers and receipts, all of the various legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. These governmental bodies include the following: the treasurer of the Ayuntamiento of Austin, citizens meetings and committees of public safety, the Permanent Council, the Consultation, the Provisional Government, the Convention of 1836, and the Ad Interim government, dating 1835-1836 and undated.

Manuscripts

Price Daniel audiovisual materials and related papers
Price Daniel served as Texas attorney general, US senator, and Texas governor. These audiovisual materials and related papers date 1952-1962, 1980, undated, and encompass Daniel’s service in these offices, as well as his US Senate and Texas gubernatorial campaigns, and contain one item from after his political career. Topics covered include narcotic laws, segregation, states’ rights, traffic safety, and Texas business and agriculture. The most common film format is 16mm black-and-white film, and audio materials include open reel audiotapes and instantaneous recordings. Some audiovisual materials include accompanying documents. These materials and accompanying documents have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Price Daniel political spot, US Senator campaign,1952. Price Daniel audiovisual materials and related papers,2019.003-22. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, TSLAC.

Contact ref@tsl.texas.gov or 512-463-5455 with questions about using TSLAC’s archival resources at the Lorenzo de Zavala building in Austin and SamHoustonCenter@tsl.texas.gov or 936-886-9821 regarding collections at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty.

Historic Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building Now Open at SHC

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, a component of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, held a grand opening of the newly restored Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building in the spring and offers an ongoing exhibit depicting the history of Rotary in the area.

Preparations for the ribbon-cutting on the newly restored Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty.

Built by the Rotary Club of Hull-Daisetta in about 1930, this is one of the first and only buildings constructed and owned by a Rotary club and one of several historic buildings preserved on the grounds of the Sam Houston Center. The facility has recently been restored and will now be open to the public as a museum documenting the history of Southeast Texas Rotary clubs.

Undated image of the Hull-Daisetta Rotary Club and “log cabin” building while in operation. Photos, artifacts, documents, and memorabilia are on view as part of the exhibit in the renovated facility.

Chartered in 1926 when an oil boom was bringing people to the region, the Hull-Daisetta Rotary Club met in various locations around Hull for the first few years of its existence. A May 1932 article in The Rotarian described the building as “a log cabin, built, in part, by extra fifty-cent fees at weekly luncheon sessions.” The building’s unusual six-sided structure mimics the design of the Rotary International symbol, the wheel. Perhaps in part because of the cozy home-like setting, with a fireplace and kitchenette, the local residents also used the cabin for celebrations and special events. After the club disbanded in 1982, ownership changed hands and the condition of the building deteriorated over time. 

Current image of the renovated Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, 2022.

In 2006, the community set out on a mission to recover the building and preserve its legacy in a historical context. Several individuals and organizations worked to move the structure to its current site and support its renovation. Many of the artifacts featured in the exhibit were recovered from the original Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building and are on display along with archival materials from the Sam Houston Center’s collections. The restored structure creates the ideal setting to reflect upon the mission of Rotary to inspire friendship and improve communities through selfless service. 

Jayne McCurry gives a presentation about Rotary clubs as part of the festivities.

The grand opening was held on April 30 and included a reception and a special program in the Jean and Price Daniel Home. Guests had the opportunity to view both the Rotary Building permanent exhibit and the traveling exhibit Not Alone: Working Together in the Fight Against Human Trafficking, produced by the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Sam Houston Center Manager, Alana Inman and Chairperson for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Martha Wong at the recent opening of the Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building.

The celebration marked the culmination of the decade-long effort to refurbish and open to the public this historic building. Those interested in visiting the site may learn more about the hours and location here https://www.tsl.texas.gov/shc or by contacting the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center by phone (936) 336-8821 or email SamHoustonCenter@tsl.texas.gov.


The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center is a component of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s Archives and Information Services Division and serves as the official regional historical resource depository for the 10 southeast Texas counties of Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto and Tyler. The Center’s primary mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to historically significant state and local government records and publications of the designated region and secondarily to serve as a library of Texana and genealogical resources. Through its collections, historic buildings, and educational exhibits and initiatives, it also honors the distinguished public service of former governors, organizations and citizens of the Atascosito District.

For more information, visit www.tsl.texas.gov/shc.