Texas Legation Papers

Original documents are key to understanding the past. In The Texas Legation Papers, both book and web form, the Center presents the first-hand reports of the Republic of Texas diplomatic legation to the United States from 1836 until achieving statehood in 1845. When the legation office closed in 1845, its papers were moved to the Office of the US Adjutant General in Washington, DC. In 1846 the newly elected US senator from Texas, Sam Houston, was directed to take control of all of the documents and convey them to the Texas secretary of state in Austin. For some reason, Senator Houston instead took them to his home. Most were ultimately turned over to the state, but a single box containing over 250 documents was not and over the ensuing 161 years passed through the family of Sam Houston’s son, Andrew Jackson Houston, and eventually to other people. Eventually, the papers came into the custody of the Center for Texas Studies at TCU and TCU’s Special Collections in the Mary Couts Burnett Library. They were held by TCU for a period of five years for exhibition and scholarship before going to their permanent home at the Texas State Library and Archives.

All of the papers, many of which are copies of known documents, along with others that had never previously been seen, were transcribed for the print publication, The Texas Legation Papers 1836-1845. We are pleased to make images of the originals available ONLINE for the use of students, scholars, and the public.