A Guide to the Jane McManus Storms Cazneau Papers, 1834-1836, 1849-1865, 1877-1878, 1919
Journalist, author, promoter, and unofficial diplomat, Jane Maria Eliza McManus Storms Cazneau (1807-1878) wrote under the pen name Cora or Corinne Montgomery. Born in Troy, New York, she was the daughter of U. S. Congressman William T. McManus and his wife Catharina, née Coons. In 1825, she married Allen Storms (or Storm), with whom she had a son, but they divorced six years later. She later married politician William Leslie Cazneau in 1849.
In the 1830s, Cazneau began her affiliation with Texas, after the Mexican government granted her land in Texas to bring families as part of Stephen F. Austin’s colony. Although the plan failed, her family eventually moved to Matagorda. During the Texas Revolution, Cazneau pledged money to the Independence movement after moving back to New York, and in the 1840s she advocated the annexation of Texas to the U.S. in her columns for the New York Sun. Cazneau moved in 1850 to Eagle Pass, Texas, a town her husband helped to establish, and became closely associated with her husband’s friend former Texas president Mirabeau B. Lamar.
During the Mexican War, Cazneau became a war correspondent, playing an unofficial role in her friend and New York Sun editor Moses Yale Beach’s peace mission to Mexico City. She also began to promote the "All Mexico" movement, which argued for the annexation of Mexico to the U.S. in order to establish peace. She also supported U.S. annexation of or intervention in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua, all displaying her endorsement of Manifest Destiny.
William Cazneau was appointed diplomatic agent to the Dominican Republic in the 1850s, only leaving in 1863 when Spanish troops destroyed their estate. After two years in Jamaica, they returned to the Dominican Republic and aided Presidents Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant in their attempts to acquire land in the country.
Throughout her life, Cazneau was a prolific author, commentating in newspaper editorials and publishing several books about her life and political ideology. She wrote for the New York Sun, Philadelphia Public Ledger, New York Tribune, Democratic Review, and New York Morning Star, which she part-owned. Her books include Texas and Her Presidents (1845), The Queen of Islands (1850), Eagle Pass, or Life on the Border (1852), Life in Santo Domingo (1873), and Our Winter Eden: Pen Pictures of the Tropics (1878).
May, Robert E. "Cazneau, Jane Maria Eliza McManus."Handbook of Texas Onlinehttp://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/CC/fcaad.html (accessed July 2, 2010).
Hudson, Linda S. Mistress of Manifest Destiny: A Biography of Jane McManus Storm Cazneau, 1807-1878. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2001.
The Jane McManus Storms Cazneau Papers, 1834-1836, 1849-1865, 1877-1878, 1919, consist of letters from Cazneau, a copy of her will, and transcripts of documents. Original letters to Moses S. Beach and others and handwritten editorials (1849-1865) concern contemporary politics, Texas, andthe colonization and accession of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. Photocopied and photographed letters from Cazneau (1834-1836) discuss land and loans to aid the Texas struggle for independence. Transcripts of documents relate to her death aboard a ship that foundered in 1878.
This collection is open for research use.
Jane McManus Storms Cazneau Papers, 1834-1836, 1849-1865, 1877-1878, 1919, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers