University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the George Pierce Garrison Papers, 1836-1925

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Garrison, George Pierce, 1853-1910
Title: George Pierce Garrison papers
Dates: 1836-1925
Abstract: George Pierce Garrison (1853-1910) was a professor of history and chairman of the history department at the University of Texas at Austin from 1884 to 1910 and was one of the first Texas writers to be published in major journals. The papers pertain to Garrison's association with UT, business of the Texas State Historical Association, and historical research and writings on Texas and American history.
OCLC No.: 960948919
Extent: 6 ft., 6 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

George Pierce Garrison was born on December 19, 1853, in Carrollton, Georgia, to Patterson Gillespie and Mary Ann (Curtiss) Garrison. He attended school in Winchester, Tennessee, and Carrollton, Georgia, before moving to Texas in 1874. From 1874 to 1879, Garrison taught school in Rusk and other East Texas communitities. He then spent two years studying at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, earning a certificate of literate in arts as well as certificates of merit for proficiency in logic, rhetoric, English, and mathematics. Returning to Texas in 1881, Garrison taught at Coronal Institute in San Marcos before joining the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in 1884 as instructor in English literature and history. He was promoted to assistant professor and head of the history department in 1888, adjunct professor in 1889, associate professor in 1891, and professor in 1897. He served as chairman of the history department until his death. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Chicago in 1896 and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Baylor University in 1910.

At UT, George Pierce Garrison laid the groundwork for a graduate history studies program in 1897 and encouraged women to pursue graduate work in history, though a doctorate degree for women at UT was not yet a possibility. He was one of the founders of the Texas State Historical Association and served as editor of the association's Quarterly from its inception in 1897 until he died. An avid historian, Garrison worked to make the Texas State Library more efficiently controlled and useful, and worked with Lester Bugbee in obtaining the Bexar Archives for the University of Texas archives. He is also credited with formulating the university's policy of transcribing documents from the Mexican National Archives.

Garrison was one of the first Texas writers to be published in major journals. He was the author of a number of books and articles on Texas history and government, along with The History of Federal Control of Congressional Elections, published in 1900. He is the namesake of a building on the UT campus, home of the departments of history and American studies. Additionally, Garrison was a member of the American Economic Association, the American Historical Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and Kappa Sigma.

George Pierce Garrison married Annie Perkins in 1881 and the couple had four daughters. Garrison died at his home in Austin on July 3, 1910.


Handbook of Texas Online, Margaret C. Berry, "Garrison, George Pierce," accessed July 25, 2016,

Scope and Contents

The George Pierce Garrison Papers, 1836-1925, contain correspondence, diplomas, certificates, ledgers, literary productions, maps, clippings, broadsides, lecture notes, research notes, grade books, account books, speeches, pamphlets, documents, and photographs of Garrison, educator and author. The papers relate to Garrison's association with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Texas, and Baylor University; business of the Texas State Historical Association; the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association; and Garrison's historical research and writings on slavery, colonization, relations with Mexico, British relations, American history, and Texas history.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Garrison, George Pierce, 1853-1910
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas at Austin. Department of History
University of Edinburgh
Baylor University
Texas State Historical Association

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

George Pierce Garrison Papers, 1836-1925, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by archives staff, 1937, 1984, and 1990.

Subsequent revisions were made by Jessi Fishman, July 2016.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2D196 Correspondence
2D197 1902-1903
2D198 1904-1905
2D199 1906-June 1907
2D200 July 1907-1908
2D201 1909-June 1910
2D202 July 1910-1925, undated
Garrison and Hart, 1902-1906
Garrison and Julian, 1909
2D203 Notes on Texas history
2D204 Notes on Texas history
Notes on Texas history and its relations with Britain, bibliography
2D205 Lecture notes
UT Circular, Board of Regents petition, correspondence, 1888-1908, undated
2D206 Garrison's maps, criticisms
School papers
2D207 Certificates and Diplomas
Ledgers, 1885-1888, 1897-1909
Grade books
2D208 Austin Daily Statesman, 1896, 1906, 1909
The Texan, 1900
The Alcalde, 1926
Newspaper clippings
Printed material
3S191 Diploma, 1910
3T89 Photographs
W. D. Sutton
[Garrison's grave site?]
[Garrison's school in East Texas?]
Lithographs of Stephen F. Austin and Guy M. Bryan