Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart Family Papers: MSS.0150

Descriptive Summary

Creator Stewart Family
Title: Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart Family Papers
Dates: Bulk, 1840-1877
Dates: 1840-1966, 1840-1877
Identification: MSS.0150
Quantity: 0.5 Linear feet, 1 box
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Historical Note

This collection spans the time period from 1840 when slavery and commerce in slaves was common, and progresses until 1966. During this period, the Civil War, or the War of the Northern Invasion, was fought and lost, and Reconstruction took place. People who had been slaves were freed to become oppressed colored people. Much wealth was lost in the Civil War and the South needed decades to recover economically and politically.

Biographical Note

The collection begins in 1840 and takes place primarily in Montgomery County, Texas, north of Houston. Slavery was an accepted part of life and this collection contains the bills of sale of numerous slaves, known only by their first names, as was the custom.

Charles Bellinger Tate Stewart (1806-1885) was a very prominent Texan of the nineteenth century. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, he studied medicine, became a pharmacist and also earned a license in Texas to practice medicine. He was the first to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 and used a button he found in a pocket as the Seal for the Republic of Texas. He designed the Lone Star Flag of the Republic of Texas. After fighting at the Battle of San Jacinto, Mr. Stewart served as an interpreter during the ensuing negotiations. After the Texas War for Independence, he served as Secretary of State for the Republic of Texas. In 1840 he became District Attorney for Montgomery County and was also a notary public. He served three separate terms in the Texas Legislature. After the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson granted him a pardon for his participation in the Confederacy.

The Stewart collection documents post war life with the death of a son barely reaching adulthood, a daughter attending college and an application to the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Dr. Stewart died in 1885 from internal injuries incurred when he fell from a roof.

Scope and Contents

The collection covers the time period 1840-1966. Included is an application to the Daughters of the Confederacy, bills of sale of slaves, a check, correspondence, death notices, deeds, election notices, information about Waco Female College, newspaper articles, obituaries, photographs, a presidential pardon, and tax records



Items in the collection are generally in chronological order with fragile items placed in the first folder.


Access Restrictions

Partially restricted due to frail condition of certain documents in the first folder.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart Family Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875
Stewart, Charles Bellinger Tate
United Daughters of the Confederacy
Waco Female College
Lone Star Flag
Montgomery County (Tex.)
Navasota (Texas)
Republic of Texas

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart Family Papers. MSS 0150. Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Henry F. Lindley, Jr. and Mrs. Virginia Stewart L. Ford.

Processing Information

Processed by: Ron Drees, September, 2008.

 General note 

As was the custom, slaveholders did not give slaves last names or birth certificates so slaves are not listed here.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Stewart Family Business and Personal Papers

General note
The business papers include business transactions, court records, deeds and a check. Family affairs include a college application, death notices, correspondence, and photographs.
Box Folder
1 1 Papers, Business & Family, Stewart; Bills of sale of slaves, court records, records of buried valuables; 1840-1872
2 Papers, Business & Family, Stewart; Correspondence, deed, presidential pardon, Reproductions, Seal of Texas imprint; 1835-1885
3 Papers; Government, correspondence, death notices, Waco Female College; 1860- 1939, n.d.
4 Papers, Family; Deed, check, correspondence, death notices, newspaper, personal; 1841-1966
5 Photographs, Reproductions of; Two gentlemen, one house; n.d.