Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Elizabeth Craw diary, 1833-1841 MS 386

creator Craw, Addilene Elizabeth
Title: Elizabeth Craw diary
Dates: 1833-1841
Abstract: The collection consists of the personal diary of Elizabeth Craw (1819-ca.1909), which records her journey from Ohio to see her soldier fiancé in Texas, and her experiences there. Craw’s fiancé fought and died at the Battle of the Alamo.
Identification: MS 386
Quantity: 0.1 linear ft. (1 bound volume)
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Elizabeth Craw (1809-ca.1909) grew up on a farm near Cleveland, Ohio, near her childhood friend, sweetheart, and eventual fiancé, Samuel Evans. Evans was educated as a soldier, and upon graduation was immediately assigned to the unsettled Mexican border. In 1833, his parents decided to make the long horseback and boat journey to visit him, and invited Craw, his fiancée, to accompany them. The group traveled from Cleveland, Ohio down the Mississippi and Red Rivers and across Louisiana swamps, and arrived in Saint Augustine, Texas. Craw wrote in sporadic diary entries about her departure, journey and experiences in Texas. After her arrival in Texas, her fiancé, Lt. Samuel Evans, was killed at the Alamo. She opened a small school in her Saint Augustine home in 1837, and had returned to Cleveland by 1841.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of an original manuscript diary by Elizabeth Craw, which contains entries from 1833-1841. The diary recounts in short, sporadic entries her 1833 journey from Cleveland, Ohio, to Saint Augustine, Texas to see her soldier fiancé, Samuel Evans. Craw writes of the methods and difficulties of their long trek on horseback, along the Mississippi and Red Rivers, and across Louisiana bayous. After Craw and her future in-laws arrived in Texas, the entries stop until March 20, 1836, when the diary indicates that Evans was killed at the Alamo. The journal shows that Craw opened a small school in her house in Saint Augustine in 1837. In much of her journal after this, Craw expresses her despair through poems and passages. In 1841, Craw writes in Cleveland that she had "come back to die in the home of my father/ and sit 'neath the blossoms that mock my decay/ And thus my fond memory the sad harvest gathers/ of friendships and loves that have long passed away."


Access Restriction

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials from this item must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Craw, Elizabeth
Evans, Samuel, -1836
Travellers and explorers
Mississippi River
Texas--San Antonio--Alamo
Texas--St. Augustine
United States--Red River

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Elizabeth Craw diary, 1833-1841, MS 386, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

This diary was separated from the Harris Masterson Collection in the 1960's.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Diary

1 bound handwritten diary, 7” x 4-7/8”
1 bound handwritten diary, 7” x 4-7/8”

Series II: Related documents

1 Heartsill's hand drawn map of Camp Butler, Union camp for Confederate prisoners, near Springfield Illinois, c. 1861-1865
2 Newsclipping, ca. 2/1864, reporting on Confederate war activities
3 Placeholder pages for portraits of men in Heartsill's unit (the original publication of the journal included portraits), also including a list of the unit's fallen soldiers