Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

Adele Briscoe Looscan Collection

Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe Papers, Manuscript Collection: MC057

Collection Summary

Creator: Howe, Jessie Briscoe, 1845-1920
Title: Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe papers
Dates: 1851-1920
Dates: (Bulk: 1862-1907)
Abstract: Correspondence, financial documents, printed materials, legal documents and general documents illuminate the life and family of Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe.
Identification: MC057
OCLC Record No.: 50044373
Quantity: 1 box (.3 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

Jessie Wade Briscoe, the eldest daughter of Mary Jane Harris Briscoe and Andrew Briscoe, was born in 1845 in Harrisburg, Texas. In 1849 her father closed his Texas businesses and moved to New Orleans to further his children's education. Stricken with yellow fever, he died on October 4, 1849. Mary Jane and her four children moved to the Briscoe family plantation in Claiborne County, Mississippi, and remained there for 3 years until returning to Texas in 1852. Jessie Wade came of age in Anderson, Galveston, Harrisburg, and Houston, Texas. She married civil engineer and Civil War veteran Milton Grovesnor Howe in 1873. Joseph Milton Howe, their only child, was born in 1874. They resided in Houston and traveled extensively. In 1901 Milton G. Howe was appointed a director of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He died in 1902.

Jessie was an active member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. A founding member of the DRT, she supported the Adina De Zavala faction (1907-1909), but rejoined the DRT after the settlement of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas vs. Adina De Zavala. Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe died in Houston in 1920.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, financial documents, printed materials, legal documents and general documents illuminate the life and family of Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe. The papers are divided into two groups: the personal papers of Mrs. Howe and the papers of Milton G. Howe, her husband. Correspondence (1851-1920) forms the bulk of the personal papers of Mrs. Howe. Five letters received from her brothers Parmenas and Birdsall document the experiences of Confederate soldiers in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee 1862-1865. Nine of the fourteen letters from her sister Adele record the trip Adele and Mary Jane took to California and New York in 1870. Of interest is an exchange of letters between Nettie Houston Bringhurst and Jessie Wade Howe (1908) concerning Mrs. Bringhurst's support of Clara Driscoll and rejection of Adele Briscoe Looscan and Adina De Zavala in the fight over control of the Alamo. Drafts of letters addressed to the leadership of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) in 1910 concern amendments to the organization's constitution. Financial documents include receipts from DRT (17), charitable and civic organizations (20), and Houston businesses (31). Legal documents include 2 general passes (1862) from the Provost Marshall of Harris County, resolutions written for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Mrs. Howe's final wishes. A copy of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" handwritten possibly on wallpaper is of artifactual value.

Printed materials, correspondence, a legal and a financial document comprise the Milton G. Howe group. Thirty railroad related items (1867-1897) including 22 railroad passes from the United States, 5 railroad passes from Mexico, a Western Union franking card and 2 Western Union stamp books, document Howe's professional career with the railroads. Of particular interest is a phrenology chart with the results of an exam performed on Howe by O. S. Fowler in 1881. Correspondence deals primarily with land tenure relative to his wife's family (4). Of particular interest are two letters from Thomas Kleinpeter of New Orleans, a Civil War comrade, in which he discusses railroad business, the general economy of Louisiana after the Civil War, and the whereabouts of fellow soldiers. The single legal document consists of a voter registration certificate, 1871.


Organized into 2 groups, Personal Papers and Milton G. Howe Papers, and 9 series; arrangement is chronological and alphabetical.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

Bringhurst, Antoinette Power Houston, 1852-1932
Briscoe, Andrew Birdsall, 1841-1912
Briscoe, Parmenas, 1839-1906
De Zavala, Adina, 1861-1955
Howe, Jessie Briscoe, 1845-1920--Archives
Howe, Milton Grovesnor, d. 1902
Kleinpeter, Thomas
Looscan, Adele Briscoe, 1848-1935
Daughters of the Republic of Texas
Land tenure--Texas
Phrenology--Charts, diagrams, etc.
Alamo (San Antonio, Tex.)
Houston (Tex.)
Louisiana--Economic conditions--1865-1950
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate
Railroad passes

Archivist's Note

Other related papers from the Adele Briscoe Looscan Collection include the Mary Jane Harris Briscoe Papers, the Parmenas Briscoe Papers, the Adele Briscoe Looscan Papers, the Briscoe Family Papers, and the Michael Looscan Papers. All photographs are located in the Adele Briscoe Looscan Papers.

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], Jessie Wade Briscoe Howe Papers, MC057, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


Mr. and Mrs. George A. Hill, Jr., Houston Public Library, Annie Hume, 1939-1940.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Canby Jackson, 2002.


Personal Papers

Correspondence: Received
box folder
69 1 Adina de Zavala 1912, undated
2 Mary Saunders 1903-1907, undated
3 General A-W, frag. 1858-1915
4 Proxies for DRT Meeting in San Antonio 1910
5 Family: Andrew Birdsall Briscoe 1862-1868
6 Family: Parmenas Briscoe 1864-1905
7 Family: Adele Briscoe Looscan 1865-1907, undated
8 Family: General 1869-1903
9 Postcards 1920
Correspondence: Sent
box folder
69 10 General B-P, unknown 1908-1912
11 Family: Joseph Milton Howe 1887
12 Family: "Lucy" 1851
Correspondence: Envelopes
box folder
69 13 Envelopes 1862-1915
14 Envelopes undated
box folder
69 15 Receipts: Daughters of the Republic of Texas 1904-1919
16 Receipts: Foley Brothers / William Foley 1907
17 Receipts: General: Business 1881-1915
18 Receipts: General: Charitable and Civic Organizations 1899-1919
box folder
69 19 Confederate Military Passes, Resolutions, Last Wishes 1862-1915
Printed Materials
box folder
69 20 Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Daughters of the American Revolution 1893-1914
box folder
69 21 "Bonnie Blue Flag," prescription, Rowena Howe DRT Membership 1907, undated
22 Mailing container, partial undated

Milton G. Howe Papers

box folder
69 23 General 1867-1901
24 Envelopes 1901, undated
box folder
69 25 Receipts 1880
box folder
69 26 Voter Registration 1871
Printed Materials
box folder
69 27 Railroad Passes: Mexico 1897
28 Railroad Passes: United States 1867-1899
29 Cards / Stamps: Western Union 1870-1897
30 General 1876-1901, undated