Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

James Family Papers

Manuscript Collection: MC119

Collection Summary

Creator: James family
Title: James family papers
Dates: 1835, 1863
Abstract: A marriage bond and a power of attorney illustrate the legal affairs of William B. James and his parents John and Sarah Cowan James of Texas.
Identification: MC119
Quantity: 2 items
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

John James married Sarah Ann Cowan in 1835, with whom he had four children, including William B. James. William Bradley James was born on October 22, 1839, in Brazoria County, Texas. In 1861 he enrolled in Captain George Hampton's company of Texas Mounted Volunteers which later came to be Company C, Fourth Regiment Texas Cavalry, of the Confederate Army. James served the entire war in this company and was a part of the New Mexico Campaign, the Battles of Val Verde and Glorietta Pass, the Battle of Galveston in 1863 and in 1864 the Red River Campaign, including the Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. In 1865, James married Elvira Jessie Patterson in Victoria, Texas, with whom he had five children. After the death of his first wife, James married Sophronia Overstreet in Austin; the couple had nine children. They lived in Houston, where in 1898 Sophronia passed away leaving James with eight children. James then joined the Dick Dowling Camp of the United Confederate Veterans in 1904 and retained the rank of Second Lieutenant Commander until his death in 1911. William B. James' headstone is located in Magnolia Cemetery, in Houston, Texas, where a historical marker was dedicated in 2005. The ceremony was attended by many of his descendants. J. P. James, the donor of the papers, is the son of William B. James

Scope and Content Note

The James Family Papers are comprised of two legal documents, an 1835 marriage bond and an 1863 power of attorney written in the State of Texas. The marriage bond was drawn up in the state of Coahuila and Texas, Department of Brazos and Jurisdiction of Columbia between John James and Sarah Ann Cowan. The document is signed by John James, Phineas Smith for Miss Cowan, and witnessed by Peter McHughes, Edmund Andrews, J. B. Cowan, and Uzziel Wakefield. The second document, dated in 1863, is a power of attorney, written in the County of Victoria, State of Texas. Power of attorney is granted to Robert H. Hunter by William B. James. The document was to be effective while Mr. James served in the Confederate Army.


Arrangement is chronological.


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

Hunter, Robert Hancock, 1813-1902
James, John
James, Sarah Ann Cowan
James, William B., 1839-1911
Columbia (Tex.)
Victoria (Tex.)
Marriage licenses

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], James Family Papers, MC119, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


J. P. James, November 1949.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa M. Lomas, 2012.


"CSA Headstone Dedication Text: William B. James." Magnolia Cemetery Houston.


box folder
167.4 1 Marriage Bond 1835 September 17

box folder
167.4 2 Power of Attorney 1863 December 8