Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Seaman Asahel Knapp:

An Inventory of His Papers, 1856-1931 and undated, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Knapp, Seaman Asahel
Title: Seaman Asahel Knapp Papers,
Dates: 1856-1931 and undated
Abstract: Records of Seaman Knapp, a nationally known agriculturalist who was the first president of the Rice Growers' Association.
Collection # S 549.1
Quantity: 3 boxes (3.0 linear feet)
Language English
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

Seaman Knapp was born December 16, 1833, in Essex County, New York, and attended Poultney Academy and Union College, from which he graduated in 1856. He taught at Fort Edward Institute and later founded the Ripley Female College in Poultney, Vermont (1863). In 1866, he moved to Iowa to farm. In 1879, Knapp was appointed Professor of Practical and Experimental Agriculture at Iowa State Agricultural College and held that post until 1885, when he moved to Louisiana. There he became active in rice farming and served as the first president of the Rice Growers' Association. In 1897 he began working for the U. S. Department of Agriculture, taking charge of the demonstration farms in the South, and was active in the formation of the Agricultural Extension Service. Knapp married Maria Hotchkiss in 1856, and they had three sons and two daughters. One son, Bradford Knapp, served as president of Texas Technological College from 1932 to 1938. Seaman Knapp died on April 1, 1911.

The Handbook of Texas has published a more in-depth online biography of Seaman A. Knapp at

Scope and Contents

The collection includes correspondence, financial and legal materials, charts, maps and graphs, printed material, news clippings, literary productions and scrapbooks pertaining to Seaman A. Knapp. It bulks (1892-1912) with correspondence, including letters from William Howard Taft and Booker T. Washington, as well as printed material and literary productions concerning early 20th century agriculture. 21 prints and 6 negatives were transferred to photographs.


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Some archival collections may be housed in storage outside of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library building. Requests to retrieve such materials may take up to 10 business days to complete. Please contact our Reference Department to arrange retrieval.

Audio, video, and film recordings may not be immediately accessible due to format, condition, or copyright status. All items must be digitized prior to patron use. Because not all collections materials have been digitized, please contact the Reference Archivist at least 10 days prior to arrival in order to coordinate digitization. Though we can digitize much of our holdings within two weeks, some media may be fragile and require specialized digitization outsourcing, which can take up to three months for completion.

Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Subjects (Persons)
Knapp, Bradford, 1870-1938.
Knapp, Seaman Asahel, 1833-1911.
Knapp, Seaman Asahel, 1833-1911--Archives.
Knapp, Seaman Asahel, 1833-1911--Correspondence.
Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930.
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915.
Subjects (Organizations)
Knapp School (Tenn.)
United States. Federal Extension Service.
Agricultural education.
Agricultural extension work--Southern States--History.
Agriculturists--United States--History.
Agriculture--Southern States--Experimentation.
Agriculture--Study and teaching.
Agriculture teachers.
Boll weevil.
Rice trade.

Related Materials:

Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library:
  • Bradford Knapp Papers, 1891-1940 and undated

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Seaman Asahel Knapp Papers, 1856-1931 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Accession Information

Gifts, 1970

Processing Information

Processed by: B. Lynn Whitfield, June 2000


Bailey, Joseph Cannon. Seaman A. Knapp: Schoolmaster of American Agriculture. New York: Columbia University Press, 1945.

Life. La Porte, Texas, 1957

Cline, Rodney. The Life and Work of Seaman A. Knapp. Ph.D. dissertation, George Peabody College for Teachers, 1936.

Southworth, Herbert R. A Survey of the Life of Seaman A. Knapp. M.A. Thesis, Texas Technological College, Lubbock, 1934.

Woodward, C. Vann. Origins of the New South, 1877-1913. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1951.

Collection Inventory

American Museum of Natural History to Literary Production Files,

Box Folder
1 1 American Museum of Natural History, 1906
2 Anniversary: Seaman and Maria Knapp, 1856
3 Appointments: Department of Agriculture, 1898-1911
4 Appointments: State of Louisiana, 1908
5 Biographical Material, 1904-1912 and undated
6 Business Cards, undated
7 Commencement Materials, 1909 and undated
8 Correspondence, undated
9 Correspondence, 1892-1898
10 Correspondence, 1901-1902
11 Correspondence, 1903
12 Correspondence, 1904-1906
13 Correspondence, 1907
14 Correspondence, 1908
15 Correspondence, 1909
16 Correspondence, 1910
17 Correspondence, 1911
18 Correspondence, 1913-1927
19 Correspondence: Knapp's Death, 1911
20 Cotton Production Statistics, 1878-1931 and undated
21 Farmers' Demonstration Work Agreements, 1906-1909 and undated
22 Financial Materials, 1903-1907 and undated
23 Legal Material, 1903-1907 and undated
24 Literary Productions: Agricultural Education for the Rural Districts, undated
25 Literary Productions: Agricultural Education in the Southern States, undated

Literary Production to Printed Material Files

Box Folder
2 1 Literary Productions: Agriculture in the Southern States, 1909-1911 and undated
2 Literary Productions: Boll Weevil, 1909-1910 and undated
3 Literary Productions: Boys' Corn Clubs, undated
4 Literary Productions: Crops and Farming, 1903-1909 and undated
5 Literary Productions: Farmers' Cooperative Demonstration Work, 1907-1908 and undated
6 Literary Productions: Farmers' Cooperative Demonstration Work, 1909 and undated
7 Literary Productions: A Method of Teaching Practical Agriculture to Boys in the Rural Districts, undated
8 Literary Productions: Nature of the Farmer, 1907-1910 and undated
9 Literary Productions: Our Colleges of Agriculture, undated
10 Literary Productions: Rural Conditions and Reform, 1907-1911
11 Literary Productions: Shall Agriculture Be Taught in the Secondary Schools of the U. S., undated
12 Literary Productions: The Young Men of the Country Must Apply Business Methods to the Farm, undated
13 News Clippings, 1898-1911 and undated
14 News Clippings: Boll Weevil and Agriculture, 1903-1917 and undated
15 News Clippings: Knapp, Seaman Asahel, 1900-1929 and undated
16 News Clippings: Knapp School in Tennessee, 1912-1915 and undated
17 News Clippings: Rice Industry, 1902-1913
18 North Carolina Society of New York, 1908 and undated
19 Oil Derivative Chart, 1927
20 Posters, 1908 and undated
21 Printed Materials, 1897-1915 and undated

Programs to Stationary Files

Box Folder
3 1 Programs, 1903-1910
2 Publications: "The Causes of Southern Rural Conditions and the Small Farm as an Important Remedy, 1908"
3 Publications: "Demonstration Work in Cooperation with Southern Farmers, 1908"
4 Publications: "Demonstration Work on Southern Farms, 1910"
5 Publications: Dr. S. A. Knapp's Address, 1907-1918
6 Publications: "Dr. S. A. Knapp's Address on Rural Conditions, 1907"
7 Publications: "Dr. Seaman Knapp Memorials, 1912-1914"
8 Publications: "Farmer's Co-operative Demonstration Work, 1906-1909"
9 Publications: "Farmers' Co-operative Demonstration Work and Its Results, 1906"
10 Publications: "Farmers' Co-operative Demonstration Work in its Relation to Rural Improvement, 1908"
11 Publications: "The Irish Potato, undated"
12 Publications: "Recent Foreign Explorations, 1903"
13 Publications: "Rice Culture, 1910"
14 Publications: "Rice Culture in the United States, 1899"
15 Publications: "Shall Agriculture Be Taught in the Secondary Schools in the United States, undated"
16 Publications: "The Work of the Community Demonstration Farm at Terrell, Texas, 1904"
17 Publications: "United States Department of Agriculture, 1907-1908"
18 Publications: "United States Department of Agriculture, 1909"
19 Publications: "United States Department of Agriculture, 1910"
20 Publications: "United States Department of Agriculture, 1911"
21 Scrapbook: News Clippings on S. A. Knapp, 1909-1917
22 Scrapbook: Obituaries on S. A. Knapp, 1911
23 Southwest trail, The: Farmers' Co-operative Demonstration Work, 1912
24 Speeches (By Seaman Knapp), 1907-1908
25 Speeches (Not By Seaman Knapp), 1907-1908
26 Stationary, undated