University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Claude Elliott Texana Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator Elliott, Claude, 1896-1958
Collection Title Claude Elliott Texana Collection
Dates 1798-1963
Identification 1974-001
Physical Description 4.50 Linear Feet
Language of Materials English
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Biographical Information:

Claude Elliott (1896-1958) was a historian, university professor and administrator, writer, and collector of Texas history material. He was born in Cross Plains, Texas on September 21, 1896 and grew up and received his early education in Dora, Texas. He attended Abilene Christian College, Simmons College (now Hardin-Simmons University) and West Texas State Teachers College, then served in the United States Navy during World War I. He completed his undergraduate education in 1923, receiving a bachelor of arts degree from Southwest Texas Teachers College (later Southwest Texas State University and now Texas State University).  In 1928 he received a master of arts, and in 1934 a doctorate of philosophy, from The University of Texas at Austin, studying under Eugene C. Barker, Charles W. Ramsdell, and Walter P. Webb. Elliott taught school while working on his graduate degrees: he taught history and served as the principal at Donna High School, served as superintendent of the La Feria school system, and taught history at UT.  In 1927 he married Emma Edwin Moore of San Marcos.

Elliot held a number of positions at Southwest Texas State University. He was professor of history 1929 to 1942, registrar and director of personnel 1942 to 1949, coordinator of veteran affairs 1943 to 1945, and the first dean of graduate studies 1949 to 1958. He was a member of a number of historical organizations, including the Texas State Historical Association, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, the Texas State Teachers Association, and the Classroom Teachers Association. Elliott was a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association, serving as vice-president 1947 to 1952 and president 1953 to 1955. He was a member of the advisory council and a major contributor to the first two volumes of the Handbook of Texas.

His publications include Leathercoat: The Life History of a Texas Patriot (1938), and Theses on Texas History (1955). Texas: Wilderness to Space Age was published posthumously in 1962 by his wife and Dr. William Pool of Southwest Texas State University. Elliott’s articles were published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, the Georgia Historical Review, the Southwestern Social Science Quarterly (now the Social Science Quarterly), and the Journal of Southern History.

Scope and Contents

This is an artificial and disparate collection of Texana, or materials relating to the history of Texas. In order for the collection to be useful to researchers, an artificial order was imposed by the processor. The collection is divided into seven series: Pre-Republic (to 1836); Republic (1836-1845); Annexation and Early Statehood (1845-1860); Civil War and Expansion (1861-1901); Modern Statehood (1901-1956); Claude Elliott Papers; and Governors Ferguson/Sterling Papers. Series, sub-series, and folder titles have been standardized as much as possible. The first five series, directly relating to Texas history, each contain the same three sub-series: Documents, Printed Material, and Creative Works. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order and items within the folders are arranged chronologically.

The standardized folder titles are fairly broad in order to accommodate the varied nature of the collection. In general, a folder entitled Land will contain deeds; a folder entitled Legal will contain miscellaneous items such as wills and probate documents, indentures, and promissory notes; and a folder entitled Government will contain sheriff’s documents and gubernatorial appointments to local offices. In a few instances, such as with the Annexation of Texas, the amount and focus of the material warrants a specific folder title.

In some instances, items from the twentieth century, such as newspaper or periodical articles, have been placed in an earlier series if the information pertains to an event or person in an earlier period. For example, twentieth century articles on brands have been placed with the nineteenth century brand book.

Some material in the collection was owned previously by Dr. Alexander Dienst, Jr. (1870-1938) of Temple, Texas, a historian and collector of Texana. His handwritten notes and commentary appear on some of the items. He was a friend and supporter of Governor James E. Ferguson.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Photocopy decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
Clippings (information artifacts)
Financial records
Government records
Legal documents
Letters (correspondence)
Sheet music
Speeches (documents)
Geographic Name:
Texas -- History
Texas -- History -- 1846-1950
Texas -- History -- 1951-
Texas -- History -- Revolution, 1835-1836
Texas -- History -- To 1846
Personal Name:
Ferguson, James Edward, 1871-1944
Ferguson, Miriam Amanda, 1875-1961
Sterling, Ross S., 1875-1949

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Claude Elliott Collection. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.

Detailed List of Contents

Pre-Republic (to 1836)

Scope and Contents
This series contains Texas materials from the time of Spanish and Mexican rule. The majority of the series comprises manuscripts relating to land, including some written in Spanish.
Box Folder
1 1 Government 1826-1835
2 Land 1825-1835
3 Legal 1825-1835
4 Spanish 1798-1835
4a Freemasonry and Texas History 1800-1835
Typescript of (and correspondence regarding) a presentation made to the Texas State Historical Association, April 25, 1952.
Printed Material
Box Folder
1 5 History 1832-1835
Creative Works
Box Folder
1 6 Poetry 1827

Republic (1836-1845)

Scope and Contents
Items in this series pertain to Texas as an independent republic. Items of interest include a promissory note to Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of the Republic; an early Land Book of Texas; a Gonzales County Probate book; a journal by early Texan Ammon Underwood; Colonel Pedro Delgado’s account of the battle of San Jacinto; and accounts of early Texans Peter Gallagher and Robert Potter.
Box Folder
1 7 Financial 1836-1842
8 Government 1837-1845
9 Land 1836-1844
10 Legal 1836-1845
11 Letters 1838-1844
12 Military 1838
OVS_Box Folder
1 1 Land - Land Book of Texas 1838
2 Legal - Gonzalez County Probate book 1838-1845
Printed Material
Box Folder
1 13 Government 1836-1838
14 History 1836
Creative Works
Box Folder
1 15-17 Journals/Memoirs (typed transcriptions) 1834-1838
18 Music 1822-1836
19 Poetry 1836
OVS_Box Folder
1 3 Journals/Memoirs - Ammon Underwood journal (photostat copy) 1834-1838

Annexation and Early Statehood (1845-1860)

Scope and Contents
This series contains material relating to the early years of Texas statehood. Items of interest include gubernatorial appointments to local offices, and a Bell County Official Bonds book. Folder 33 contains a document of Public Sale of Land and Negroes dated 1858.
Box Folder
1 20 Education 1855-1859
21 Financial 1852-1860
22 Government 1850-1860
23-24 Land 1847-1860
25-26 Legal 1847-1860
27 Letters 1847-1860
OVS_Box Folder
1 4 Government - Bell County Official Bonds book 1850-1851
5 Land - land grant 1847
Printed Material
Box Folder
1 28-30 Annexation of Texas 1844-1845
31 Business 1853-1860
32 Education 1860
33 Government 1854-1860
34 History 1851
35 Military 1859
Creative Works
Box Folder
1 36 Music 1850-1859
37 Poetry 1854

Civil War and Expansion (1861-1901)

Scope and Contents
This series contains material pertaining to Texas in the last half of the nineteenth century. Items of interest include three Bell County Stock books and a Bell County Marks and Brands book in two sections; Caldwell County teachers’ paychecks; a book of Bell County taxpayers; a Texas Veterans Association scrapbook; and three copies of the diary of John Lafayette Lane, a Confederate soldier and prospector. One particularly noteworthy item is “A Declaration of the Causes which impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union” from 1861 (in Sub-Series 2, Box 2, Folder 7).
Box Folder
1 38 Agriculture 1858-1900
39-40 Education 1885-1887
41 Financial 1870-1897
42 Government 1863-1900
43-50 Land 1862-1900
51 Legal 1861-1889
52-53 Letters 1861-1900
54-55 Military 1862-1870
56 Promissory Notes 1862-1887
57 Tax Receipts 1859-1898
OVS_Box Folder
2 1-5 Agriculture - three Bell County Stock books; Bell County Marks and Brands book; Bell County Alliance book 1858-1901
6 Land - Bell County Taxpayers book 1895
Printed Material
Scope and Contents
Of particular note in this sub-series is an item in Folder 7: an eight-page pamphlet from 1861 titled “A Declaration of the Causes which impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union.”
Box Folder
2 1-3 Agriculture – Texas Cooperative Association/Patrons of Husbandry 1878-1898
4-6 Business 1873-1898
7 Confederacy 1864-1865
Includes “A Declaration of the Causes which impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union,” 1861.
8 Education 1895-1896
9 Government 1863-1893
10 Government - Speeches 1877-1886
11 History 1867-1893
12 Local Government 1877-1899
13 Maps, Texas 1861-1882
14 Military 1886
15 Political 1884-1892
16 Religious 1888-1897
OVS_Box Folder
3 4 Patterns - Young Ladies Journal Supplements 1886-1891
Creative Works
Box Folder
2 17 Journals/Memoirs/Ledger 1850-1865
18 Music 1880s
19 Photographs/Portraits/Drawings 1861-1865
20 Poetry 1877
OVS_Box Folder
2 7-8 Journals/Memoirs/Ledger - John Lafayette Lane diary; Edward Tourfax journal (photostat copy) 1850-1865
9 Journals/Memoirs/Ledger - John Lafayette Lane diary; Edward Tourfax journal (typed transcription) 1850-1865
10 Journals/Memoirs/Ledger - Edward Tourfax journal 1850-1865
11-12 Music - Mexican and American 1880s
13 Photographs/Portraits/Drawings - ink drawing of Texas State Capital 1888
14 Scrapbook, Texas Veterans Association 1882-1891

Modern Statehood (1901-1963)

Scope and Contents
Material in this series concerns the modern state of Texas, beginning in 1901 with the discovery of oil at Spindletop. Items of note include issues of the Congressional Record that pertain to Texas; speeches given by Texas legislators; and an incomplete run of the War Information Series. An item of note is a signed letter from then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to Judge C.V. Terrell, dated in 1956 (in Sub-Series 1, Box 2, Folder 22).
Box Folder
2 21-22 Letters 1901-1956
22a Letters and Roster of Initiates for the Beneficent Order of the Red Red Rose 1943
Printed Material
Box Folder
2 23 Agriculture 1919-1944
24 Business 1939-1955
25-29 Education 1901-1956
30-32 Government - Congressional Record 1925-1941
33-39 Government - Speeches 1906-1953
40-41 Government - War Information Series 1917-1918
42 History 1905-1963
43-45 Local Government 1911-1956
46 Military 1956
47 Political 1918-1952
48 Religious 1921-1951
OVS_Box Folder
3 1 History - Killeen Herald Newspaper; John Nance Garner Souvenir Postcard 1905-1958
Creative Works
Box Folder
2 49 Photograph/Slide 1913-1943
50 Poetry 1936

Claude Elliott Papers

Scope and Contents
This series contains some of Claude Elliott’s scholarship, including entries he wrote for the Handbook of Texas, offprints from journals, and miscellaneous research material.
Box Folder
3 1 Bibliographies
2 Handbook of Texas 1949-1952
3 Handbook of Texas Entries undated
4 Manuscript Fragments/Research Material 1956
5 Offrprints/Disbounds 1947-1958

Governors Ferguson/Sterling Papers

Scope and Contents
Items in this series pertain to three early twentieth century Texas governors, James E. and Miriam A. Ferguson, and Ross Sterling. Some of the political items, such as newspaper articles, reference both the Fergusons and Sterling. Of special interest is a holograph diary of James E. Ferguson and letters written by him.
James E. Ferguson, Governor 1915-1917
Box Folder
3 6 Financial - American National Bank, Austin 1914-1917
7 Financial - Bastrop Lignite Coal Company 1916-1920
8-9 Financial 1914-1921
10-11 Letters by 1914-1932
12 Letters by undated
13 Letters to or about 1916-1923
14-16 Political 1914-1924
OVS_Box Folder
3 1 Financial - Temple State Bank Book; two sheets holograph financials, 1917-1921. Political - Campaign Material, 1914-1917
3 Diary 1937
Miriam A. Ferguson, Governor 1925-1926, 1933-1934
Box Folder
3 17 Letters 1917-1925
18 Photograph undated
19-20 Political 1924-1940
OVS_Box Folder
3 2 Political - Speech 1940
Ross Sterling, Governor 1931-1933
Box Folder
3 21 Political 1931-1933
OVS_Box Folder
3 1 Political - Campaign Material 1932