A Guide to the Thomas Byers Huling Papers, 1826, 1831-1881, 1901
Thomas Byers Huling (1804-1865), landowner, postmaster, politician, congressman, judge, and speculator, came to Texas in 1834 and acquired a land grant on the Angelina River in what was to become Jasper County. During the Texas Revolution, Huling, at this time a landowner, merchant, and speculator, sold and delivered provisions to the army. Following the war Huling served as a postmaster and judge. He also owned the land on which Zavala, Texas was founded. Huling was married twice and had twelve children, eleven by his second wife Elizabeth Bullock. From 1840 until 1841, Huling represented Jaspar County in the Republic of Texas Congress. In 1847, he pursued an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stimulate the economy of Zavala, by endeavoring to convince English families to immigrate to Texas. Despite this failure, Huling died a wealthy man in December 1865.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. “Thomas Byers Huling,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/HH/fhu24.html (accessed May 19, 2010).
Correspondence, broadsides, reports, memoranda, commissions, certificates, affidavits, muster rolls, deeds, surveys, field notes, plats, contracts, and account papers comprise the Thomas Byers Huling Papers (1826-1901). The papers concern the political and commercial activities of Huling, principally relating to his efforts to sell lands in numerous Texas counties. The collection contains evidence of Huling’s involvement in the trade and commerce of Texas, as well as his activities as Zavala postmaster, judge and land agent. The papers pertain to immigration, settlement, and the colonization of Texas from 1834 onwards, especially in the municipality of Nacogdoches and in Jasper County. The papers document colonization and settlement activities, such as Huling’s intentions in 1848-1849 to settle a colony of English immigrants along the San Gabriel River in Milam County.
In addition, Huling’s papers relate to politics in the Republic of Texas, including such events as the presidential elections of 1836 and 1841, Huling’s candidacy and service in Congress, Mirabeau Lamar’s administration, the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, Huling’s unsuccessful candidacy for election to the Senate, and Huling’s opposition to annexation. Huling’s involvement in politics extended beyond the annexation of Texas, therefore his papers also document the gubernatorial administration of Elisha Marshall Pease and Sam Houston’s gubernatorial campaign of 1857.
Additionally, Huling’s correspondence with Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson Rusk, Henry Wax Karnes, Alexander Somervell, and others documents military matters in Texas, specifically the Texas Revolution, the Mexican invasions of 1842, Indian attacks, and the Civil War. Notably, the correspondence describes the experiences of many of Huling’s correspondents during the Civil War, as well as the suppression of a slave insurrection in Tyler County in 1860.
The collection is open for research use.
Thomas Byers Huling Papers, 1826, 1831-1881, 1901, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers