TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the James Evetts Haley Papers, 1929-1950
James Evetts Haley was born in Belton, Texas, on July 5, 1901. He completed a degree at West Texas Normal College at Canyon in 1925, and as a student of Eugene Barker, received a master’s degree in history from the University of Texas. With the publication of The XIT Ranch of Texas and the Early Days of the Llano Estacado in 1929, Haley established himself as a serious writer on the history of the Texas range. The book was a critical success, but it led to a libel lawsuit that was eventually settled. This was followed in 1936 with his book Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman whith further established Haley as a leading historian of Texas history. Haley published articles in journals such as Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Southwest Review, Ranch Romances, Nature, Cattleman, and others. He also played an active role in the creation of the Barker Texas History Center, which was established at the University of Texas in 1950. The center was named for Eugene Baker, Haley's former professor and distinguished professor of history at the university.
In addition to his historical pursuits, Haley worked as a rancher and was involved in Texas politics. In the 1930s he became a vocal opponent of President Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and was elected chairman of the Jeffersonian Democrats of Texas. Haley ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1956 on a platform of segregation, states rights, and anti-unionism. In 1964 Haley published a controversial but best-selling book on Lyndon Johnson entitled A Texan Looks at Lyndon. He remained deeply involved in conservative political causes for the rest of his life, and his library and papers became the foundation for Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library in Midland, Texas. Haley died in Midland in 1995.
Handbook of Texas Online, B. Byron Price, "Haley, James Evetts, Sr.," accessed June 09, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhahj.
Correspondence, clippings, historical reports, index key, interviews, broadsides, pamphlets, memorandum, photographs, financial papers, inventories, literary efforts, contracts, and reports of James Evetts Haley, historian and author. Papers concern Haley's activities as “collector in research” for the historical exhibit for University of Texas Centennial Exposition; letters praising his books on the XIT Ranch and biography of Charles Goodnight; and clippings relating to the New Deal and the presidential campaign of 1936. Records of Haley's historical research include listing of approximately 12,000 documents in the University of Texas Archives; list of records of 19 counties of Texas; and bibliographical list of books from which an index to biographical sketches of Texas has been made. Interviews about the history of the Barker Center are also included.
This collection is open for research use.
James Evetts Haley, 1929-1950, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff. Subsequent revisions were made by Esther Kirchner, June 2016.
A portion of this collection consists of photocopies. Originals are available at The Haley Memorial Library & History Center in Midland Texas.