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Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Rufus Columbus Burleson Papers, 1837-1896



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Burleson, Rufus Columbus, 1823-1901
Title: Rufus Columbus Burleson papers
Dates: 1837-1896
Abstract: The Rufus Columbus Burleson papers contain photostats of letters concerning the educational, administrative, and ecclesiastical careers of Rufus Columbus Burleson (1823-1901) and William Carey Crane (1816-1885) as they relate to Baylor University and the educational problems of the Baptists in Texas.
Identification: camh-arc-004431
Extent: 1 inch
Language: English .
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Rufus Columbus Burleson (1823-1901) was born on August 7, 1823, near Decatur, Alabama, the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (born Byrd) Burleson. A religious conversion in April 1839 set him on the path to become a minister. He enrolled at Nashville University (1840) but had to withdraw the next year because of ill health. He taught until 1845 and was ordained in the same year. In 1847, Burleson graduated from Western Baptist Theological Seminary in Covington, Kentucky.

He transitioned to Texas, doing mission work, and then becoming the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Houston (1848-1851). In June 1851, Burleson was elected the second president of Baylor University (1851-1861). He grew the university by traveling and speaking about the school across the state. On January 3, 1853, Burleson married Georgia (born Jenkins) Burleson (1833-1924) and the two had one son, Richard Adair Burleson (1869-1944).

Conflict percolated at Baylor with disagreement of authority between Burleson and Horace Clark, the principle of the female department. This led Burleson and the faculty of the male department to move to Waco in 1861. William Carey Crane (1816-1885) became the next president of Baylor University.

Burleson became the president of Waco University, developing the school into a coeducational institution that received support from the Baptist General Association of Texas (1861- approximately 1885). Baylor University and Waco University fought over Baptist funds, causing conflict between the two presidents. Eventually, Baylor University moved from Independence and merged with Waco University in 1886 with Burleson as the president.

During his presidency, he continued to develop Baylor into a prominent institution. While president (1894), Burleson was wrapped up in a scandal involving the pregnancy of a young Brazilian girl living in the Burleson's home. He was found innocent by a grand jury, but critiques—including those of William Brann—likely lead to his demotion to president emeritus in 1897. On May 14, 1901, Burleson died in Waco.

Source:

J. A. Reynolds, "Burleson, Rufus Columbus," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 13, 2021.

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Scope and Contents

The Rufus Columbus Burleson papers contain pPhotostats of letters concerning the educational, administrative, and ecclesiastical careers of Rufus Columbus Burleson (182-1901) and William Carey Crane (1816-1885) as they relate to Baylor University and the educational problems of the Baptists in Texas.

Additional material in TXC 94.

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Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

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Index Terms

Personal Names
Burleson, Rufus Columbus, 1823-1901
Crane, William Carey, 1816-1885
Family Names
Burleson family
Corporate Names
Baptist Church
Baylor University.
Subjects
Baptists--Education
Education
Places
Independence
Texas
Waco

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Related Materials

See also the Aaron Burleson Genealogy. See also the Edward Burleson Sr. Papers. See also the Edward Burleson Jr. Papers. See also the Emma Kyle Burleson Scrapbook. See also the Albert Sidney Burleson Papers. See also the Adele Steiner Burleson Papers. See also the David Crockett Burleson Family Papers. See also the Jonathan Burleson Papers. See also the Richard Byrd Burleson Papers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Rufus Columbus Burleson Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Briscoe Center staff.

Subsequent revisions were made by Rebecca Wells, April 2021.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

box
2B176 [SRH1230005176] Photostats, 1837-1896

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