Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Organization of Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Correspondence, 1925

Financial records, 1885-1968

Photographs, 1925-1927, 1957, 1972

Ephemera, undated

University of Texas San Antonio

A Guide to the Washington Family Papers, 1885-1972



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Washington Family
Title: Washington Family Papers
Dates: 1885-1972
Creator Abstract: The Washington family were members of a freedmen's colony in Cologne, Texas founded by George Washington and Joseph Smith.
Content Abstract: The collection is comprised of print materials related to property ownership and taxes. There are photographs of the family and their house, one piece of correspondence, and one fabric remnant.
Identification: MS 373
Extent: 0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Language: English
Repository University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections

Historical Note

The Washington family were members of a freedmen's colony in Cologne, Texas founded by George Washington and Joseph Smith. After emancipation, Washington and Smith started a freight hauling business moving goods from the Gulf Coast to Victoria, Texas and the surrounding area. With their earnings they purchased lots and houses in Victoria. During Reconstruction, violence against blacks increased. Washington and Smith, using their savings, moved to a more remote location, purchasing over 700 acres of land between Goliad and Victoria.

Washington and Smith invited other African American families to purchase land from them and thus, a new colony began along Perdido Creek. Perdido, as the new village was called, was only open to black settlers; no whites were allowed. As the population increased, slaugterhouses run by residents in Perdido fueled the prosperity of the town. The town's name went through several changes over the years but the village finally settled on Cologne as the official name, an ironic homage to the smell of the slaughterhouses.

In 1888, successful land transfers from Cologne residents and others in neighboring counties brought the railroad through the town. As the town prospered, parents sent their children to the school which not only served as a place of education but also as a social and recreational center. During the late twentieth century, the population of Cologne dwindled. The headstones in the Cologne cemetery are all that remain of the town. No grave marker is evident for George Washington but the gravestone of his son Nathan and his wife Lora remain within a family plot where nine of their children are also buried.

Sources

"Cologne, Texas," BlackPast.org [accessed on September 25, 2017].

Sarah R. Massey, "After Emancipation in African Americans in South Texas, Bruce A. Glasrud, ed. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2011), 85-98.

Frederick Douglas Young, From These Roots: Cologne--One Hundred Years--(1870-1970), (Houston: Texas Southern University Press, 1973).

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Scope and Content Note

The collection includes land purchases and related receipts from 1894 through 1957. Also included are tax receipts including those for poll taxes. Photographs are of family members, a house, and gravestone. Many photographs have hand written notes on the back identifying the person or place in the image. Correspondence is minimal with only one letter in the collection. A remnant of fabric exists in the collection as well.

Selected material in this collection has been digitized and is available in our digital collections.

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Organization of Collection

Correspondence
Financial records
Photographs
Ephemera

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.

Use Restrictions

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

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Index Terms

Persons
Washington, Nathan, 1848-1910.
Washington, Lora, 1863-1954.
Washington, Ollie, 1884-1967.
Washington, Walter.
Washington, Beulah.
Washington, Nodine.
Washington, Linford.
Subjects
African American life.
African Americans.
Freedmen.
Poll tax.
Places
Cologne (Tex.).
Victoria (Tex.).
Genres/Formats
Cloth.
Correspondence.
Deeds.
Legal documents.
Photographs.
Receipts (financial records).
Occupation
Farmer (early culture).
Local Subjects
African Americans
Texas History

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Related Material

There are no other known archival collections by the Washington Family at the time of accessioning.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Washington Family Papers, MS 373, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Received as a donation to the Institute of Texan Cultures by Earl and Barbara Young in 1995. Earl Young is a descendent of the Young family, early settlers of Cologne. The collection was transferred to Special Collections in 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Nikki Thomas, Manuscripts Archivist in 2011. Additional processing by Melissa Gohlke, Assistant Archivist in 2017.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Correspondence, 1925

Box Folder
1 2 To Lora Washington from Pearl, 1925
View Folder Contents

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Financial records, 1885-1968

Property records, 1894-1957
Box Folder
1 3 Lien for 30 acres in Goliand County, issued to Nathan Washington, 1893
View Folder Contents
4 Lot purchase receipts, 1910-1918
5 Assorted receipts, 1913-1918, 1951
6 Mineral and Oil Rights release, 1943
7 Chattel mortgage, bank note, 1954-1956
8 Pledge contracts, 1951
9 Goliad right-of-way deed, 1957
Tax records, 1885-1968
Box Folder
1 10 State, county tax receipts, 1885-1899
11 Motor vehicle registration and title, tax receipts, 1940-1958
12 State, county tax receipts, 1901-1919
13 State, county tax receipts, poll tax receipts, 1920-1939
View Folder Contents
14 Goliad County tax receipts, 1951-1968
15 Delinquent tax notices, 1962-1965

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Photographs, 1925-1927, 1957, 1972

Box Folder
1 1 Family members, grave marker, house, 1925-1927, 1957, 1972 and undated
View Folder Contents

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Ephemera, undated

Box Folder
1 16 Cloth fragment, undated

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