Ellen Landers Collection, 1791-2006 | East Texas Research Center

By Kyle Ainsworth

Collection Overview

Title: Ellen Landers Collection, 1791-2006Add to your cart.

ID: A/275

Primary Creator: Landers, Ellen

Extent: 1.5 Linear Feet

Subjects: Democratic National Convention (1856 : Cincinnati, Ohio), Families -- Texas, East, Genealogy, Georgia -- Politics and government -- 19th century, Landers, Ellen -- Correspondence, Secession -- Southern States, Slave trade

Forms of Material: Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

While ostensibly a genealogical collection detailing Ellen Landers’s ancestry going back more than 6 generations, the Ellen Landers Collection also offers valuable insight into topics such as the interstate slave trade, antebellum politics in Georgia, the 1856 Democratic National Convention, secession, and 1880s courtship etiquette. The majority of historical documents are correspondence to and from family and friends, but there are also bills and receipts, dance invitations, and one month of an 1852 diary. As an added convenience, Landers typed transcriptions for the majority of the correspondence. Genealogical materials include family trees, pedigree charts, obituaries, newspaper clippings and 90 family photographs. Geographically, the majority of documents pertain to Rusk, Smith and Wood Counties, Texas and Upson County, Georgia.

Items researchers might find of particular interest include:

Correspondence and a photograph pertaining to Lacy Drake, who was a Flewellen slave the family kept in contact with long after the Civil War. Drake received a letter in March 1897 from Enos R. Flewellen regarding her request for financial assistance. The letter also gave Drake the status of former Flewellen slaves still living in Thomaston, Georgia.

The papers of John J. Cary are full of intrigue, such as a letter from 1847 explaining why the President had to rescind his nomination of Cary as Georgia’s next attorney general; a letter from a friend urging Cary to move to Texas instead of being a politician in Georgia; correspondence and letters of recommendation from future Confederate States of America Vice President Alexander Stephens; and letters to and from his wife, Frances Flewellen Cary, regarding their family, the 1856 Democratic National Convention, and dining with the President.

A. L. Landis had a number of business interests in the antebellum North and South, including buying/speculating on slaves. He sent Henry G. Landers six letters from 1853 to 1856 describing his extensive travels, business dealings, and family affairs.

Collection Historical Note

The Ellen Landers Collection brings together the history of more than seven generations from six distinct families:

- The Cary family of Thomaston, Upson County, GA and later Henderson, Rusk County, TX

- The Drake family of North Carolina

- The Flewellen family of Thomaston, Upson County, GA and later Smith County, TX

- The Landers family of Smith County and Mineola, Wood County, TX

- The Rhone family of Smith County, TX

- The Shelton family of Mineola, Wood County, TX

Below is a pedigree chart of those frequently mentioned in the collection:

[1] John H. Drake m. Frances Williams

    [2] Frances Maria Drake m. Thomas Flewellen*

        [3] Eugenia A. Flewellen (Thweatt)

        [3] Frances Flewellen m. John J. Cary

              [4] Ada Cary

              [4] Sarah Alice Cary m. James Shelton

                  [5] Mary Flewellen Shelton m. James H. Landers**

                      [6] Douglas Landers m. Grace Adams

                            [7] Ellen Landers (Notestine)

                            [7] James A. Landers

                            [7] Grace Landers

                            [7] Frances Landers (Loving)

                      [6] Malcolm H. Landers

                      [6] Flossie Landers (McKay)

                  [5] Fannie Shelton

                  [5] James Shelton


[1] James Flewellen and Elizabeth Parson

    [2] Thomas Flewellen*

    [2] Robert Turner Flewellen

    [2] Enos R. Flewellen


[3] John Rhone

    [4] Matilda Rhone m. Henry G. Landers

        [5] James H. Landers**

Ellen Landers (1917-2006) was an East Texas native, born in Mineola to Douglas and Grace Adams Landers. She had two sisters, Frances and Grace, and a brother, James Alfred, who died in the Pacific during WWII. Most of Ellen Landers’s childhood was spent in Henderson, Texas where one of her childhood friends was the mother of the future Congressman Martin Frost. After attending the University of Texas for one year, she married Ronald Notestine, who was based in Texas with the Army Air Force at the time, in 1941. She raised five children in California.

The papers in the Ellen Landers Collection began their journey with Georgia Congressman George Cary (1823-1827) and Thomas Flewellen. Flewellen moved his family to East Texas in the 1840's, and from there the letters and documents were successively passed down to John J. Cary, his daughter Sarah Alice Cary Shelton, Malcolm H. Landers and finally to Ellen Landers.

(Biographical sketch of Ellen Landers compliments of Randy Notestine)

Subject/Index Terms

Democratic National Convention (1856 : Cincinnati, Ohio)
Families -- Texas, East
Georgia -- Politics and government -- 19th century
Landers, Ellen -- Correspondence
Secession -- Southern States
Slave trade

Administrative Information

Repository: East Texas Research Center

Separated Materials: There are 16 oversize documents located in Bundle 1.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Ellen Landers Collection (A-275), East Texas Research Center, Ralph W. Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Bundle 1],

Bundle 1Add to your cart.
Series 9: Oversize ItemsAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Letter from John H. Drake to Thomas Flewellen [for typed transcription, see Folder 1, item 4], 11/22/1829Add to your cart.
Item 2: Letter from J. H. Drake to Thomas Flewellen [for typed transcription, see Folder 1, item 5], 12/13/1829Add to your cart.
Item 3: Letter from J. H. Drake to Thomas Flewellen [for typed transcription, see Folder 1, item 6], 4/17/1832Add to your cart.
Item 4: Letter from J. H. Drake to John Calvin Drake [for typed transcription, see Folder 1, item 8], 3/9/1833Add to your cart.
Item 5: Letter from W. E. Colquitt to J. J. Cary re: the President’s nomination of Cary to be Georgia’s attorney general and why he had to rescind the nomination [for typed transcription, see Folder 7, item 2], 4/26/1847Add to your cart.
Item 6: Letter from J. J. Cary to Sarah Alice Cary [for typed transcription, see Folder 6, item 5], 3/7/1856Add to your cart.
Item 7: Letter from J. J. Cary to Frances Cary re: family [for typed transcription, see Folder 6, item 7], 3/30/1856Add to your cart.
Item 8: Letter to J. J. Cary from a friend re: moving to Texas and not being a politician [for typed transcription, see Folder 7, item 8], 9/21/1856Add to your cart.
Item 9: Letter from Enos R. Flewellen to Thomas Flewellen [for typed transcription, see Folder 3, item 11], 9/21/1856Add to your cart.
Item 10: Letter from Alexander H. Stephens to John J. Cary re: politics [for typed transcription, see Folder 7, item 9], 11/4/1856Add to your cart.
Item 11: Letter from Dr. John Calvin Drake to Thomas Flewellen [for typed transcription, see Folder 1, item 12], 11/25/1861Add to your cart.
Item 12: Rusk County, Texas Deed from M. D. Eaton to James W. Shelton, 6/20/1863Add to your cart.
Item 13: Letter from John James (cotton agent) to James W. Shelton, 7/8/1864Add to your cart.
Item 14: Letter from Mr. J. C. Fowler, brother-in-law, to F. C. Cary regarding the death of Cybelle, sister of F. C. Cary [for typed transcription, see Folder 6, item 18], 10/31/1864Add to your cart.
Item 15: Newspaper Obituary of Frances Caroline Flewellen Cary written by J. H. LandersAdd to your cart.
Item 16: Obituary (handwritten copy) of George CaryAdd to your cart.

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[Box 1],
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