Francis Wilson Papers, 1839-1935 | East Texas Research Center

By Pam Palmer, 1979

Collection Overview

Title: Francis Wilson Papers, 1839-1935Add to your cart.

ID: A/49

Primary Creator: Wilson, Francis (1790-1867)

Extent: 1.0 Linear Feet

Subjects: Business records -- Texas, East, Clergy -- Texas, East, Manuscripts, Wilson, Francis, 1790-1867 -- Correspondence

Languages: English


Methodist circuit-rider and merchant of San Augustine and Newton counties, Texas. Correspondence, chiefly with relatives and other ministers, will, legal documents, autobiography, and religious writings.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Original letters; autobiographical, religious and creative writing manuscripts; business and legal documents of Francis Wilson and other Wilson family members.

Collection Historical Note

Francis Wilson (1790-1867) was a circuit-riding Methodist minister based primarily in San Augustine and Newton Counties from 1839 to 1867. He and his wife, Elizabeth Kountz, had ten children and for a few years he and his sons engaged in mercantile business in Belgrade and Sabine Pass, but their business dissolved in bankruptcy in 1856. Wilson estimated he traveled 150,000 miles throughout his career, and delivered over 7,000 sermons, preaching in circuits in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio as well as Texas. His autobiographical materials trace a journey from Texas to Petersburg, Virginia for a Southern Methodist Church conference. Though poorly educated and afflicted with a nervous disorder resembling palsy, Wilson still managed to record a wealth of personal experiences and religious philosophy.

(Smith, William E. "Wilson, Francis A." The New Handbook of Texas. Dallas: Texas State Historical Association,1996. pp. 1005-06; "Francis Wilson Papers." East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).

Subject/Index Terms

Business records -- Texas, East
Clergy -- Texas, East
Wilson, Francis, 1790-1867 -- Correspondence

Administrative Information

Repository: East Texas Research Center

Related Materials: Emily Hughes Davis Sexton Diary. East Texas Research Center, Personal & Family Archives, A61

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Correspondence, Legal and Business Papers, Genealogy, Writings
Folder 1Add to your cart.

Letters to Francis Wilson, 1841-1849. (22 items):

1841, June 19, Isaac Hayes, Thomas Hartley, Jackson Co., Ohio. 2 p. 1842, Oct. 26, Geo. Lane, Treas., New York, to the Bishop and Members of the Texas Conference. 3 p. 1843, Jan. 9, R. B. Wells, Noland's Bluff. 1 p. 1843, Nov. 13-28, Wesley Browning, St. Louis, to Francis Wilson; letter of recommendation by Browning for Alexander Hulin to Bishop and Members of Texas Conference; Hulin to Brother Clark; H. Linn [?] to Brother Summers; Hulin to Wilson. 4 p. 1844, Jan. 12, Nat Shook, Shelbyville, Texas. 1 p. 1844, Feb. 7, John Clarke, Galveston. 1 p. 1845, Apr. 29, John Clarke, West Poultney [?], Rutland [?] Co., Vermont. 1 p. 1846, Feb. 3, Henderson D. Palmer, at home. 2 p. 1846, May 15, Robert Wilson, Williams Port, Washington Co., M[arylan]d. 2 p. 1846, July 23, Concerning suit of A. I. Fowler, former math professor at Wesleyan College for back wages. Signed Ardury [?] & Payne, San Angelo. 2 p. 1846, Sept. 22-30, P[eter] L[ight] Wilson, [nephew], Williamsport; Robt. Wilson to Bro. Francis. 3 p. 1846, Nov. 30, W. G. Booker, Bro. Griffen's, Liberty. 1 p. 1847, Feb. 16, Robt. Wilson, Williamsport, Md. 2 p. 1847, May 22, Eliza Wanless [?], [niece], Pocahontas Co., Va. 3 p. 1847, Oct. 29, Preston Moore, [nephew], Pocahontas Co., Va. 3 p. 1848, Feb. 14, George W. West, Petersburg, [Va.] 3 p. 1848, May 18, F. Carter Baker for Eppinger & Baker, Austin. 2 p. 1848, July 6, N. Vaught, Columbia, [Tenn.?] 2 p 1848, Aug. 22, C. C. Arnete, Tyler Co. 1 p. 1848, Oct. 5, P. W. Hobbs, Newton Co. 1 p. 1849, Jan. 1, Robt. Wilson, Williamsport, Md. 2 p. 1849, May 2, P. L. Wilson, Philadelphia. 6 p.

Folder 2Add to your cart.

Letters to Francis Wilson, 1850-1859 (14 items):

1850, Apr. 3, Adam Poe [?], Ohio City, Ohio. 2 p. re:about Weslyan College failure. [image] 1851, July 3, Friend [?] McMahon Jr. [?], Newton Co. 1 p. 1851, July 11, H. F. Wilson, [son], Newton Co. 2 p. 1851, Nov. 12, M[organ] Wilson, [son], Newholland. 1 p. 1853, Nov. 22, N. B. Stewart, La Grange. 1 p. 1854, May 7, Y. G. Box [?], Crocket. 1 p. 1854, May 16, R. W. Kennan, Houston. 1 p. 1854, Sept. 2, M. Belgrade [?], Bowen Prairie. 3 p. 1856, June 26, N. B. Stewart, Holly Springs. 2 p. 1857, Aug. 16, N. M. Geoffrey [?], Georgetown. 1 p. 1857, Sept. 29, N. B. Stewart, Holly Springs. 2 p. 1858, Mar. 17, Z. T. Mattingly [?], Oak Grove. 1 p. 1859, Sept. 13, S. Calhoun, White Rock, Houston Co. 2 p. 1859, Dec. 27, I. C. Brooke. 2 p.

Folder 3Add to your cart.

Letters to Francis Wilson, 1862 and n. d. (3 items):

1862, May 3, S. A. Williams, San Augustine. 2 p. n. d. George W. West. 3 p. n. d. R. S. Van Wey, McArthurstown, Athens Co., Ohio. 2 p.

Folder 4Add to your cart.

Letters from Francis Wilson, 1842-1862 (10 items):

1842, July 8, San Augustine. To E. [?] L. Martine. Signed "A true copy - George West." 1 p. 1846, May 23, Peatersburgh [sic],Va. To Elizabeth Wilson, [wife] and children, San Augustine. 2 p. 1847, July 24, San Augustine. To Rev. Robert Wilson, Williams porte [sic], Md. 3 p. re:obtained 15,000 acres of land for the college. 1849, Feb. 9, Burkesvill [sic], Newton Co., Tx. To Brother Robert Wilson. 3 p. 1849, Oct. 1, San Augustine. To George M. Mathews, Montgomery, Ala. 2 p. 1850, June 30, Bellgrade, Newton Co. To P. L. Wilson, [nephew]. 3 p. 1852, Oct. 18, Caldwell, Collarado [sic]. To Henry F. Wilson, [son], Newton Co., 2 p. 1854, July 4, Bellgrade, Newton Co. To Peater [sic] Light Wilson, [nephew]. 3 p. 1859, May 29, Bellgrade, Newton Co. To Major Wm. Wilson. Aug. 10, Declaration of bankruptcy in mercantile business. 2 p. 1862 Hayze [?] Co., at John D. Pitts. To Elizabeth Wilson, [wife] and children. 1 p.

Folder 5Add to your cart.

Letters to and from other Wilson family members, 1845-49, (9 items):

1845, Jan. 11, From Morgan Wilson, San Augustine Co., to "Mother." Pencil notes on back. 3 p. 1847, Sept. 14, From William Kouns, New Holland, Ohio, to nephew Henry F. Wilson, San Augustine. 4 p. 1848, Oct. 2, From Wm. P. Sansom, Liberty, to Frank Wilson, Sabine. Handwritten copy of a letter Sansom received from A. B. Harden [?]. 1 p. 1852, Dec. 21, from John Koons, St. Louis, to his nephew Morgan Wilson, San Augustine. 2 p. 1853, Feb. 17, N. B. Stewart, Buzzard's Roost, Ala., to [? - addressee torn off]. 1 p. 1853, July 17, N. B. Stewart, La Grange, to Henry F. Wilson, Midway, Newton Co. 2 p. 1855, Aug. 15, Tomas Richardson & Co. [?] to "Sir" concerning a subscription to Galveston News. 1 p. 1855, Oct. 5, Lib Koons, Forest Home, to "Cousin." 2 p. 1908, Dec. 10, R. H. Windham, Newton, to F. A. Wilson, San Augustine.

Folder 6Add to your cart.
Draft of Francis Wilson's will. 3 consecutive pages and 3 torn fragments. n. d. 4 items.
Folder 7Add to your cart.

Legal Documents, 1845-1867, (7 items):

1845, Nov. 7, Transfer of land by Francis Wilson for Wesleyan College to H. F. Wilson. Notes [for sermon?] on verve. 2 p. 1850, Wilson's receipts for state and county tax. Signed by Friend [?] Mahan Jr., Newton Co. 1852, Dec. 12[?] Sale of land to Leonard T. Friend by Francis Wilson as agent for Board of Trustees, Wesleyan College. 1 p. 1857, Printed fragment from REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS about headrights. Title page and pp. 15-22 1859, Aug. 12, Binding for debt of Asberry and Henry F. Wilson to A. B. James of New Orleans. 2 p. 1867, Oct. 8, Sale of land to P. M. Meggs of Polk Co. by J. P. Bruce of Newton Co. Test. by C. C. Bruce. Copy - all signatures in same hand. 2 p. n. d., Draft of articles of agreement between Francis and his sons for the mercantile business. 4 p

Folder 8Add to your cart.
List of Official Members [Officers] of the Methodist Church in Newton Circuit. n. d. 1 p. attached to several blank pages.
Folder 9Add to your cart.
Fragments, shopping lists, literary and religious notes, computations, 1850-1853 (most n. d.). 16 items.
Folder 10Add to your cart.
Genealogy and Biography. Crocket's 2-item bibliography and carbon typescript of newspaper article. Two newspaper clippings. Photocopy of letter (1935) to Thomas A. Wilson, unsigned, and several pages of genealogy listings, portrait of Francis Wilson. 1909-1935. 14 items.
Folder 11Add to your cart.
Manuscript of Francis Wilson's Autobiography. 168 p. (a few missing)
Folder 12Add to your cart.
Carbon of George L. Crocket's typescript of the Autobiography, rearranged as Wilson arranged his manuscript.
Folder 13Add to your cart.
Drafts of Autobiography. 6 items.

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