Watts Family Papers, 1806-1964 | East Texas Research Center

By Jean White & Pam Palmer, 1987

Collection Overview

Title: Watts Family Papers, 1806-1964Add to your cart.

ID: A/126

Extent: 1.5 Linear Feet

Subjects: Financial statements, Legal documents, Texas -- History -- Republic, 1836-1846 -- Sources

Forms of Material: Correspondence

Abstract

Correspondence, land documents, legal and financial papers of this San Augustine County family. Family members also lived in Virginia, Ohio, Mississippi and items in the collection relate to those places. Includes correspondence with James Pinckney Henderson, the first Governor of Texas.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Watts Family Papers contain original correspondence, land documents, legal and financial papers pertaining to several generations of the Watts family. The geographic range of the collection includes Virginia, Ohio, Mississippi, and Texas, with special emphasis on San Augustine County, Texas.

Notable items in the collection from an historical perspective are the letters of James Pinckney Henderson, dating from 1843 to 1857. As a lawyer friend residing in San Augustine, Henderson advised William W. Watts about the debt collection business. At least three of the letters relate to Henderson's initially secret mission to negotiate a treaty of annexation between the United States and Texas in 1844. Henderson was inaugurated Governor of Texas in February 1846. The collection also contains teaching certificates authorizing John to teach second grade in San Augustine County in 1881 and 1882.

Collection Historical Note

John Watts, a son of Arthur Watts, was born about 1752 in Virginia. A participant in the American Revolution, he enlisted in the Virginia Dragoons as a Cornet on June 17, 1776. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of Captain. Later he served as Lieutenant Colonel in the Light Dragoons, U.S. Army, from January 8, 1799 until June 8, 1800. According to descendant Jessie Watts Roberts, John Watts was a personal friend of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. John Watts was awarded 4,944 acres in Bedford County, Virginia for his military service.

John Watts married Elizabeth (Betsy) Roberts and according to John's will, they had two sons and a daughter still living in 1830: Arthur (1809-1866), William W. Watts (d. ca. 1846), and Elizabeth R. Watts Scott.

The William W. Watts married Mary Leyburn and had two children Sarah C. Watts and John Watts. The family lived in Liberty, Virginia; Delaware Springs, Ohio; and Columbus, Mississippi. William W. Watts traveled frequently to arrange for the collection of debts, in and out of court, for which he received a commission.

William W. Watts' son John Leyburn Watts was born about 1824 in Virginia. He married Mary Frances Garner (1837-1896) and they lived the remainder of their lives on a farm in San Augustine. According to census records, they had at least four sons and three daughters. In 1855, John was appointed a Deputy US Marshall by Marshall Ben McCulloch.

William W. Watts' daughter Sarah C. was born in Bedford County, Virginia, and attended Leroy Anderson's female school in Williamsburg, Va.

("Watts Family Papers." East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).

Subject/Index Terms

Financial statements
Legal documents
Texas -- History -- Republic, 1836-1846 -- Sources


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[All]

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1Add to your cart.
Correspondence of James Pinckney Henderson, 1843 re: financial and legal matters concerning the Watts family. Handwritten. 2 items.
Folder 2Add to your cart.

Correspondence of James Pinckney Henderson, 1844, with William Watts re: mission to negotiate annexation treaty for Texas, financial matters, slaves. Handwritten, photocopy. 6 items.

(March, 10, 1844, Secret mission to negotiate annexation. March 29, 1844, May 10, 1844, December 1, 1844, Slaves under a mortgage)

Folder 3Add to your cart.
Correspondence of James Pinckney Henderson, 1845, with William W. Watts re: financial matters. Handwritten. 4 items.
Folder 4Add to your cart.
Correspondence of James Pinckney Henderson, 1846-1857, n.d. re: financial concerns of the Watts family and others. Handwritten. 7 items.
Folder 5Add to your cart.
Letter to Col. John Watts, near New London, VA, from James Merriweather, Jan. 11, 1806 re: financial matters. Hand written. 1 item.
Folder 6Add to your cart.
Correspondence to Sarah C. Watts, 1807-1809, from Betsy Watts [mother], Alice Watts Cousin], and friends Jane [Charlton?] and Paulina Jane Cabell. Mostly re: school and social matters. Handwritten. 6 items.
Folder 7Add to your cart.
"Old Letters," The Womans [sic] Viewpoint Nov. 1925 and Dec. 1925/Jan. 1926. Articles containing excerpts from letters to Sarah C. Watts. Originals for some of the letters are located in Folder 6. Photocopy. 2 items.
Folder 8Add to your cart.
Letter to Louisa, unsigned, 1809; letter from Louisa to Eliza [Betsy] R. Watts [cousin], 1825 re: death, ingratitude, social concerns. Handwritten. 2 items.
Folder 9Add to your cart.
Correspondence to John L. Watts, 1835-1839, from friends James and Albert Galloway [fragment], William W. Watts [father], and mother [Mary Watts] re: school, family matters, religion, friends, Lexington, VA. Handwritten. 4 items.
Folder 10Add to your cart.
Correspondence of John L. Watts, Col. William W. Watts, J. N. Morris, John W. Shields [fragment], 1840-1842 re: religion, family matters, school, scandalous rumors, financial concerns, Mississippi vs Ohio as a place to live. Handwritten. 6 items.
Folder 11Add to your cart.

Correspondence of William W. Watts, 1843 re: financial and legal matters. Handwritten. 7 items.

(February 1843, from W. M. Burwell, Enticing slaves to return to former owners. August 8, 1843, from James J. Spencer, collect debts from people who moved to Texas.)

Folder 12Add to your cart.
Correspondence to William W. Watts, Apr.-Aug. 1844 re: legal and financial matters. Handwritten. 5 items.
Folder 13Add to your cart.
Correspondence of John L. Watts and William W. Watts, Nov. Dec. 1844 re: financial matters, politics. Handwritten. 4 items.
Folder 14Add to your cart.

Correspondence to William W. Watts, Feb.-Mar. 1845 re: financial and legal matters, annexation of Texas. Hand written. 4 items.

(March 28, 1845, from J. A. Smith, Sam Houston's opposition.)

Folder 15Add to your cart.
Correspondence of William W. Watts, June-Dec. 1845 re: legal and financial matters. Includes letter from prominent early Texan Memucan Hunt. Handwritten. 5 items.
Folder 16Add to your cart.
Correspondence of William W. Watts, June-Dec. 1845 re: legal and financial matters. Includes letter from prominent early Texan Memucan Hunt. Handwritten. 5 items.
Folder 17Add to your cart.
Correspondence to William W. Watts, Mar. 1846 re: legal and financial matters. Handwritten. 5 items.
Folder 18Add to your cart.
Correspondence of Watts family, Apr.-Nov. 1846 re: family matters, financial concerns, death of William W. Watts. Handwritten. 5 items.
Folder 19Add to your cart.
Correspondence to Sarah C. and Mary T. Watts, 1847 re: Watts estate, social and family matters. Handwritten. 3 items.
Folder 20Add to your cart.
Correspondence of Sarah C. Watts, Jan.-May 1848 re: Watts estate, financial matters. Handwritten. 5 items.
Folder 21Add to your cart.
Correspondence of Watts family, June 1847-1849 re: financial matters, death of Sarah C. Watts, William W. Watts' business with James Pinckney Henderson. [one fragment]. Handwritten. 7 items.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[All]

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