Marmion Henry Bowers Letterbooks, 1857-1867 | East Texas Research Center
Primary Creator: Bowers, Marmion Henry (1830-1871)
Extent: 1.5 Linear Feet
This collection consists of seven volumes of letterbooks of blotter copies containing legal correspondence to individuals, sheriffs, county clerks, and judges; and personal correspondence to friends and family. There are also letters to magazines and newspapers concerning subscriptions and advertising. One volume contains petitions, deeds, and briefs used in courts, including the Supreme Court of Texas. The correspondence describes conditions in Texas before, during, and after the Civil War, including the Cortina War of 1859. Most of the letterbooks are indexed by addressee and the volume of petitions by the main person involved in the case.
(Nicklas, Linda Cheves. "Marmion Henry Bowers." Control File, East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).
Marmion Henry Bowers (1829-1872), Austin attorney and member of the Texas Legislature and the State Senate, son of Henry J. Bowers, was born April 29, 1829, at Moore's Hill, Indiana. In 1851 Bowers obtained a law degree from the State University at Bloomington, Indiana. After practicing law in Indiana for a short time, Bowers came to Burnet (then called Hamilton), Texas, in March, 1853 with $4.25 in his pocket and no prospects. He organized a school which he taught at briefly before developing a law practice in Burnet and the vicinity. Bowers was narrowly defeated in an election for District Judge in the fall of 1856.
By November 15, 1856, Bowers was in Austin practicing law where he was, at different times, in partnership with J. J. Dennis and Alexander Stewart Walker. During the summer after his move to Austin, Bowers had a severe attack of what he called 'hemorrhage of the lungs,' the disease would eventually kill him. After his marriage in Indiana to Mary M. Batterton (16 September 1858), Bowers considered moving to Cincinnati to set up a law practice but found he could not leave his new home in Texas. On January 20, 1862, Bowers enlisted in the Confederate service. He served with the Travis County Infantry in Flournoy's Regiment where he bore the rank of Captain. Following his military service, Bowers was elected to the 10th Texas Legislature of 1863-1864. In 1869 he was elected to the Texas Senate where he served until his death in 1872. During the troubled days of Reconstruction following the Civil War, Bowers delivered a speech in the Senate which opposed the right of the Governor to declare martial law. That speech was said to be one of the factors which resulted in the overthrow of the radical regime in Texas.
A devout Baptist and a member of the Masonic Order, Bowers died on March 3, 1872, at his home in Austin of consumption, after having suffered from the disease for much of his life. He was survived by his widow and four daughters, a son having preceded him in death.
Browse by Box:
- Box 1
- Volume 1: Letterbook. Business correspondence, copies of some legal documents re: land and lawsuits; personal correspondence re: family matters, news of friends, Baptist Church in Austin (Bowers was church clerk), politics, slavery, conditions in Texas. Partially indexed, Nov. 15, 1856 - Dec. 29, 1857
- Volume 2: Letterbook. Some business correspondence; mostly personal correspondence re: the death of a friend, experiences on arriving in Texas, women's fashions, social customs, agriculture, Cortina War of 1859, politics; letters "to the Editor" on Indians and conditions in Texas. Not indexed., Oct. 28, 1857 - Feb. 25, 1860
- Volume 3: Letterbook. Mostly business correspondence relating to land transactions. Beginning in 1859, some written by J. J. Dennis or signed "Dennis & Bowers." Indexed. Dec. 1857 - May 8, 1860., Dec. 1857 - May 8, 1860.