L. T. Barret Collection, 1839-1966 | East Texas Research Center

By Kyle Ainsworth

Collection Overview

Title: L. T. Barret Collection, 1839-1966Add to your cart.

ID: A/274

Primary Creator: Barret, Lyne Taliaferro (1832-1913)

Extent: 6.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Housed in 1 box, 2 oversize bundles (369 items total).  Processed to the item level. Arranged in 7 series:

1. L. T. Barret Business & Personal Finance Documents

2. L. T. Barret Personal Documents

3. Hardeman & Co. Business Documents

4. Hardeman & Barret Co. Business Documents

5. Thomas Jefferson Johnson Business & Personal Finance Documents

6. Miscellaneous

7. Oversize Items

Alphabetical arrangement of folders within each series and chronological arrangement of items within each folder.

Subjects: Barret, Lyne Taliaferro, 1832-1913 -- Correspondence, Business records -- Texas, East, Families -- Texas, East, Hardeman & Barret General Merchandise Store (Melrose, Tex.), Slaveholders -- Texas -- Nacogdoches, United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Veterans

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The L. T. Barret Collection compliments the more extensive Lyne Taliaferro Barret Papers (A-5) by adding new documentation of L. T. Barret’s mercantile and farming pursuits, military service, masonry, and community service. While the collection consists primarily of bills, receipts and promissory notes issued and received by L. T. Barret and Thomas Jefferson Johnson, there is also business, family, military, and personal correspondence, advertising, slave contracts and legal documents.

Items researchers might find of particular interest include slave-hire contracts from 1841 and 1846, medical bills from Dr. Johnson for the treatment of slaves, the 1855 medical account of free black man James Jacobs with Dr. Johnson, an 1863 petition from Nacogdoches County families to the Confederate government for aid, an 1864 crop impressments broadside, an 1869 bill of laden for cotton shipments, and a declaration of duties and principles for the formation of an anti-black citizen vigilante group in Melrose, Texas.

Collection Historical Note

Lyne Taliaferro (L. T.) Barret’s notoriety as the first man to drill an oil well in Texas, and subsequent failure to make the venture profitable, often overshadows what was otherwise a fruitful life as a father, husband, Mason, farmer, and respected businessman in Melrose, Texas. Born 7 November 1832 to Charles Lee and Sarah (Taliaferro) Barret in Appomattox, Virginia, L. T. Barret moved to San Augustine County, Texas with his mother and 8 older siblings (Barret’s father died en route) in the early 1840s. The family eventually relocated to a plantation in Melrose. Although he probably didn’t know it at the time, Barret would call Melrose his home for the rest of his life.

Little is known about Barret’s adolescence and early adulthood besides the information in the 1850 Federal Census, which listed him as a store clerk living in his mother’s household. At sometime between 1850 and 1860, Barret moved into a house on property adjacent to his mother. When Barret married Angelina Martha Thomas (1842-1920) in August 1857, he not only started a prosperous family (11 children) but further elevated himself into the local elite. Thomas’s surrogate father was Dr. Thomas Jefferson Johnson (1799-1856), who had established the town of Melrose in 1840 and was among its most respected citizens.

At or before October 1859, Barret became a full partner in the mercantile firm of Hardeman Brothers and Barret. Later that year he also made his first investment in the oil business, leasing 279 acres from neighbor Lucy W. Skillern at Oil Springs [book]. The 1860 Federal Census reflected Barret’s improving fortunes. It now listed him as a merchant with an almost $6,000 in real estate and $30,000 in personal assets. Interestingly, while Barret had a mulatto farm hand, Tillisford Rosalidge, the 1860 slave schedule does not show Barret to have owned any slaves at that time. His mother, on the other hand, had 10.

Although initially exempted from service in the Civil War to tend to his mother’s plantation, Barret served from 1863-1865 as a captain in the 3rd Brigade, Texas State Troops, Nacogdoches District, as a quartermaster. After the war, Barret, along with several other investors, created the Melrose Petroleum Oil Company to drill on the land at Oil Springs. Although the venture had potential and led to the first oil well in the state, fluctuating market prices and Reconstruction unrest ultimately doomed the company and nearly bankrupted Barret. The 1870 Federal Census shows that while Barret still had land valued at $3,000, his personal assets had diminished to only $1,430. Receipts and bills of laden in this collection show that Barret was actively growing and shipping cotton from the late 1860s through the 1880s.

Despite his precipitous decline in wealth, Barret and his family continued to live in Melrose as respected members of the community. Barret was a founding member of the Ochiltree Masonic Lodge No.143 in Melrose, serving as secretary and later attaining the rank of master Mason. He was also a trustee of Melrose Academy, justice of the peace twice, road overseer, member of the American Legion, post office subcontractor, and an officer of the Melrose Methodist Church.

Historical markers attesting to Barret’s accomplishments can be found at the Melrose Providence Baptist Church, Stephen F. Austin State University, and at the location of his homestead, five miles south of Nacogdoches on Farm Road 2863.

Sources

Devereaux, Linda E. "BARRET, LYNE TALIAFERRO." Published by the Texas State Historical Association. Online at the Handbook of Texas Online at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fba80 (accessed 16 May 2011).

_______. 1985. “Barret, Lyne Taliaferro.” In Nacogdoches County Families, by Carolyn Ericson. Dallas: Curtis Media Corporation, pp.151-152.

Ericson, Carolyn. 1985. Nacogdoches County Families. Dallas: Curtis Media Corporation,  p.102.

Ancestry.com. 2009. 1850 United States Federal Census. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Online at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8054 (accessed 16 May 2011).

_______. 2009. 1860 United States Federal Census. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Online at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7668 (accessed 16 May 2011).

_______. 2010. 1860 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc. Online at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7667 (accessed 16 May 2011).

_______. 2009. 1870 United States Federal Census. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Online at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7163 (accessed 16 May 2011).

Subject/Index Terms

Barret, Lyne Taliaferro, 1832-1913 -- Correspondence
Business records -- Texas, East
Families -- Texas, East
Hardeman & Barret General Merchandise Store (Melrose, Tex.)
Slaveholders -- Texas -- Nacogdoches
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Veterans

Administrative Information

Repository: East Texas Research Center

Separated Materials: There are 21 oversize documents located in Bundles 1 and 2.

Related Materials:

Lyne Taliaferro Barret Papers. ETRC Personal & Family Collection. A-5

Gladys Hardeman Research Collection. ETRC Personal & Family Collection. A-69

Hardeman & Barret General Merchandise. ETRC Business & Organizational Collection. B-38

Preferred Citation: [Item], L. T. Barret Collection (A-274), 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 2],
[All]

Bundle 1Add to your cart.
Series 7: Oversized ItemsAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: L. T. Barret Documents: Civil War, Cotton Production, Masons, SlaveryAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Member register of the Ochiltree Masonic Lodge No.143 at Melrose in Nacogdoches County (recto); and account of John H. Collins at J. B. Hardeman’s store (verso), 1856Add to your cart.
Item 2: Forfeiture of property (13-year old slave girl Emily) by Henry C. Hunter to cover his financial debt to John L. Patterson. Witnessed by L. T. Barret. Contract signed in Nacogdoches (poor condition), 4/1/1862Add to your cart.
Item 3: Abstract of provisions issued by CSA Captain L. T. Barret, Quartermasters sub-Department, San Augustine post, 11/1864Add to your cart.
Item 4: Report of persons and articles employed and hired at San Augustine, Texas by CSA Captain L. T. Barrett, 11/1864Add to your cart.
Item 5: Abstract of provisions issued by CSA Captain L. T. Barret, Quartermasters sub-Department, San Augustine post, 11/1864Add to your cart.
Item 6: Abstract of transportation hired by CSA Captain L. T. Barret, 4/1865Add to your cart.
Item 7: Masonic circular of rejections, suspensions and reinstatements during the last quarter in Texas, 3/1/1869Add to your cart.
Item 8: Bill of laden for 103 bales of cotton shipped by L. T. Barret on the steam boat Adrienne to Wm Mansell in Shreveport for reshipment to J. W. Burbridge & Co. from New Orleans. Bill shows marks that identified each bale, 3/8/1869Add to your cart.
Item 9: Forfeiture of property (20 acres of cotton) by John F. Roberts to cover his financial debt to L. T. Barret. Contract signed in Nacogdoches, 5/6/1872Add to your cart.
Item 10: Forfeiture of property (yield from 20 acres of cotton) by Rolley C. Self and Girard B. Bell to cover their  financial debt to L. T. Barret. Contract signed in Nacogdoches, 5/17/1862Add to your cart.
Item 11: Undated member register of the Ochiltree Masonic Lodge No.143 at Melrose in Nacogdoches CountyAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Thomas Jefferson Johnson Documents: Business AccountsAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Account of T. Jeff Johnson with Jas. R. Arnold & Co., 1847-1848Add to your cart.
Item 2: Account of T. Jeff Johnson with Chevailler & L. T. Barret, 1850Add to your cart.
Item 3: Account of T. Jeff Johnson with Hardeman’s store, 1852Add to your cart.
Item 4: Account list of T. J. Johnson with Barret & Linn, 1852Add to your cart.
Item 5: Account of T. Jeff Johnson with Barret & Linn, 1852-1853Add to your cart.
Item 6: Receipt issued by M. Wilson to T. Jeff Johnson for 1851/1852 account, 2/20/1854Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Miscellaneous Documents: Advertisement and ArticlesAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Advertisement from the Slocum LaboratoryAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Article – Nellie Gray, “Texas’ First Wildcat,” The Houston Chronicle Rotogravure Magazine, p. 8., 12/18/1955Add to your cart.
Item 3: Article – “The Blair Amendment: Shall Religion be Taught in the Public Schools of the Country”Add to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Bundle 1],
[Bundle 2],
[All]

Login


Page Generated in: 0.262 seconds (using 361 queries).
Using 12.32MB of memory. (Peak of 12.53MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign