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Governor E. M. Pease Papers Acquisition Project

In March 2007, the AHC learned of a cache of Pease papers being sold by a private seller. The collection consists of over 1000 documents, letters, broadsides, and imprints relating to the legal career and governorship of Pease and personal letters between Pease family members. It represents the entire breadth and depth of Pease’s career and family life and includes much information on his professional life and relationships that cannot be found in existing Pease related collections held in area archives, including the AHC. Highlights from this collection include:

• Documents from his legal practice in Brazoria County back to 1834.

• Personal correspondence to his family in Connecticut, including letters to and from his sister arranging for E. M. to meet and marry Lucadia.

• Correspondence and printed material relating to his gubernatorial campaigns.

• Bills of sale, correspondence, and other documents relating to his slaveholdings and their status as freedmen/women after the war.

• Business correspondence and records for his law practice in Austin.

Letter from Maria; Pease's sister

Letter from Maria, Pease's sister, to
E.M. Pease, June 7, 1846

Pease, though known by historians, is an under-studied figure in Texas and US history. This lack of study, in part, has been due to limitations in the existing archival collections. According to the appraiser of the collection, Dr. Michael Parrish of Baylor University, “[a] complete and accurate account of Pease’s entire life and his true significance to the history of Texas and the South is now possible,” but only if this collection remains intact. The best home for these papers is the Austin History Center, where the documents will rejoin the thousands of items in the Pease Collection already housed at the AHC.

The seller has agreed to give the AHC sole purchase rights to the collection, and the AHC is pursuing grant support to arrange the purchase. The collection’s price tag is $200,000. As of December 2008, the AHC has received a $7,500 grant from a private Foundation that will be combined with $35,000 in AHC funds and a $10,000 donation to the Austin History Center Association from Dr. Roger Griffin. The first purchase from the collection, totaling $52,500, will occur in January 2009. More details will be posted once the collection is in hand.

For more information about the project, please contact AHC Manager Mike Miller at 974-7436 or AHCA Executive Director Jeff Cohen at 974-7499.

Pease Collection
Pease Letter - March 1836
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