Skip to main content

Kelsey Harris Douglass Letters

Identifier: A-0132

Scope and Contents

The collection includes seven letters written by Kelsey H. Douglass to his wife Minerva while he was a member of Congress in Houston. The letters are mostly concerned with getting things done at home during Kelsey's absence. These letters were laminated with the intent of preserving them. Unfortunately the lamination is starting to turn darker in color. There are also two letters from Minerva Douglass' aunt and uncle, Jesse and Mary Childress Benton. One letter was written from Nachitoches, LA, where they had gone after leaving Texas before Kelsey's death. The other was written upon receipt of the news of Kelsey's death.


  • Creation: 1837-1840, 1987
  • Event: Donated in 1988


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

Kelsey Harris Douglass, Nacogdoches merchant and Republic of Texas congressman, came to Texas sometime before the Texas Revolution. In March 1836 he sold several large orders of apparel and dry goods to the Texas army. He issued paper notes in Nacogdoches, payable either at his store or at his office in New Orleans. These notes circulated at or near par alongside Republic of Texas currency. In 1837–38 he represented Nacogdoches County in the House of the Second Congress in Houston. He joined Col. Edward Burleson, who along with his volunteers from East Texas, succeeded in pushing the Cherokee Indians from Texas. Douglass was in command at the battle of the Neches. He was also a charter member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas. He married Minerva Benton. He died in Nacogdoches on October 4, 1840, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery. His wife went bankrupt paying off his debts and currency after his sudden death. The town of Douglass is named in his honor.

Kim Perkins, "DOUGLASS, KELSEY HARRIS," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 02, 2012.


0.20 Cubic Feet


This collection is described in six folders and is housed with another collection in a clamshell box.

Related Materials

Ericson, Joe E. Personalities on the East Texas frontier: brief narratives of their lives and times. Nacogdoches, TX: Ericson Books, 1998. ETRC CT262 .E64 1998x

George Aldrich Papers, A-0050.

Guide to the Kelsey Harris Douglass Letters
Pam Palmer
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository