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Houston (Samuel R. and Family) Papers

(Mss. 3451)


Summary

Biographical/Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Series and Subseries Descriptions

Index Terms

Container List

 

 

Summary

Size: 1 linear ft.

Geographic locations: Virginia, Greece.

Inclusive dates: 1781-1940

Bulk dates: 1781-1888

Languag: English.

Summary: Correspondence, writings, printed items and photographs.
 

 

Biographical/Historical Note

Samuel Rutherford Houston was a descendant of John Houston, who immigrated from Ireland, via Scotland, to Philadelphia. The family later settled near Natural Bridge, Virginia. They were well educated and devout Christians who established several Presbyterian churches. John Rutherford Houston, a native of Virginia, was a Presbyterian minister, who served as a missionary to Greece ca. 1839. He later returned to Natural Bridge, Virginia to continue in the dual occupation of minister and planter; careers in which his father, Samuel Houston, and his son, Rutherford R. Houston, were also employed. He and his wife, Margaret P. Houston, were nature enthusiasts who observed and recorded data about animal behavior and plants, particularly the survival habits of animals and birds during the harsh winter months.

Scope and Content Note

This collection is comprised of family letters, writings, printed items and graphic materials. The writings consist of sermons, short stories, several diary pages and a journal kept by Reverend G. W. Leyburn while he served as a missionary to Greece. Among the printed items and graphic materials are several photographs of the Houston family.

Series and Subseries Descriptions

  1. Correspondence, 1821-1940, n.d. (10 folders)


The majority of letters were written between family members reporting daily activities, general news and health of relatives and friends. Among the correspondence of Rutherford R. Houston to his father Samuel Rutherford Houston are letters which offer insight into his religious thought (1859-1885, n.d.). A letter (n.d.) signed "Mother G" relates the family's history and refers to Sam Houston of Texas as a cousin.
 

  1. Printed items and graphic materials, 1873-1908, n.d. (5 folders)


Among the printed items is an address given by Hubert T. Houston at the unveiling of the Monument to Confederate Dead in Beverly, West Virginia (1908), an envelope (n.d.) with a colored sketch of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, La. The photographs consist of cartes de viste (1873-1882, n.d.) of Annie and Bessie Houston and Dr. J. Bernard Houston, tintypes (n.d.) of Bessie and Dr. J. Bernard Houston along with other personal portraits of family members and a family portrait of Samuel Rutherford Houston and his children (n.d.)

  1. Writings, 1781-1936, n.d. (12 folders, 1 manuscript vol.)
    • Subseries 1. Diary entries and fiction, 1834-1888, n.d. (5 folders)


There are several diary pages, a Civil War diary and a journal in this series. The earliest of the diary pages (1834) express the author's dismay at the lack of reverence for the Sabbath on the Greek isle of Scio. These pages give detailed accounts of the sights and people in the villages on the island and a vivid description of the ruins, schools and buildings, including the monastery of Meamone. Samuel Rutherford Houston's Civil War diary (1861) describes daily activities, sermons preached, and materials read by the author. Some entries reflect the author's sadness and dismay concerning the war and the animosity of the North towards the Southern states. There are references to military engagements, including the 1st. Battle of Bull Run fought at the Manassas Junction (July 21), giving detailed accounts of casualties and prisoners. Later diary pages (1884-1887) refer to harsh winters in the mountains. Several entries are concerned with the survival of wild birds and farm animals, and the spoilage of food by freezing temperatures. There are also the entries (1883-1888) of Margaret P. Houston, wife of Samuel R. Houston, with notes on natural history describing weather, birds, insects and flower. The journal is a chronicle of the experiences of Reverend G. W. Leyburn and his family while he served as a missionary to Greece. The bulk of the journal (1841-1843) recounts daily events and excursions to various towns and cities in Greece. There are lengthy entries describing his grief and the circumstances surrounding the death of his infant daughter and a detailed account of an attack and robbery he and his wife suffered in their residence during the night. There are several references to Mr. King's sermons and several entries reflecting his own thoughts on Protestantism. A later entry (1865) contemplates the destruction caused by the Civil War. Also contained in this subseries are short stories written about nature and animals.
 

    • Subseries 2. Sermons, 1781-1852, n.d. (6 folders)


Sermons delivered by Samuel Houston and Samuel Rutherford Houston; some include dates and cite the biblical passages used.
 

    • Subseries 3. Miscellaneous, 1839-1936, n.d. (1 folder)


Among the miscellaneous writings is a copy of general order no. 9 issued by R. E. Lee bidding his troops farewell and sending them home at the end of the war, a handwritten issue of the Wigton Wight newsletter (1875), and a poem written in Greek (n.d.). There is also a broadcast address (1936) denouncing violence in Palestine

Index Terms

 
Bull Run, 1st. Battle, Va., 1861
Houston, Margaret P.
Houston, Sam,  1793-1863
Houston, Samuel
Houston, Samuel Rutherford
Houston, Rutherford R.
Houston, Hubert T.
Leyburn, G. W.
Missionaries--Greece Palestine--History--1929-1948
Presbyterian Church
Virginia--History--19th century

Container List

 

Stack Location

Box

Folders

Contents

 

 

Series I. Correspondence

 

U:102

 

 

1

1-10

Correspondence (1821-1940, n.d.),

 

Series II. Printed items and graphic materials

 

U:102

 

 

1

11-15

Printed items and graphic materials (1873-1908, n.d.)

 

Series III. Writings

 

U:102

 

 

2

1-6

Subseries 1. diary entries and fiction (1834-1888, n.d.).

 

 

 

3

1-6

Subseries 2. sermons (1781-1852, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

7

Subseries 3. miscellaneous writings (1839-1936, n.d.)