DRT Library Receives Donation of Andrew Jackson Sowell Documents
On Monday, January 3, 2011, descendants of Texas Ranger and author Andrew Jackson Sowell (1848-1921) visited the DRT Library to donate handwritten and typed drafts of his works.
W. Lee Howard of Allen, Texas, donated twenty-five manuscripts written entirely in Sowell’s hand. Perhaps most significant is a draft of Sowell’s Life of Big Foot Wallace (1899), pages of which are shown below. In addition to this document are twenty-four early drafts of essays that Sowell incorporated into his books Rangers and Pioneers of Texas (1884) and Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas (1890).
Additionally, sisters Sarah Westkaemper Lake of San Antonio and Lisa Westkaemper of Justin, Texas, donated Sowell materials in honor of their mother, Joyce Brown Westkaemper. These documents include typed essays on Texas history by Andrew Jackson Sowell, at least some of which are typescripts of the handwritten drafts donated by Mr. Howard. Several of the essays contain corrections written by Sowell’s granddaughter, Frances Alta Hill Brown Meadows. The donation by Ms. Lake and Ms. Westkaemper also includes Sowell’s canvas-bound “Day Book” that contains his listings of various accounts, notes on Bible verses, and essay “Early Days in Texas.” The book also contains recipes written by his granddaughter Frances and notes by her sister, Twila Truetta Hill Spears.
This new collection of materials complements Sowell letters and writings that are part of the Library’s James T. DeShields papers. The manuscripts and typescripts are significant because they offer fresh insights into Texas’s frontier past and its historiography and into Andrew Jackson Sowell and his works, revealing aspects of his creative process.
Processing of the collection is underway, and the documents in it will be available to researchers once this work is completed.
Thank you, Lee, Sarah, and Lisa, for your generous donation to the DRT Library!