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DRT Library Receives Donation of Andrew Jackson Sowell Documents

January 19, 2011

Andrew Jackson Sowell. (SC11.001)

Andrew Jackson Sowell. (SC11.001)

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.

Lee Howard presents a manuscript draft of A.J. Sowell's "Life of Big Foot Wallace" to the DRT Library.

Lee Howard presents a manuscript draft of A.J. Sowell's "Life of Big Foot Wallace" to the DRT Library.

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).

The title page of the manuscript of Andrew Jackson Sowell's work "Life of Big Foot Wallace."

The title page of the manuscript of Andrew Jackson Sowell's work "Life of Big Foot Wallace."

The first page of the table of contents for Sowell's "Life of Big Foot Wallace."

The first page of the table of contents for Sowell's "Life of Big Foot Wallace."

The first page of the first chapter in the manuscript of "Life of Big Foot Wallace."

The first page of the first chapter in the manuscript of "Life of Big Foot Wallace."

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.

Sarah Lake shows Russell and Lee Howard pages from the Sowell "Day Book" as DRT Library Director Leslie Stapleton converses with Sarah's father, John Westkaemper.

Sarah Lake shows Russell and Lee Howard pages from A.J. Sowell's "Day Book" as DRT Library Director Leslie Stapleton converses with Sarah's father, John Westkaemper.

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.

Russell Howard shows Amy Howard Herpeche, her husband, and her husband a picture of A.J. Sowell in the DRT Library's photograph collection.

Russell Howard shows Amy Howard Herpeche, her husband, and her son a picture of A.J. Sowell in the DRT Library's photograph collection.

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!

From left to right, DRT Library Director Leslie Stapleton, Sarah Westkaemper Lake, John Westkaemper, Amy Howard Herpeche, Russell Howard, John Howard, and Dale and W. Lee Howard.

From left to right, Leslie Stapleton, Sarah Westkaemper Lake, John Westkaemper, Amy Howard Herpeche, Russell Howard, John Howard, and Dale and Lee Howard.

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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