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Richard Hogue Dickson Family Papers are now available

June 3, 2014

Here at the Alamo Research Center, we are excited when we can bring you new collections to explore!

June Weddings Mean Love is in the Air at the Alamo Research Center!

Earlier this year, we received a generous donation of family papers from the descendants of Abishai Mercer Dickson. Abishai was a member of the Alabama Red Rovers who came to Texas to fight in the Texas Revolution. He was killed at Goliad. His wife, Ann Margaret, later married Dr. John Sutherland, one of the messengers who escaped death at the Alamo.

The Finding Aid for The Richard Hogue Dickson Family Papers is now available on TARO, Texas Archival Resources Online. TARO is a great resource for researching the manuscript collection we have here at the ARC. These papers concern the family of Abishai’s son, Richard Hogue Dickson (1831-1931). R. H. Dickson was a Confederate soldier, an Indian fighter, a Texas Ranger, and in his quieter years, a brickmason.

    A tintype found within the collection is tentatively identified as Richard Hogue Dickson in middle age. Dickson Family Papers, DRT Library Collection.

A tintype found within the collection is tentatively identified as Richard Hogue Dickson in middle age.

The Papers include family letters, some business documents, memorial notices, clippings, and small prayer books. Of particular interest are the love letters that document the growing relationship between R.H. and his future wife Eleanor J. Read. Like his father, Abishai, Dickson is quite the romantic when he asks his lady a special question (although he somewhat a stranger to conventional punctuation)!

This is the love letter that Richard Hogue Dickson, son of Abishai Mercer Dickson, wrote to his future wife, Eleanor J. Read. They courted for several years before their marriage.

This is the love letter that Richard Hogue Dickson, son of Abishai Mercer Dickson, wrote to his future wife, Eleanor J. Read. They courted for several years before their marriage.

Dickson writes:

June 5, 1849

Dear Eleanor,

It has but a short time since I was with you, but to me it seems a year; what did I say? a year, yes, minutes to me hours, days and days pass so dreary that they seem to me weeks, what is the cause of it? It is because the angel of all my hopes, my desires, and all that I care for, is absent; but I speak improperly: for the image of that angel is always with me, yes, hundreds of times the image of that beautiful nymph fitted before my eyes, and many have been the nights, when her form has crossed the track of my wandering senses, and stopped to hold sweet converse with me; methinks I could hear the sweet tones of her musical voice, and see that bewitching smile playing upon her rosy lips, which have so often confused my senses, and make me confess that I love her; but who is that nymph? Who is it that could make me confess myself in love? It is you, Eleanor! It is your beautiful form that haunts my slumber! And it is you that is dearer to me than all else in this world; Eleanor I love you; I love you with all the ardent passion of youth, yes I love you with that love which will last as long as life itself shall last; but shall this love to you be treated with contempt? Oh no, I hope not; may I have the presumption to hope that you will one day be mine? Oh, cheering thought! But if on the contrary, oh how dark, how dismal shall be the rest of my life, dearest girl if it be but one time write to let me know my fate, and believe me that I remain you sincere lover,

Richard H. Dickson

 Come join us for First Saturday at the Alamo this Saturday, June 7! You can see R.H.’s letter to Eleanor in our June Brides exhibit as well as a display of some of our Texas Treasures!

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

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