Wedding Etiquette in the 1950s

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student

As the calendar turns to June, we enter into the height of wedding season. The families of the soon to be bride and groom engage in a flurry of activity to ensure all the preparations are ready for the big day. Some of the cookbooks housed at The Texas Collection include recipes and menus specifically designed with weddings in mind. One of the most detailed descriptions of these preparations comes from a quirky cookbook published in the 1950s by the Charles W. Cook Auxiliary at Christ Episcopal Church in Laredo, Texas called Warm Welcome.

The cover page of Warm Welcome

The section entitled “Wedding Meals and Receptions” covered the expectations and etiquette for weddings, which provides an interesting glimpse into the norms for wedding receptions in the 1950s in Texas. The cookbook stressed the importance of the tasteful arrangement of delicious food and drink as the key to a successful wedding reception. Detailed rules existed regarding the order of the receiving line for a formal wedding: first the bride’s mother, then the groom’s mother, the bride, the groom, the maid of honor, and then the bridesmaids. Interestingly, the bride’s father did not stand in the receiving line but “greeted special guests and escorted old friends to the refreshment table.”

The rest of the section preceding the recipes explained the traditional food and beverages served at wedding receptions. No matter what time of day the reception was held, champagne remained the standard beverage served. Etiquette did allow for a fruit juice or gingerale punch as suitable substitutes, though. Every reception also featured a bride’s cake covered in beautiful white icing which could be topped with the same flowers used in the bridal bouquet.

A recipe for the traditional wedding cake, a dark fruit cake.

For weddings with larger budgets, the cookbook described another traditional element of the reception. Each guest received a piece of dark fruit cake in a small white box wrapped in a white satin ribbon. This cake was the designated wedding cake, as opposed to the white bride’s cake that we think of today. The mother of the bride saved a piece of the fruit cake for the bride and groom to eat on their first anniversary. Protocol allowed for the two cakes (bride’s cake and wedding cake) to be combined into a single cake with white cake making up the first two tiers and a layer of dark fruit cake at the top.

Sample menus for receptions at various times of day and levels of formality.

After the explanation of some of the etiquette and traditions surrounding wedding receptions, the cookbook provided specific menus for the various times of day a wedding reception might be held. With menus for early morning breakfast, stand-up breakfast, sit-down breakfast, buffet breakfast, breakfast served at high noon, luncheon, or supper, any bride and her family could plan the perfect reception. As you can see, cookbooks provided much more than simply recipes to the women who owned them, and helped them plan some of the most important events in the lives of their families.

Bibliography:

Charles W. Cook Auxiliary Christ Episcopal Church. Warm Welcome. Laredo, TX: 1950s?

Posted in Cookbooks, Laredo, Menus, Weddings | Leave a comment

Hallie Earle: Waco’s Weather Watcher

by Casey Froehlich, Library Assistant

Photograph of Hallie Earle, undatedYou think this summer is a hot one? It probably won’t surprise you that Waco, Texas, has hot summers (and arguably falls and winters and springs). What might surprise you is that a Central Texas teen tracked temperatures for decades. However, that’s exactly what Hallie Earle did.

Cover to one of Hallie Earle’s Diaries, 1917Born in McLennan County in 1880, Earle was the only woman in the class of 1907 at Baylor University Medical School in Dallas and later became Waco’s first female physician. She kept local weather diaries from about age fifteen until the year before she died in 1963. The Texas Collection is fortunate to have these diaries as part of the Graves-Earle family papers.

Hallie Earle diary entry for June 17, 1919Almost every day, Hallie would open her journal entry by commenting on the weather. Sometimes she was as straight forward as simply writing down the temperature, and other days she’d only offer an adjective like “cloudy” before outlining her schedule or detailing what happened to her that day.

She was most likely inspired by her father, Major Isham Harrison Earle, the first registered weather reporter in Central Texas, who kept weather records long before Hallie’s birth.

Curious about tomorrow’s (June 17th) weather in years past? Luckily, because of Hallie Earle’s diaries, we know.

  • 1917: “cl & cold” (whether “cl” means cloudy or clear is unknown)
  • 1918: “clear”
  • 1919: “Sunshine – glad to see it… a very heavy dew”
  • 1921: “Raining”
  • 1924: “Up at 6.40 – few clouds”
  • 1926: “cool and… very badly want rain”
  • 1931: “83”
  • 1934: “82”
  • 1935: “up at 7.10 – cloudy”
  • 1938: “76… up at 6 – clear”
  • 1939: “Rain”
  • 1950: “92°”
  • 1953: “92°”
  • 1956: “92°”
  • 1957: “80°”
  • 1960: “rainy – some light rain”
  • 1962: “90° at 4 P.M.”

So what will tomorrow hold? Probably more of the same, but that doesn’t mean the information is trivial. If this collection has taught me anything it’s that you never know when you might want to look back, even on the seemingly mundane details of life.

If you want learn more about the Earle family and their weather tracking, you can find more in the Graves-Earle family papers. The collection contains Hallie’s dairies, her father’s weather documentation, and more!

References:
Graves-Earle Family Papers, Accession #47, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Posted in diaries, Hallie Earle, Waco, weather | Leave a comment

Stories from Independence: San Jacinto Day

By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

This is the first in a number of upcoming posts about the town of Independence, where Baylor University’s original campus was, and the connections between Independence and Baylor people and events.

Independence has always been connected with the history of the Republic of Texas. From the renaming of Coles Settlement to Independence, to Sam Houston living in Independence, there is no shortage of connections to historic early Texas people and events. One of these special events celebrated each year is San Jacinto Day.

This holiday, commemorating Sam Houston’s victory at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21 against Santa Anna’s government, was a major holiday at Baylor at Independence. Multiple historical accounts preserved at The Texas Collection at Baylor University in Waco mention the annual festivities of San Jacinto Day at Independence.

Drawing of the male campus of Baylor University, 1870s

Drawing of the Baylor University Male Campus (Windmill Hill) at Independence. Note the buggies moving fast down the road.

One letter, written by Florence L. Davis Bledsoe, vividly describes an event that took place at Baylor University in Independence on San Jacinto Day in 1859:

One of the jubilees here is on the 21st of April, in commemoration of the battle of San Jacinto. We had “big doings” here on the 21st. General Houston was here and spoke to us. I like very much to hear him speak. He said there were but two things he now aspired to, one was to be an overseer of the roads, to see that they were in good order for he knew the ladies did not love to travel over rough roads. The other was to be Squire and see that the young ladies did not marry worthless vagabond fellows and that the young gentlemen did not marry slovenly careless girls.

Margaret Hall Hicks, also a Baylor student at Independence in the mid-1800s, describes the holiday in her unpublished book “Memories of Ancestors.”

An annual picnic on San Jacinto Day was a social event anticipated and prepared for months before the time. Each girl had made a date weeks before with some boy, generally her sweetheart, for the whole day together. If the boy was financially able, he hired a horse and buggy to take his lady love, and these were the envy of the other girls, who had to join in with others in hiring a hack or wagon and go in crowds.

Things have changed since the days students used buggys for transportation, but the excitement and fun of holidays and events on campus lives on in such events as Dia del Oso and Homecoming.

Works Cited: Keeth, Kent. “Looking Back at Baylor: a Collection of Historical Vignettes.” Waco: Baylor University, 1985; BU records: Baylor at Independence, Accession #BU/220, The Texas Collection, Baylor University; and Hicks-Hall-Harman family papers, Accession #1726, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Posted in Archives, Baylor at Independence, courtship, Florence L. Davis Bledsoe, frontier and pioneer life, Independence, Margaret Hall Hicks, San Jacinto Day, Washington County Texas | Leave a comment

Research Ready: May 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

May’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Ordination of Pastor Peter H.H. Lee, 1939

Annie Jenkins Sallee and her husband Dr. William Sallee were missionaries to the interior of China in the early 1900s. This photograph shows the Sallees as guests at an ordination service in Kaifeng, the capital city of the Henan province. You’ll find these items in the Annie Jenkins Sallee papers, 1897-1967, undated (#715), box 1, folder 13, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

May’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Thomas, Henry J., Mrs. The Prairie Rifles, or, The Captives of New Mexico: a Romance of the Southwest. New York: Beadle and Adams, [1868]. Print.

Thomas, Henry J., Mrs. The Prairie Rifles, or, The Captives of New Mexico: a Romance of the Southwest. New York: Beadle and Adams, [1868]. Print. 

This dime novel, one of nearly 400 in The Texas Collection, contains the fictional tale of two women who are captured by Comanche Indians.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

Catalogue of the West Texas Military Academy: a Church School for Boys. San Antonio, TX: The Academy, 1904-. Print.

Catalogue of the West Texas Military Academy: a Church School for Boys. San Antonio, TX: The Academy, 1904-. Print. 

This catalog was produced just eleven years after the 1893 founding of the West Texas Military Academy in San Antonio. Two-thirds of the volume explains rules and regulations, administrative information, and academic standards. The remainder is devoted to athletics.  Click here to view in BearCat.

Some of the Things 1909 Farmers Buy. Volume 1. Texas. New York: Crowell Publishing Company, 1909. Print.

Some of the Things 1909 Farmers Buy. Volume 1. Texas. New York: Crowell Publishing Company, 1909. Print. 

Published as a special issue of the national publication Farm and Fireside, this volume highlights a group of Grayson County, Texas farmers randomly selected from the publication’s subscription list. Included in the volume are photographs of homes and descriptions of farms.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

Posted in Adventure, American West, Archives, Baptist missions, Baptist women, Belton Texas, Books, broadsides, China, Dallas, frontier and pioneer life, Indian captivities, Indians of North America, letters, missionaries, missions, Old West, Photographs, Rail Road, Railroads, Research Ready, Texas railroads, Waco, Waco Interfaith Conference, World War II | Leave a comment

Cataloger’s Corner: The Age of Exploration in Italiano

by Allie McCormack, Rare Books Catalog Librarian for Baylor Libraries

Welcome back to Cataloger’s Corner! In my second article for this series, I’d like to tell you about an amazing book The Texas Collection purchased last year: the first Italian edition of Francisco López de Gómara’s account of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, La Historia Generale delle Indie Occidentali, from 1556.

Gómara became the private chaplain of famed conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1540. This relationship gave him easy access to other Spaniards who had traveled to Mexico with Cortés. In 1552, he compiled interviews with these explorers, as well as manuscript accounts written by missionaries and Caribbean governors, to form the book Primera y Segunda Parte de la Historia General de las Indias. The work was extremely popular and had at least 50 editions in Spanish, Italian, French, and English through 1600.

However, Gómara’s contemporaries strongly criticized the book. Prominent writers like Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who had been a soldier under Cortés, thought Gómara focused too much on his former boss without giving due credit to others involved in the campaign, and Friar Bartolomé de las Casas thought he glossed over the atrocities Cortés committed against indigenous peoples in the Americas. Even the Spanish Crown found fault with the book, perhaps for its criticism directed against Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, and Philip II officially banned its publication in Spain in a 1553 decree. However, copies in Spanish continued to be printed in Antwerp and Rome throughout the 16th century. The publication ban was formally ended in 1757.

Title page of La Historia Generale delle Indie Occidentali (1556)The Texas Collection’s copy of the Historia is no longer in its original binding, but the pages are remarkably clean with only a hint of water damage. At some point, a former owner or bookseller put a strip of paper just above the publication statement on the title page. My guess is that a fancy filigree or other kind of illustration was cut out of the book, and someone filled in the hole to minimize further ripping or stress to the page.

The text is set in italic type, a cursive font based on 15th and 16th-century calligraphy. Today we only use italics to emphasize part of a text, but it used to be used throughout books.

Page 79 of La Historia Generale delle Indie Occidentali (1556)This image showcases the lovely initials used at the beginning of most chapters. Each letters has an architectural background, some of which are identifiable buildings while others are more generic.

If you look in the bottom right corner of the page, you will see evidence that a bookworm has been in this book. Yes, bookworms are real—but the term can refer to any insect that bores through books. Cloth bindings can attract moths, while certain varieties of beetles will attack leather or wooden bindings. Tiny wingless bugs of the order Psocoptera feed mainly on mold and other organic material found on the pages of books. These insects are more likely to be a danger to books that are housed in damp, humid spaces, which is why the special collections librarians at Baylor are so strict about climate control in the libraries.

Bison illustration inside La Historia Generale delle Indie Occidentali (1556)One of the most important features of this book can be found on page 202: an early image of the bison. (According to research done by Gunter Sehmi, the earliest European illustration of a bison was found in the first edition of Gómara’s book.) Interestingly, it is the only illustration in the entire book and comes before the chapter “Delle vacche gobbe che ci sonno in Quivira,” or “On the humpback cows that are in Quivira.” The explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado led an expedition north from Mexico to search for the mythical “Seven Cities of Gold;” when he failed to find them, he instead turned east to look for a wealthy civilization the Pueblo Indians called Quivira. However, when Coronado finally reached it, he was unable to find any gold. The exact location of this settlement is uncertain, but historians and archaeologists think it was likely in central Kansas.

If you’d like to read the original Spanish text of this book in a modern edition, you can find it in Moody Library at Baylor University. To find other early descriptions of the Americas held by The Texas Collection, follow this link.

iSehm, Gunter G. (1991). “The first European bison illustration and the first Central European exhibit of a living bison. With a table of the sixteenth century editions of Francisco López de Gómara.” Archives of Natural History 18 (3): 323-332.

Posted in Allie McCormack, Francisco López de Gómara, rare books | Leave a comment

Research Ready: April 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

April’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Waco Suspension Bridge Pass

From the opening of the Waco Suspension Bridge 1870 until 1889, the Waco Bridge Company exacted tolls on individuals wishing to cross the bridge. Pictured here is a blank pass found in the collection. You’ll find these items in the Waco Bridge Company records, 1868-1991, undated (#2010), box 1, folder 6, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

April’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Tomlin, Henry. Courtship and Marriage of Henry Tomlin. [Dallas?]: [publisher not identified], [1908?]. Print.Tomlin, Henry. Courtship and Marriage of Henry Tomlin. [Dallas?]: [publisher not identified], [1908?]. Print.

Henry Tomlin explains the difficulties he had in marrying his 13-year-old bride due to her parent’s objections. Oddly, nowhere in the volume does Tomlin mention his fiancé’s name or that he is 53-years-old. He also doesn’t mention his nearly two-decade stint in a Texas prison in the late 19th century, which he recounts in another volume, Henry Tomlin: the Man who Fought the Brutality and Oppression of the Ring in the State of Texas for Eighteen Years, and Won. Click here to view in BearCat.

H.J. Justin & Sons. Justin Boots & Shoes. [Fort Worth?]: [publisher not identified], [1947?]. Print.

 

H.J. Justin & Sons. Justin Boots & Shoes. [Fort Worth?]: [publisher not identified], [1947?]. Print.

Touted as the “Bootmakers of the West Since 1879,” Justin Boots & Shoes has been making footwear for nearly 140 years. This circa 1940s catalogue shows the wide range of boots, cowboy shoes, and waddies available at the time as well as photographs of the boot manufacturing process.  Click here to view in BearCat.

Street Car and Bus Service in Dallas: Information for Centennial Visitors and Home Folks. [Dallas?]: [publisher not identified], [1936]. Print.

 

 

 

 

Street Car and Bus Service in Dallas: Information for Centennial Visitors and Home Folks. [Dallas?]: [publisher not identified], [1936]. Print.

This informational brochure highlights the courteous, prompt, and safe modes of transportation that await those visiting Dallas for the 1936 Texas Centennial. A map showing the street car and bus lines is included and as well as info on how to get to popular attractions.  Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

Posted in Archives, Belton Texas, Books, courtship, Crush, Railroads, Research Ready, Texas railroads, Waco | Leave a comment

Research Ready: March 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

March’s finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

McKinney, Williams, and Company currency, 1841

During the Republic of Texas time period, inflation was rampant among the various kinds of official Republic of Texas bills. Because of this and other monetary problems in the new country, the Republic of Texas gave permission for the mercantile firm of McKinney, Williams, and Company to issue their own currency. This bill, issued in 1841, was a symbol of how wealthy and powerful the McKinney, Williams, and Company was in the Republic of Texas. When Texas joined the United States in 1845, this currency as legal tender became worthless. You’ll find these items in the Brinkman-Alston Texas currency, 1841-1843 (#3908), box 1, folder 1, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Texas Electric Railway stock certificate, 1928

Roy Beck served as a conductor on the Texas Electric Railway for 28 years. On May 26, 1928, Beck received this stock certificate for a single share in the company valued at $100. The certificate is signed by Jack Beall, president of both the Texas Electric Railway Company and the Dallas Union Trust Company. You’ll find these items in the Roy Elmer Beck collection, 1918-1946, undated (#3293), box [246], folder 18, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

March’s print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

This month, we are highlighting a selection of 16th century volumes recently discovered in our backlog and added to the collection.

San Antonio: Sport and Pleasure under Sapphire Skies. [San Antonio, TX]: [publisher not identified], [1930-1939?]. Print.

San Antonio: Sport and Pleasure under Sapphire Skies. [San Antonio, TX]: [publisher not identified], [1930-1939?]. Print. 

This small fold-out brochure provides enticing information on San Antonio as well as info on the Missouri Pacific Lines that service the city. Six photographs depict the cityscape, natural resources, and sporting. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

 

Porter, George L. Facts about Houston and Harris County, Texas. [Houston, TX]: [publisher not identified], [1894]. Print.

Porter, George L. Facts about Houston and Harris County, Texas. [Houston, TX]: [publisher not identified], [1894]. Print. 

Porter explains why Houston, which at the time was nine miles square, is and will continue to be the most important city in Texas. The pamphlet includes many facts to support this claim including the number of water mains, artesian wells, churches, railway tracks, hotels, cotton compresses, etc. Click here to view in BearCat.

 

 

 

44-F Presents the Gig Sheet. Pampa, TX: United States. Army Air Forces, 1944. Print.

44-F Presents the Gig Sheet. Pampa, TX: United States. Army Air Forces, 1944. Print.

This Pampa Army Air Field Class 44-A yearbook highlights the day-to-day lives of pilots-in-training at the air field from April 22, 1943 to January 7, 1944. Click here to view in BearCat.

Posted in American South, Archives, Books, Civil War, Confederate States of America, frontier and pioneer life, Frontier and pioneer life, Houston, Locomotives, Photographs, postcards, Rail Road, Railroads, Research Ready, San Antonio, scrapbooks, student life, Texas railroads, Trains, Waco | Leave a comment

Research Ready: February 2017

Each month, we post an update to notify our readers about the latest archival collections to be processed and some highlights of our print material acquisitions. These resources are primed for research and are just a sampling of the many resources to be found at The Texas Collection!

February finding aids
By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Loading tires at the General Tire Plant, Waco, Texas, 1983

For over forty years, General Tire and Rubber Company ran a plant in Waco, Texas, that produced tires and other rubber products for the U.S. Army and domestic consumers. The old tire plant building was renovated in 2010 for use as a research facility. Currently, the building hosts scientists from Baylor University, Texas State Technical College, and various businesses. Rosemyrtle McLaughlin General Tire and Rubber Company photographic collection, 1957-1986, undated, Accession #3968, box 1, folder 5, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Donald I. Moore directing Golden Wave Band practice

This undated photograph features Donald I. Moore, longtime director of Baylor University’s Golden Wave Band, directing band practice. BU records: Donald I. Moore, 1939-2003, Accession #BU/383, box 18, folder 12, at The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

February print materials
By Amie Oliver, Librarian and Curator of Print Materials

Neal, Dorothy Jensen. The Cloud-Climbing Railroad: A Story of Timber, Trestles, and Trains. Alamogordo, NM: Alamogordo Print. Co., 1966. Print.

 

Neal, Dorothy Jensen. The Cloud-Climbing Railroad: A Story of Timber, Trestles, and Trains. Alamogordo, NM: Alamogordo Print. Co., 1966. Print.

Dorothy Jensen Neal provides a close look at the construction history of the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway, which connects Alamogordo and Russia, New Mexico. Filled with photographs and maps, The Cloud-Climbing Railroad explores the challenges of building a railway that climbs nearly 5,000 feet in 32 miles.  Click here to view in BearCat.

Lomax, John A. Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads. New York: The Macmillan Company [1945]. Print.

 

Lomax, John A. Cowboy Songs and other Frontier Ballads. New York: The Macmillan Company [1945]. Print. 

Noted folklorists and musicologists John A. Lomax and his son Alan compiled this expansive volume containing sheet music, lyrics, and annotations of cowboy and frontier songs. This volume is revised from the original 1910 edition, which can also be found in The Texas Collection.  Click here to view in BearCat.
Corpus Christi: The Ideal Summer and Winter Resort of Texas. Corpus Christi, TX: Noakes Brothers, [1920]. Print.

Corpus Christi: The Ideal Summer and Winter Resort of Texas. Corpus Christi, TX: Noakes Brothers, [1920]. Print. 

Like similar promotional books printed in the early 20th century, this volume is filled with beautiful full-color images that highlight the many resources found in Corpus Christi, including the abundance of game, fish, and fruit. Click here to view in BearCat.

Posted in Adventure, American West, Baptist women, Baylor University Golden Wave Band, Books, letters, Lily McIlroy Russell, McGregor Plan, Old West, paper, Photographs, Railroads, Research Ready, Texas Baptists, Trains, World War II | Leave a comment

Cataloger’s Corner: 1743 Bible designed by Christoph Sauer

by Allie McCormack, Rare Books Catalog Librarian for Baylor Libraries

Hello! I’m Allie McCormack, the Rare Books Catalog Librarian for the Baylor Libraries. Though you may not be familiar with my title, I think I have one of the best jobs on campus. I create bibliographic records for the rare, historical, or otherwise “special” books at Baylor—meaning that I get a sneak peek of everything before it’s put on the shelf. The Texas Collection invited me to write about some of my favorite items from their collection, so I’ll be posting a series of guest entries about some of the oldest, rarest, and most interesting things I’ve cataloged for them.

The first book I want to share with you is a copy of the first Bible printed the American colonies in a European language: a 1743 Bible designed by the famed Pennsylvania printer Christoph Sauer. The first Bible printed in the colonies, the so-called “Eliot Indian Bible,” dates to 1663 and was in a dialect of Algonquian, a language spoken by Native Americans in Massachusetts.

Sauer was born in Germany and immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1724, settling in the aptly-named Germantown among other families from his homeland. At first, Sauer imported Bibles and other religious books directly from Germany, but he started his own printing and publishing business in 1735. Only 1,200 copies of this Bible, based on Martin Luther’s translation, were printed. It would be another 40 years before an English-language Bible was printed in North America.

Side view of Christoph Sauer's 1743 BibleRemarkably, The Texas Collection’s copy appears to be in its original leather binding. You can see here the remnants of the original brass clasps. The thin leather strips they were attached to break very easily. It’s not obvious in this photo, but a later owner tried to reattach them with staples!

Title page of Christoph Sauer's 1743 BibleThis next image shows the impressive title page. The typeface used is called Fraktur. We may find it hard to read, but it was the preferred font for German printers through the end of World War II. Jack-of-all-trades Benjamin Franklin was the main supplier of printed texts to Pennsylvania German communities before Sauer, but he only used Roman typefaces (think Times New Roman). Sauer imported type from Frankfurt for his business, and German readers responded enthusiastically to the familiar style.

First pages of Christoph Sauer 's 1743 BibleHere are the first pages of the Bible: the index and the “First Book of Moses.” Note that it’s not called Genesis in this Bible. Similarly, Exodus is referred to as the “Second Book of Moses” and so on. If you look closely, you’ll see that not all of the text is in Fraktur. Sauer used Roman type to show cross-references and allusions in Scripture. Using two different typefaces like this isn’t uncommon in German printing, though Fraktur is almost always used for the main body of text.

Interior of Christoph Sauer's 1743 BibleI’ll leave you with an unexpected surprise I found in this book—pressed flowers! It’s not unusual for me to find plants, newspaper clippings, receipts, and other ephemera in the books I catalog, but I rarely see more than one per volume. This Bible had three flowers that I noticed, and there are likely more hidden between the pages. The curators and I chose to leave them in to document how owners throughout the years used the book. If you come across something like this as you explore special collections materials, please be sure to ask a librarian before removing it!

If you’d like to look at another book printed by Christoph Sauer, make an appointment to see this Psalm- and hymn-book from 1753 held by Crouch Fine Arts Library. To find early Bibles and Biblical commentaries held by the Baylor special collections libraries, follow this link. If you’d like to look at other rare German books, these are available at the Texas Collection, while there are many more across campus.

Posted in Allie McCormack, Books, rare books, The Texas Collection | Leave a comment

A Distinguished Visitor: Thomas W. Streeter at The Texas Collection

by Anna Redhair, Graduate Student

In late November 1941, the most respected authority on materials relating to Texas visited Baylor University’s Texas Collection as part of his duties as a member of the McGregor Fund Committee. Thomas W. Streeter applauded The Texas Collection’s holdings in a letter to Guy B. Harrison and generously donated several items from his personal collection to the library.

Thomas Streeter was a successful businessman from the Northeast who harbored an interest in the collecting of rare materials relating to American history. His business ventures took him to Texas, which he utilized as an opportunity to add maps, broadsides, and various other items to his collection. By the end of his life, Streeter had assembled the largest known private collection of Texana.

Streeter meticulously compiled and published his Bibliography of Texas 1795-1845 in three volumes between 1955 and 1960. The work contained more than 1,600 entries including maps, novels, and musical scores along with pamphlets and government documents. His bibliography is widely considered the foremost authority on early Texas imprints and The Texas Collection owns many of the items he included.

Five of these items came from Streeter personally in 1941 after his visit to The Texas Collection. He came to Waco as a representative of the McGregor Plan, a program Baylor University participated in throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s. The program, founded by philanthropist and bibliophile Tracy W. McGregor, assisted libraries not located near major institutions to purchase rare books they would otherwise not be able to access. The school paid $500 each year and the McGregor Plan matched their funds and acted as the go-between for the schools and rare book dealers. Streeter served as a member of the committee which administrated the program after McGregor’s death in 1936.

Photo of: A new map of Texas, with the contiguous American & Mexican states (1836)

A new map of Texas, with the contiguous American & Mexican states (1836)

The Texas Collection acquired significant rare Texas materials through the library’s participation in the McGregor Plan. After his visit, Streeter sent several items he felt would fill in the gaps he perceived in The Texas Collection’s holdings. He donated an 1836 map of Texas entitled “New Map of Texas with the Contiguous American and Mexican States.” The map, published by S. Mitchell, included boxes of text containing information on the general state of Texas, its land grants, and rivers.

Photo of the title page of Title page of Nuttall's Journal of Travels...

Title page of Nuttall’s Journal of Travels… (1821)

Streeter also donated a pamphlet from the Secretary of the Treasury of the Republic of Texas to President Houston and a Mexican imprint detailing financial transactions after the war with Texas. Streeter included a pamphlet, “Lecture on the Subject of Re-annexing Texas to the United States,” delivered in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1845. This item gives a well-reasoned argument in favor of annexation from a northern perspective and is unique because most northerners opposed the annexation of Texas as a slave state into the Union. The Baylor Lariat identified the last item, Thomas Nuttall’s Journal of Travels into the Arkansas Territory, as the most valuable in the donation. Even though the work did not directly mention Texas, Streeter still felt it was worthwhile in its description of the territory now adjoining Texas.

Although Streeter did not publish his famed Bibliography of Texas for several more years, his visit to Waco and personal donation remain an important part of the story of The Texas Collection. The library continues to purchase Streeter items today and hopes to enlarge its holdings of these rare items in the years ahead.

Bibliography:

“Documents Given Texas Collection.” The Daily Lariat, December 11, 1941. Accessed January 24, 2017. http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/lariat/id/32823

McGregor Plan Records, Accession #171, Box 1, Folder 9, The Texas Collection, Baylor University. (unpublished collection, in processing)

Streeter, Ruth Cheney. “Streeter, Thomas Winthrop.” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 26, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst73.

Streeter, Thomas W. Bibliography of Texas 1795-1845. Portland, ME: Anthoensen Press, 1955. Reprinted, revised and enlarged by Archibald Hanna with a guide to the microfilm collection Texas as Province and Republic: 1795-1845. Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, Inc., 1983.

Posted in Baylor University, broadsides, Maps, McGregor Plan, Mexico, rare books, The Texas Collection, Thomas W. Streeter | Leave a comment