The manuscript collection begins with personal papers of Henderson Yoakum, who wrote the first comprehensive history of Texas. They include a muster roll from his Cherokee campaign, discharge orders and payment authorizations for his troops, as well as Yoakum's license to practice law. A collection of papers letters related to early Texas, primarily annexation issues, ranges from 1842-1845. The Thornton letters describe daily life and events in East Texas, especially Walker County and Huntsville, as interpreted by a recent immigrant from England. Among her descriptions are the yellow fever epidemic of 1867, a fire and fire control (a bucket brigade), and martial law after the Civil War. In the correspondence section, Governor E. M. Pease discusses politics and family life, David G. Burnet, Secretary of State , orders surveys for the public lands assigned to the establishment of an education system, and William S. Peters solicits investment from Robert Owen, the English socialist, for the Peters Colony. From the Civil War era, there are special orders and letters prior to the battle on Matagorda Peninsula in January of 1864. The Proclamations and Broadsides section includes a notice to cotton planters related to the taxes due, and the announcement of the results of the Secession Convention in Austin, April of 1861. The Legal Documents section includes land grant awards, loan script, a bond of the Republic of Texas, summons to answer a petition filed by Mirabeau B. Lamar, and a loyalty oath (a document which enabled one merchant of Walker County to resume transacting business after the Civil War).