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Collection Number: 03923

Collection Title: James Robert Hamilton Papers, 1828-1927

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 110 items)
Abstract James Robert Hamilton was District Court judge of Travis and Williamson counties, Tex.; Democratic Party executive committee chair; and congressional candidate in 1926. The collection includes scattered papers, correspondence, and other items of James Robert Hamilton, principally relating to his political and legal career, especially his charges to grand juries to investigate the Ku Klux Klan, 1921-1922; bootleggers; and deserters of children. It includes two scrapbooks of clippings, 1881-1916 and 1921-1927, concerning his public life.
Creator Hamilton, James Robert, 1860-1933.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
Materials in Series 2 extremely fragile. Please handle with care.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the James Robert Hamilton Papers #3923, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
  • Reel 1: Series 1
Acquisitions Information
Received as an indefinite loan from Mrs. Hugh F. Oates of Chapel Hill, N.C., in April 1917.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

James Robert Hamilton, born 24 February 1860 in Franklin County, Tenn., moved to Williamson County, Tex., with his widowed mother, Mrs. S. A. Hamilton, in 1874 when she brought her three children there. He was graduated from Southwestern University of Georgetown in 1883 and the University of Texas Law School in 1885.

Hamilton served for ten years as district attorney and fourteen years as district judge of criminal court for Travis and Williamson counties, Tex. Hamilton served as city recorder at Austin, county judge, and chair of the executive committee of the Democratic Party of Travis County. He was a candidate for Congress in the primary election of 1926. He lived most of his life in Austin, Tex., and died there on 5 April 1933.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Scattered papers, correspondence, and other items of politician and lawyer James Robert Hamilton of Austin, Tex., principally relating to his political and legal career, especially his charges to grand juries to investigate the Ku Klux Klan, 1921-1922; bootleggers; and deserters of children. It includes two scrapbooks of clippings, 1881-1916 and 1921-1927, concerning his public life.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Papers, 1878-1926.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Prior to 1921, the papers include a poem, 1878, political circulars, 1902 and 1906, and a circular letter, 1912, to the Class of 1883 of Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tex. In 1921 begin letters received by Hamilton concerning his charge to the grand jury about investigating the Ku Klux Klan and a typescript copy of this charge. There is also a typed 1921 report from the grand jury to the judge concerning a specific case of Klan violence. Letters from 1922 are also about the Ku Klux Klan, but mention, too, the possibility of Hamilton's running for governor, certain murder cases, and Hamilton's charge to the grand jury about bootleggers and parents who desert their children.

Letters after 1923 continue as before and include congratulations on convictions in Williamson County, the work of the grand jury, the candidacy of District Attorney Dan Moody for state attorney general; Hamilton's reelection to Criminal District Court; and Hamilton's candidacy for Congress in the summer primary, 1926. There is a letter, 1923, from Jessie Daniel Ames about the Texas League of Women Voters. Also included is a tribute, 1924, to Hamilton at his last court before leaving office. Among the undated letters is an anti-Klan poem.

Pamphlets in Folder 6 consist of the "Constitution and By-Laws of the Rusk Literary Society of the University of Texas, Austin," for which Hamilton was committee chair, 1886; "Rules and Regulations Adopted by the Executive Committee of Travis County for Holding Primary Elections," 14 June 1902, Austin; "The Unveiling of the Ku Klux Klan" by W. C. Witcher, undated; the Haldeman-Julius Monthly, September 1926, with an article by Marcet Haldeman-Julius on "J. Frank Norris--Shooting Salvationist"; and the Texas Tax Journal, October 1927, with an article "Judge James R. Hamilton's Opinion Means Much to Texas Taxpayers."

Also included are circulars, cards, and newspaper reprints on Hamilton's congressional primary campaign in 1926.

Folder 1

1878-1912 #03923, Series: "1. Papers, 1878-1926." Folder 1

Folder 2

January-July 1921 #03923, Series: "1. Papers, 1878-1926." Folder 2

Folder 3

October-December 1921 #03923, Series: "1. Papers, 1878-1926." Folder 3

Folder 4

1922 #03923, Series: "1. Papers, 1878-1926." Folder 4

Folder 5

1923-1926 and undated #03923, Series: "1. Papers, 1878-1926." Folder 5

Folder 6

Pamphlets #03923, Series: "1. Papers, 1878-1926." Folder 6

Folder 7

Congressional Campaign of 1926 #03923, Series: "1. Papers, 1878-1926." Folder 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Scrapbooks, 1881-1927.

2 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Note that these two volumes are extremely fragile; please handle with care.

Folder 8

Volume 1: 1881-1916 and undated, 142 pp. #03923, Series: "2. Scrapbooks, 1881-1927." Folder 8

Clippings concerning Hamilton's activities and speeches he made at Southwestern University, 1881-1883; his candidacy for district judge of criminal court, 1902; people, trial cases, and local county politics in which he was interested; and collected verses, essays, and other items.

Oversize Volume SV-3923/2

Volume 2: 1921-1927 and undated, 100 pp. #03923, Series: "2. Scrapbooks, 1881-1927." SV-3923/2

Clippings on reactions of the public and press to Hamilton's charge to grand juries, 1921-1922; murder cases of interest to Hamilton; political campaigns and issues in Texas, 1924-1926, particularly his own and that of Dan Moody for state attorney general; and an investigation, 1925, Hamilton called for of Governor Miriam A. Ferguson and other state officials.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Pictures, 1910-1925.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, September 1996

Encoded by: Eben Lehman, March 2006

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, November 2009

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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