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John E. T. Milsaps Papers

Identifier: MSS 0033

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal and professional writings and correspondence of Milsaps, including his journals. In addition, the collection is comprised of many scrapbooks, photographs, and published works that Milsaps collected on his travels across the globe. Several areas of note include materials relating to Hawaii prior to US statehood; the Phillipines in and around the Spanish-American War and Phillipine Insurrection; materials related to the Civil War with perspectives from both sides of the conflict; and early 20th century US history. This collection also contains the only known complete run of the Salvation Army "War Cry" newspaper.


  • 1531-1986
  • Majority of material found in 1852-1930

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research. Access to vault materials (such as the War Cry periodical) requires an appointment approved in advance by HMRC. The Milsaps Diaries have been microfilmed and the researchers will be provided with the microfilm to use. A few diaries have also been digitized. Original diaries will only be pulled if staff determine that items are missing from microfilm version or if the microfilm is illegible.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the John E. T. Milsaps Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

John Ephraim Thomas Milsaps - bibliophile, salvationist, traveler and diarist - was born in Houston, Texas on January 3, 1852. After leaving his home as a young man to seek his fortune in western mining, Milsaps joined the Salvation Army in 1883 and remained in its service until his retirement. Milsaps died in Houston on November 29, 1932. As a professional salvationist, Major Milsaps travelled widely in this country and abroad as a Salvation Army organizer and (San Francisco) WAR CRY editor. He was among the first representatives of the Army in Hawaii in the 1890's and was the army's spokesman in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine Insurrection.


75 Linear Feet (131 document boxes, 3 flat boxes, 75 volumes, 9 large volumes, 2 drawers of oversized items, 1 record storage box)

Language of Materials



The Milsaps papers are arranged in 52 series (A,B,C, D, etc.) according to either material type or subject. The boxes for each series restart at Box 1.

Series A: Personal Material Series B: Salvation Army Pamphlets and Songbooks Series C: Photos Series D: Philippines Series E: Hawaii Series F: Hawaiian Language Series G: Missions-Hawaii Series H: Missions-Asia Series I: Missions-Africa and Middle East Series J: Missions-North, Central and South America Series K: Mission-Chinese Language Series L: Missions-General Series M: Religious Pamphlets-General Series N: Religious Pamphlets-Baptist Series O: Religious Pamphlets-Catholic Series P: Religious Pamphlets-Lutheran, Methodist, Quaker, etc. Series Q: Religious Pamphlets-Mormon Series R: Sermons-Author Known Series S: Sermons-Author Unknown Series T: Temperance Pamphlets Series U: Slavery Pamphlets Series V: African American-Related Pamphlets Series W: United States History, 1492-1839 Series X: United States-History, 1840-1849 Series Y: United States-History, 1850-1860 Series Z: United States-History-Civil War, 1861-1865 Series AA: United States-History-Reconstruction Era, 1865-1877 Series BB: United States-History, 1866-1899 Series CC: United States-History, 1900-1932 Series DD: United States-Economic Policy-Trade, Banking, Revenue Series EE: United States-Economic Policy-Money and Currency-Free Silver Debate Series FF: United States-Foreign Relations-Spanish America Canals Series GG: Texas-History Series HH: Texas-Railroad and Land Development Literature Series II: Houston and Suburbs-Boosterism Literature, 1890s-1920s Series JJ: Davy Crockett Pamphlets (Almanacs), 1786-1836 Series KK: Immigration Pamphlets Series LL: Peace Pamphlets Series MM: Germany-World War, 1914-1918. Series NN: Travel Pamphlets Series OO: Native Americans Series PP: Japan-Pamphlets Series QQ: Language & Languages Series RR: Language & Languages-Arabic Series SS: Mines and Mineral Resources Series TT: Museums and Expositions Series UU: Libraries-Pamphlets Series VV: Books, Music, Arts & Crafts, Collecting Series WW: Bookplates Series XX: Autograph Collection and Autograph Bible Series YY: Scrapbooks Series ZZ: Map Case Items

John Milsaps Diaries, 1852-1930

The Milsaps diaries were microfilmed as part of a cooperative effort between the Houston Metropolitan Research Center and the Salvation Army Archives in New York. As part of the project, the Salvation Army produced these microfilm copies for use by HMRC patrons.

Roll 1 -- Vols. 1-7, 1852-1899

Roll 2 -- Vols. 8-17, 1899-1902

Roll 3 -- Vols. 18-25, 1903-1905

Roll 4 -- Vols. 26-33, 1905-1909

Roll 5 -- Vols. 34-41, 1909-1912

Roll 6 -- Vols. 42-48, 1912-1915

Roll 7 -- Vols. 49-57, 1915-1921

Roll 8 -- Vols. 58-65, 1921-1927

Roll 9 -- Vols. 66-69, 1927-1930

The 1852-1899 diaries have also been digitized on the HPL Digital Archives (

John E.T. Milsaps Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002