Skip to main content

Edwin A. Bonewitz Papers

Identifier: MSS 0025

Scope and Contents

The Edwin A. Bonewitz Papers is a small holding of manuscripts, maps, drawings, correspondence, and notes of a lay historian relating to the history of Texas and especially Houston during the Republic and early statehood periods.

Although Bonewitz researched most of his adult life, the collection consists of material he compiled after 1950; the rest was destroyed. After Ed's death in 1969, his brother Fred Bonewitz deposited these remaining papers with the Houston Public Library. The collection consists of two segments: the manuscripts and the correspondence.

Bonewitz's seventeen original, unpublished manuscripts give one a great deal of insight into Houston, Texas, during the Republic Period and early statehood. This segment is the most useful part of the collection and should always be referred to first. The manuscripts describe Houston during the 1830's and 1840's, and explain much about its institutional life.

His voluminous correspondence with other historians comprises the largest part of the collection, but it is repetitious and difficult to use. Nonetheless, much extra material can be gleaned from the correspondence so as to supplement the manuscripts.

The collection also reveals the trials and tribulations of the non-professional historian, and the controversies which antiquarians in Texas dealt with in the 1950's and 1960's.


  • 1830's-1960's

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Edwin A. Bonewitz Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Edwin Bonewitz was a lay historian interested in the history of Texas and especially Houston during the Republic and early statehood periods. Ed Bonewitz spent countless hours in the Harris County Court Records and in the Houston Public Library researching various topics with all the intensity of a perfectionist. Although he was an antiquarian concerned with esoteric subjects and completely caught up in detail, the results of his research are impressive.


2.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



The first two boxes are arranged alphabetically by subject with the manuscripts and letters concerning each topic filed together. Boxes 3 and 4 consist of correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The final box contains miscellaneous correspondence and notes taken by Bonewitz.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Fred Bonewitz, 1969.

Processing Information

Processed by Thomas H. Kreneck, 1977.

Edwin A. Bonewitz Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002