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Manning Plat
Plats of James Manning Property, 1868
James M. Manning Papers

The James M. Manning Papers consist of approximately 173 documents dealing with surveying in South Texas during the nineteenth century. James M. Manning (?-1872) was one of the initial surveyors in the San Patricio, Nueces County, and South Texas areas. He was appointed Deputy Surveyor of San Patricio County on March 8, 1838, at a time when much of South Texas, including present day Nueces County, was a part of that jurisdiction. His appointment likewise occurred only two years after the establishment of the General Land Office of the Republic of Texas and one year after legislation created land districts with surveyors and deputy surveyors in each county. Manning was one of many surveyors who came to Texas lured by the promise of real estate. When the Texas boundary was permanently extended to the Rio Grande in 1846, Manning served as one of the first Anglo-American surveyors of this region. His work influenced other early South Texas surveyors such as Felix A. Blucher.

Like other surveyors of his time, Manning was a land speculator who operated as far south as the Rio Grande River. In 1851 he and two partners tried to establish the town site of Alamo in Starr County. He also owned land in Corpus Christi and Nueces County as well as in Rockport, Refugio County where he built a house in 1871. He died in 1872, survived by his wife, Mary A. Manning.

The James M. Manning Papers are organized into two sections: 1) Personal Records which include personal correspondence, financial documents, land transactions, his will and other such matters, and 2) Surveyor Records including business correspondence, survey requests, land applications and certificates, bills and receipts, deeds, contracts, agreements, plats, surveys, maps, field notes, and other legal and surveying documents. Altogether, they represent a seminal collection of South Texas surveying records and supplement the other local surveyors’ collections held by the department.

The Manning Papers are itemized to be of service to many audiences, including practicing surveyors to confirm boundaries and land ownership in South Texas. Particular attention was paid to the various spellings of proper names so that contemporary surveyors might locate lands by their early owners.

The James M. Manning Papers were acquired through a cooperative effort among A&M-Corpus Christi and community people, including Dr. Gary A. Jeffress, the Conrad Blucher Institute, Special Collections & Archives, Rex H. Stever, noted postal historian, J. Dale Moore and Robert L. Young of the Frontier Surveying Company, the Coastal Bend Chapter 12, Texas Society of Professional Surveyors, and many other individuals.

Initial inventory of the collection was done by Sheron Barnes. Completed organization, item list, and website link were done by Erin L. Nuckols in 2009.

Folder List:

Series I. Personal Records, 26 Documents

Folder 1.1 Personal Correspondence, 1851, 1882, 1886, 4 Items.

    1. Letter to James Manning from Pahmart [Pansent] Co. [?]
    Victoria   July 7, 1851
    2. Post card to H.B. Wools Federalsburg [?] M.D.
    Rockport   February 2, 1882
    3. Copy of Letter to Federalsburg Carolina Co., MD from B. Merchant Esq.
    Rockport, TX   March 31, 1882
    4. Letter to CJ Baily Esq. Corpus Christi from George F. Perrenct [?] Rockport
    Aransas Co.   March 17, 1886

Folder 1.2 Personal Financial Documents, 1848,1858-1859, 1861, 1871, 1873, 1878, 1884, 9 Items.

    1. Jury summons for James Manning for County of Nueces, State of Texas
    Corpus Christi   February 14, 1848
    2. Tax Receipt for Mary Ann Manning for the year of 1858 paid in 1859
    Nueces County
    3. Tax receipt for James Manning for the year of 1858 paid in 1859
    Nueces County
    4. Payment slip from Thomas B Hooper [?] clerk of the district to James Manning for service in court
    Nueces County   1861
    5. Tax receipt for Mary Manning
    Nueces County   November 20, 1871
    6. Tax receipt for Mary Manning
    Aransas County   December 5, 1873
    7. Tax receipt for HB Wools (Merchant Dept)
    Aransas County, Rockport   May 23, 1878
    8. Tax receipt for HB Wools
    Aransas County, Rockport   April 3, 1884
    9. Tax Receipt for HB Wools
    Aransas county, Rockport   March [?] 3, 1884

Folder 1.3 Survey Requests, 1838, 1839, 1840, 4 Items.

    1. To County Surveyor from James M. Manning
    San Petracio [Patricio]   February 22, 1838
    2. To Mr. Laener [?] survey request from James M. Manning
    San Patricio   June 1839
    3. Confirmation of Land Warrants and scripts from P.P.[H]. Grammont County Surveyor of San Patricio
    Victoria   November 5, 1839
    4. Confirmation of league and labor issue received by P.P.H. Grammont County Surveyor San Patricio
    Victoria   February 26, 1840

Folder 1.4 Last Will and Housing, 1871, 1872-1873, 2 Items.

    1. Copy of Acknowledgement to James Reynolds for building James Manning’s House
    Rockport, Texas    February 25, 1871
    2. Certified transcript and copy Last Will and Testament of James M. Manning of Nueces County
    Texas    June 3, 1872 Official July 11, 1873 by District Court Clerk of Nueces County Joseph Hb[?] Simuns

Folder 1.5 Town Site of Alamo, 1851, N.d., 3 Items.

    1. Agreement between Jack R. Everitt and James Manning and Jacob F. Welsh for the creation of Alamo Town
    County of Starr    February 1, 1851
    2. Bill for Alamo town split between Everitt, Manning, and Welsh
    February 2, 1851
    3. Map of Alamo Town [hand-drawn]

Folder 1.6 Creative Works, N.d., 1 Item.

    1. Poem, "Consierto de las Ninfas"
    Not dated, no author

Folder 1.7 Lists, 1850, 1859, N.d., 3 Items.

    1. Sales of one case of bleached domestic for account and risk of James M. Manning from February to December 1849 E + CE F. Belam H.
    Corpus Christi    January 1, 1850
    2. Bat of Elios Taft Aldacih [?] Mr. James M. Manning
    December 5, 1859
    3. Loads of wood hauled to Rockport

Series II. Surveyor Records, 147 Documents

Folder 1.8 General Correspondence, 1838, 1841, 1847, 5 Items.

    1. To Mr. Grammont from Sam [?] Hares [?]
    Victoria    Nov. 1, 1838
    2. To Mr. Bryan Isg. Present [?] From S. Murchouts [?]
    Nov. 4, 1838
    3. Letter of DP Cook directing to Mrs. Morris
    Austin    June 1, 1841
    4. To Mr. Deuffur from Box agent [initialed] on behalf of James M. Manning
    Victoria   March 11, 1847
    5. Letter to JM Manning Esq
    Goliad    Oct. 20, 1847

Folder 1.9 General Correspondence, 1854, 1868, 1871, N.d., 6 Items.

    1. Letter to Jas. M. Manning Sir from AH Lea
    Refugio    April 10, 1854
    2. Note from John Millit [?]
    Rockport   Aug. 8, 1868
    3. Letter to Melfors [?], Fly, and McClauchan [?]
    Rockport, Texas    Oct. 8, 1868
    4. Confirmation of sent deed to Mr. EW Richards from James M. Manning
    Corpus Christi    Jan. 20, 1871
    5. Land dispute from JMM to JW Stockley
    Corpus Christi    Aug 21, 1871
    6. Onstractions [?] from the County Surveyor
    Victoria   June…[?] N.d.

Folder 1.10 Survey Requests for James M. Manning, 1838, N.d., 6 Items.

    1. From WM Brennon to Mr. Manning
    San Patricio    April 1st, 1838
    2. From M. Thouhson [?] to Mr. Manning
    San Patricio    April 21, 1838
    3. From GW Wright
    April 30th, 1838
    4. AH Leas order for survey
    Corpus Christi    Undated
    5. Quality of land survey request from DL Wood
    6. Survey Request – Copy of Locations for E. Fitzgerald
    N.E. Bank of Rio Grande Undated

Folder 1.11 Survey Requests for Others, 1838, N.d., 4 Items.

    1. From JP Golightly to Mr. Buerhauuau Surveyor
    San Patricio County    Mar. 7, 1838
    2. From Geo. M. Bonnell to Mr. Buerhauuau Surveyor
    San Patricio County    Mar. 9, 1838
    3. From WH Harris to Deputy Surveyor
    San Patricio County    Mar. 31, 1838
    4. Survey Req. to John Buerhauuau Surveyor from Nath. H. Watrous
    San Patricio Cty    Undated

Folder 1.12 Land Applications, 1838, 5 Items.

    1. Z.N. Morrel’s application ----tracts of Land filed:
    April 23, ‘38
    2. Land Application from Merrel agent to WM Lloyd
    May 3, 1938
    3. HM Hubbard application for league of land [to [S or L] d. Patrick [?]]
    May 5, 1838
    4. HM Hubbard [to [S or L] d. Patrick [?]]
    May 5, 1838
    5. Application for WS Fisher and heirs [?]
    Nueces River    May 30, 1838

Folder 1.13 Vouchers/Credits, 1850-1851, 1859, 2 Items.

    1. Credits: Dr. Austrian Leals
    2. Promise to pay from Francisco Bennividas to James M. Manning
    Corpus Christi    Oct. 21, 1859

Folder 1.14 Blucher Bill, 1867, 1 Item.

    1. Copy of account rendered JM Manning to FA Blucher
    October 1, 1867

Folder 1.15 Richardson Bills/Receipts, N.d., 2 Items.

    1. DL Richardson Bill for surveying
    2. Mr. Daniel L. Richardson for surveying

Folder 1.16 Fisher Assorted Documents, N.d., 3 Items.

    1. Mr. WS Fisher and Mr. Edward Hall for surveying
    2. Mr. WS Fisher for surveying
    3. List of Certificates Received from WmS Fisher

Folder 1.17 Long Assorted Documents, 1868, N.d., 2 Items.

    1. W-H Long bill for surveying 320 acres Land R.P. [T]aus cert.
    St. Marys   July 15, 1868
    2. Survey and field notes bill W-H Long Dr

Folder 1.18 Bills/Receipts, 1838, 1839, 4 Items.

    1. Bill of Surveys Mr. Smith [?] and Morehous to James M. Manning Dr. a. Sketch [hand-drawn]
    Sanpatricio    Apr 23, 1838
    2. Form of Receipt for a survey of part of the land. Land entitlement from the war department
    May19, 1838
    3. The amount of Col. Harrison bill
    Houston    Jun 11, 1838
    4. Receipt of Elten O Douenau in for of a note of the 23 June
    Victoria    Jun 23, 1839

Folder 1.19 Bills/Receipts, 1847,1848, 1849, 6 Items.

    1. WRB Wills Receipt for Monroe Edwards cert.
    Galveston    Apr 22, 1847
    2. Note regarding land claims and bill for Mr. Rufus Wright
    Galveston    May 8, 1847
    3. Receipt of survey bill for Pumphry Burnett
    Jun 2, 1847
    4. Mr. Alexander receipt for deed
    Galveston, Texas   June 8, [?] 1847
    5. Newcomb Receipt for the fees in Tartleys [?] will [?]
    Sept 22, 1848
    6. Col. Surely [?] act Received of James M. Manning the within amount in full
    June 29, 1849

Folder 1.20 Bills/Receipts, 1851, 1852, 1853, 11854, 1859, 8 Items.

    1. R.L. Trimble receipt for land cert. + field notes
    Rio Grande    Sept 5, 1851
    2. Hailey Receipt for cost
    Oct 26, 1851
    3. Cash on the within [3x] [amounts vary] [signed by] James M. Manning
    Corpus Christi    1852
    4. JL Huntington’s bill for Land –
    Corpus Christi    July 9, 1853
    5. David Sifson[?] receipt
    Corpus Christi    Feb 22, 1854
    6. BF Neals $ Order
    Corpus Christi    April 15, 1854
    7. Receipt of W – R Reid Surveyor of San Patricio Co Land W. No 2525 of 320 Acres
    San Patricio   October 4, 1854
    8. Receipt from L. Myer
    Corpus Christi    Sept 10, 1859

Folder 1.21 Bills/Receipts, 1868, 1869, N.d., 8 Items.

    1. WH Maltby receipt for advertisement card $6,00 Paid [typed]
    Corpus Christi, Texas    Nov. 9, 1868
    2. J Eupers [?] Bill paid to July 30th, 1869
    Rockport, Texas    May 31, 1869
    3. H Rea Bill for recording note + patton $2,00
    Refugio County    July 12, 1869
    4. [Bi]ll for surveying [J]H Pandexter [?] Land Scripts [?]
    State of Texas    Undated
    5. Mr. Loudoric Colynhan Bill for surveying
    6. Bill to be paid to Mefser [?], Lewis, + Goosebeck + oblige James M. Manning
    7. LP Cooks bill for surveying
    8. Land Warrant for Sam M. Edwards
    Nueces County    Undated

Folder 1.22 Land Certificates, 1831, 1837-1839, N.d., 4 Items.

    1. Land dealing with heirs of William Moltey including Wilkinson, Dunn, Strode, Lea, Wildeu, Barrister, Ottwill And other names: Smith, Caldwell, Bell, Manning, Hassel, Steel, Bryau Sent to Geo. W. Woolls from Texas
    Philadelphia, Penna    10th of July 1831 [apparent copy]
    2. List of S.A. Whites and Jos. J. James Certificates [Roughly 44 names] [varying dates]
    3. Peter W Gray land certificates to Boswell, Deakyn, White
    4. List of certificates in various counties from East Texas

Folder 1.23 Deeds, 1839, 1851, N.d., 4 Items.

    1. Deeds of Sale and Conveyance between James M. Manning and Ellen O Donoran
    Victoria    January 29, 1839
    2. Deed of Sale between Alexander McDaniel and Richard Morris
    County of Harrisburg    8th Aug. 1839
    3. Deed of Sale between James C. Pettyg�w and Polan T. Hoods [?]
    Corpus Christi    September 4, 1851
    4. Fragment of potential deed
    City of Houston    Undated

Folder 1.24 Laws of Republic of Texas, 1868, 3 Items.

    1. Volume I passed Dec. 22 1836, Sealed officially in Corpus Christi by Joseph FitzSimmiores [?]
    Nueces County    9th June AD 1868
    2. In relation for surveying Land Script
    Nueces County    9th June AD 1868
    3. Volume III, Authorizing deputy surveyors to survey all Land Script in accordance with Law
    Nueces County    10th June AD 1868

Folder 1.25 Assorted Legal Documents, 1830s-1840s, 1838, 1840, 1855, 1866, N.d., 7 Items.

    1. Certification of appearance before Board of Land Commissioners
    Jasper County, Rep. of Texas   circa 1830s-1840s
    2. Deputized by John Buckhanan [J.M. Manning]
    San Patricio County, Rep. of Texas    Mar. 8, 1838
    3. Promissory Note [typed] between Lamar and Merson [?]
    City of Austin, Rep. of Texas    July 20th, 1840
    4. Note about attached statement to James M. Manning from Crosby [?] [No attached statement found]
    Austin to Corpus Christi    March 30, 1855
    5. James M. Manning binding agreement with James [?] F Casey Sr. for sum of money
    Webb Cty. State of Texas    Oct. 27, 1866
    6. Copy of Letter to gen,l [?] Land Office
    Rockport, Refugio Co    Oct. 19, 1868
    7. Authorization of certificate transfers to James M. Manning from Angus McNeil

Folder 1.26 Contracts/Agreements, 1839, 1844, 1850, 3 Items.

    1. Bennit agreement [signed by his mark]
    Victoria    July 6, 1839
    2. Contract for House [for Renting House] signed by: Costello, Webb, Kietits [?] and Manning as agent for [his] wife Victoria Cty, Rep. of Texas signed: 2nd February 1844
    Lease: 1st March 1844 to 1st March 1845
    3. Mu�oz [signed by his mark] contract with James M. Manning, Witnessed by M. Hevens [?] and Modesto de la Garza Gerrero
    August 13, 1850

Folder 1.27 Bounty Warrants, 1836-1839, N.d., 2 Items.

    1. List of Bounty + Donation Land Warrants Remaining in the County District Surveyors Office not located [38 Names] [was attached by nail:] Letter from John Adriand [?] to Mr. Manning
    San Patricio Co [?]    1836-1839
    2. Bounty Warrant, Benjamin H. Hawkins
    Jasper County    Undated

Folder 1.28 King Ranch Area, N.d., 2 Items.

    1. Land plats at the confluence at Santa Gertrudis and San Fernando Creeks [King Ranch, Juan Mendiola Grant]
    2. Oversized Map of Copano Bay Area

Folder 1.29 Land Plats/Surveys, N.d., 7 Items.

    1. Plat Survey of Corpus Christi Bay Area
    2. Survey along Nueces River
    3. Mose Evans locations
    4. Plat of Town Tract Unidentified
    5. Plats of Land at Mouth of Salado – Bellville
    6. Copy of Judge Lea and adjoining [property?]
    7. Land Plat on Aransas Bay Unidentified

Folder 1.30 Land Plats/Surveys, N.d., 6 Items

    1. Map of Aqua Dulce
    2. Unidentified land plat along Matamorris Road
    3. Live Oak Point plat of preemptions
    4. Map of Sengas and San Catarina
    5. Coast Route to point Isabel and Matamoros, plat of coast road to Matamoros
    6. Sketch of [livestock] pen

Folder 1.31 Map and Field Notes, 1868, 1 Item.

    1. Copy of Field notes and tracing of surveys on Live Oak Peninsula
    State of Texas District of Refugio    January 14, 1868

Folder 1.32 Survey Log Book, 1839, 1 Item.

    1. Survey log book
    Nueces area    Throughout 1839

Folder 1.33 Survey Log Book, 1839, 1 Item.

    1. Survey log book
    Nueces area    Throughout 1839

Folder 1.34 Field Notebook, 1839, 1 Item.

    1. Field notes, ledger, and personal writings of Mr. Manning [presumed] in notebook style document

Folder 1.35 Field Notebook, N.d., 1 Item.

    1. Unidentified field notes and survey in notebook style document

Folder 1.36 Assorted Business and Field Notes, 1839, N.d., 8 Items.

    1. Notes on surveying Names: Dearing [?], Wheelinght [?], Marion, Barret
    2. [Hand-drawn] sketches of plats and notes about Corpus Christi in relation to Chihuahua and Aransas Pass
    3. Notes about land abstract
    4. [Hand-drawn] sketches on Convers [?] of surveys above the White House
    5. Direction to place of survey
    6. [Hand-drawn] plat sketch and notes on sketch
    7. Memorandum of locations made [?] by G.R. Lewis Names: Mills, Blackwell, Curbier [?], Bexas, Galbraith [?]
    8. Notes on land around San Hamy [?]

Folder 1.37 Surveys, 1838, 1839, 4 Items.

    1. Survey No. 1, West of the Nueces of one third of a league
    2. Survey N19, of one third of a league of land for Nathan H. Wathons [?][Mathews?] Names: Lind, Bonnell, Richardson, Berry, and Fairchild
    San Patricio   April 25th AD 1838
    3. Survey No 24, West of the Nueces of one third of a league of land for WH Harris Names: Barrow, Barnet, Smith, Fogg
    San Patricio   April 30, 1838
    4. Survey No 71, West of the Nueces and connected with Corpus Christi Bay for Beckham Names: Brown, Dixon, Manning
    San Patricio   January 21, 1839

Folder 1.38 Surveys, 1839, 1854, N.d., 5 Items.

    1. Copy of survey No. 75, C.O. D. Helly, 1476 acres [hand-drawn, colored sketch] Names: Beckham, Brown, Dixon, Manning
    San Patricio   Janz 26, 1839
    2. Copy of survey No 83, [hand-drawn, colored sketch] Names: Beckham, Sillsby [?], Brown, Dixon, Manning
    San Patricio    Janz 31, 1839
    3. [Side One:] Survey no 82, Heirs of Pumphry Burnett Names: Hull, Brown, Dixon
    San Patricio   January 30, 1839
        [Side Two:] Survey No 83 Names: Beckham, Sillsbee, heirs of Burnett, Brown, Dixon
    San Patricio   January 31, 1839
    4. Copy of meanders of survey on Live Oak point as given me [J.M.M.] in AD 1854 by A.H. Lea surveyor,
    Refugio Co
    5. Map and meander of surveys on Live Oak Point

Folder 1.39 Surveys in Spanish, N.d [?], 3 Items.

    1. Copy of Mexican survey and polsesion --- [?]
    2. Las Disturicies en castelluna de Medida
    Undated [?]
    3. Survey in Spanish
    Undated [?]

Folder 1.40 Plat/Survey in Spanish, N.d. [?], 1 Item.

    1. Mexican map of pasa mahurs [?] survey 10 leagues
    Undated [?]

Folder 1.41 Survey Lists [Names], 18836, 1837, 1838,1839, 3 Items.

    1. Copy, List of surveys made by James M. Manning [Approximately 34 names]
    1836, 1837, 1838
    2. Duplicate list of surveys in the District of Nueces [Approximately 11 names]
    3. Duplicate list of surveys in the District of Nueces by Manning [Approximately 9 names]

Folder 1.42 Survey Lists [Numbers], N.d., 7 Items.

    1. Seven Undated, Longitude, Latitude, and Directional Survey lists

Folder 1.43 Rules for Surveying, N.d., 5 Items.

    1. Rule for when the bearing and distance are given
    2. To find the Log
    3. Note, Find log, rule
    4. Latitude + Longitude of principal places in the State of New Leon Mexico
    5. Computations of areas field book methods

Folder 1.44 Logarithm Notations, N.d., 4 Items.

    1. Architectural Drawings
    2.-4. Logarithm Notations

Folder 1.45 Geometrical Drawings Field Notebook, N.d., 1 Item.

    1. Geometrical Drawings Field Notebook

Folder 1.46 Assorted Items, N.d., 1 Item.

    1. Empty envelope

We invite questions and/or comments and look forward to hearing from you. Contact Ann Hodges at, (361)825-2301.

Webpage revised on 08/19/2014

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