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Thomas Jefferson McKain Correspondence

 Collection — Box: 1805
Identifier: MSS 2003-011

Scope and Contents

The Thomas J. McKain Correspondence contains 15 handwritten letters to and from the McKain family. These materials were used in writing the biography of T. J. McKain, "Biography of T.J. McKain : Wills Point, Texas pioneer and first mayor," by Thomas J. McKain, his grandson, in 1999. These letters mailed to him during his first years in Texas were from family members but the majority were from Molly Lena Porter "the girl he left behind." Molly's letters, mailed from Monticello, describe details about the social life and political situation in that area.

The collection includes an 1872 letter to McKain from cousin F. C. Smith; letters from grandmother Elizabeth Gressett to Thomas J. McKain; a letter written by Molly's brother Will (Nov. 15, 1872) from Buffalo Gap, Virginia.; a letter from McKain to Molly; a letter from Gina Hamrick, and a letter from Mattie McKain to her daughter Natalie McKain.

The collection includes a letter dated August 28, 1871 that is an example of cross-writing. Both sides of the letter are written using the cross-writing technique.


  • Created: 1871-1922

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Thomas J. McKain moved from Jefferson County, Florida to Wills Point, Texas in the 1880's. He grew up in the Monticello, Florida, area and later moved to Texas with five younger brothers. McKain was a pioneer and became a highly respected leader in the northeast Texas city of Wills Point.


1.00 folders

Language of Materials



Correspondence to and from the Thomas J. McKain family. The papers document the family's life in Monticello, Florida in the 1870s and in Texas during the 1880s.

Method of Acquisition

The McKain Letters were given to the Special Collections Department by Thomas J. McKain of Ashland, Kentucky in 1999.

Processing Information

The Thomas Jefferson McKain Correspondence was processed in May 2003.

Thomas Jefferson McKain Correspondence
Marianne Donnell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US