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Born on 1909 April 5 in Austin, Texas, author and journalist Charles W. Ramsdell, Jr. was the son of noted historian Charles W. Ramsdell (1877-1942) and Susanna Griffith Ramsdell. Through his mother, he was a descendant of Angelina Dickinson Griffith (1834-1869), who with her mother survived the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. Ramsdell attended the University of Texas and traveled extensively in Mexico before working as a historian for the National Park Service and as a translator for the Texas General Land Office. He contributed articles to numerous publications and was a staff writer for the San Antonio Express Magazine for a number of years. Ramsdell published a highly-regarded guidebook, San Antonio, a Historical and Pictorial Guide, in 1959 and updated it in 1968. He translated a work by Alfonso Reyes, Mexico in a Nutshell, for publication in 1964.

Three unpublished typescripts and a published newspaper article by Charles Ramsdell make up his papers. The longest of the unpublished works, Highlights of Texas History, is a general state history emphasizing the events of the Spanish and Mexican eras through the Republic of Texas. Later chapters are in draft form and are often based on Ramsdell’s newspaper articles. Work on this project apparently began about 1959 and continued through about 1964 under the sponsorship of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.



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Ramsdell (Charles) Papers, 1947-1968



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