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A native of New York, Joseph Henry Polley (1795-1869) came to Texas in 1821 from Missouri as part of Stephen F. Austin’s colony. Settling first in the Brazoria district, Polley concentrated on cattle raising, rapidly expanding his herds and land holdings. He moved to the area of Sutherland Springs in Wilson County in 1847, where he built an imposing stone home, called Whitehall, in the 1850s.

Consisting primarily of letters received, the Joseph H. Polley papers provide a glimpse of his various business activities. Most of the letters were written by Polley’s business associate and former son-in-law John James concerning land, livestock, cotton trade, and other business matters. Several letters from family and friends are part of the papers, most of them addressed to Mary B. Polley. A few financial documents and some family notes are also part of the papers.


Joseph Henry Polley, John James, correspondence, cotton trade, cattle trade

Publication Date


Polley (Joseph H.) Papers, 1852-1879 and undated



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