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William W. Black family papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.01077

Scope and Contents

The William W. Black Family Papers consist primarily of personal correspondence, most of which was from family members and personal friends to Black. This correspondence reflects the personal, social, political, cultural and financial activities of various family members and personal friends of Black's during the years 1845-1864. Dr. Black maintained correspondence with many doctors with whom he attended medical school, and his closest friend, James Whetson, who participated in the California Gold Rush. Many of the letters from family members reflect the concerns of farmers of the period. The only letters by Dr. Black are those to his wife during his service with the 14th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) during the Civil War. Dr. Black also kept a weather diary during the first six months of 1853. Financial records of Dr. Black consist mainly of personal promissory notes and receipts for medical services. A portion of the William W. Black Family Bible in the Melinda Black Dosson folder gives birth, marriage, and death dates of many family members.

A small amount of the collection consists of personal and business correspondence of Black's widow, Melinda H. Black Dosson, after her remarriage.

William W. Black's youngest son, William S., married Agnes Robb of New Orleans, Louisiana. The Robb family correspondence consists primarily of letters from Robert Robb of Toronto, Canada, to Agnes's father, George Robb, of New Orleans, Louisiana.


  • Creation: 1820 - 1911


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Biographical Note

Dr. William W. Black was born in South Carolina in 1820. He completed his medical training at Student Medical College in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1847. He moved to Louisiana in 1848 before settling in Panola County, Texas, in the spring of 1850. Black practiced medicine and farmed near the community of Bethany. He married Melinda Haliburton in 1855 and fathered two sons; David Black, born in 1856, and William Black, born in 1859.

In 1862 Black joined a volunteer company of cavalry organized by H. G. Roquemore. In the spring of that year Black was elected captain of G Company, 14th Texas Cavalry (dismounted), when his unit was inducted into Confederate service. Black died during the Army of Tennessee's campaign of 1862-63.

In 1863, after Captain Black's death, his widow married Marcus Dosson of Rusk County. Black's youngest son, William S., became a successful cotton broker and married Agnes Robb of New Orleans, Louisiana.


2 inches

Language of Materials



Papers relating to Black (1820-1862), a physician in Panola County, as well as to the Robb family of New Orleans reflect the social, political, cultural, and financial activities of various family members and friends. Correspondence and financial records primarily concern Black's medical career and his service with the Confederate Army. There is also a weather diary kept by Black in 1853

Accession Number(s)

1982-015; 1992-184

William W. Black Family Papers, 1820-1911
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Repository Details

Part of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History Repository

2300 Red River Street
Austin TX 78712