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[Acca] Letter No. 1, Brownsville, Texas, 1866-02-03

 Item — Container: BLIBR-0004, Folder: 02

Content Description

From the Collection:

The collection consists of thirteen letters written from Brownsville, Texas starting January 1866 to June 1866 by Acca L. Colby Purdy and her husband Warren G. Purdy to their family in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, there are two portrait images; one of Acca and the other of Warren. The correspondence narrates life in Brownsville and the nearby areas as well as the living conditions.

Acca begins writing from Brownsville on January 18, 1866. She speaks of Major Plato who was the Quartermaster at Fort Brown. She describes the living conditions and cost of living. She writes of Major Pierce who is the Paymaster of Fort Brown. She writes of the Mexican ball held at Market Hall (Market Square) by the liberal officers; who was there and what participants wore.

Warren G. Purdy describes the Spanish Bull fights he went to in Matamoras (Matamoros) and describes Matamoras as a "devil of a town; all the buildings are one story brick and look more like barns than like houses". There are numerous letters of hazards and dangers of living there at the time.

Acca also writes of Dr. Morse, the medical director of the district and how he was executed and the consequences to the murderers. The last letter was written on June 16, 1866. They went onto Baltimore, Maryland arriving in July 27, 1866. Warren G. Purdy was serving as a clerk for the Quartermaster department in Fort Brown and followed up that assignment by going to Baltimore to finish the service.

Noteworthy subjects mentioned throughout the correspondence are as follows: Negro regiment (Buffalo Soldiers, Black Colored Troops), Major Plato, Miller Hotel, Brazos Santiago, Major Pearce, Brownsville Ranchero, Mr. Butts (chief clerk), General Mejia, Imperial army, Liberals, Rio Grande Courier, White's Ranch, and Dr. Morse.


  • Creation: 1866-02-03


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley assumes no responsibility.

IMPORTANT: Materials in this collections contain offensive and racist language and/or imagery, especially in depictions of people of color. These harmful and racist perspectives are not representative of the beliefs of the University, library, or its staff. Our intention is not to perpetuate negative positions, language, values, and stereotypes, especially among historically excluded people.


2 Leaves (Bi-fold) : Ink on paper (first page torn) ; 8" x 10"

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Brownsville Campus Repository

One West University Boulevard
UTRGV University Library (BLIBR 2.202)
Brownsville Texas 78520 United States
(956) 882-7281