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The Orris D. Brown Collection, no. 3 - Texas Centennial Snapshots (1936)

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Silent | 1936

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TAMI Tags
  •  Spanish Governor's Palace 
  •  Washington-on-the-Brazos 
  •  Independence Hall 
  •  The Alamo 
  •  The Battle of Gonzales battlefield 
  •  Sam Houston Monument in Houston, Texas 
  •  Independence, Texas 
  •  Uncle Jeff Hamilton 
  •  Sam Houston Home in Huntsville, Texas 
 
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This film from the Orris D. Brown Collection documents notable locations, battles, and citizens that tell the story of early Texas at the time of its centennial in 1936. Intertittled to introduce each place and its significance, footage is included of statues of La Salle and Sam Houston, the Spanish Governor's Palace and the Alamo in San Antonio, the Battle of Gonzales battlefield, the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Sam Houston's homes in Independence, Texas and Huntsville, Texas, and the graves of the Houston family. Most notably, footage of Sam Houston's slave and personal servant, Uncle Jeff Hamilton, is also included. The digital preservation of this film was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Jeff Hamilton, known as Uncle Jeff, was purchased by Sam Houston as a child. He was a playmate of Houston's own children, a personal body guard and driver for Houston, and Office Boy when Houston was elected governor. He took lessons in reading, writing, arithmetic, religion, and responsibility from the family. Hamilton was with Governor Houston when he refused to join the Confederacy and stayed on with him as a personal servant after the abolition of slavery. After Houston's death, Uncle Jeff moved with Mrs. Margaret Houston to Independence, staying with her until she died, then as an employee of Baylor College, moved with the female college to Belton, Texas where he lived until his death. Late in life, Hamilton was honored throughout the United States for his association with the nation's leading men, and he spoke publicly about his life on many occasions. Two Texas historical markers, at his grave and on the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor campus, honor Uncle Jeff Hamilton still today. 
Orris Dorr Brown was born in 1890 in Henderson, Texas. He married Edna Myra Webb in 1923, and together they traveled domestically and abroad teaching cake decorating techniques using edible sugar. Brown became interested in filmmaking in the early 1930s and began filming scenery and sites as he traveled. Texas became the focus of many of his films, and he traveled extensively throughout the state to document historical figures and locations, most notably scenes of Uncle Jeff Hamilton, Sam Houston's personal slave. In 1936, Brown filed for a U.S. patent for a Moving Picture Machine through which to view films. He moved into professional filmmaking as an employee of Empire and Superior Studios in the 1940s and 50s to film full-length pictures. Orris D. Brown was a Shriner and a Free Mason. He passed away in 1965.
The digital preservation of this collection was made possible by a grant to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image and the Houston Public Library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
 
The Orris Brown films, and many other interesting films about Texas, are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website.
Orris Brown
Orris D. Brown
"Texas Centennial Snapshots"
"The Raven"
Marquis James
Pulitzer
Pulitzer Prize
Sam Houston
Texas History
centennial
Texas Centennial
automobile
car
1936
1930s
home movie
home movies
pre-historic
Indian
Indians
Native American
Native Americans
American
Spanish
conquistador
conquistadors
Cabeza De Vaca
Coronado
Espejo
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Luján
Antonio de Espejo
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
Robert de La Salle
Navasota
Navasota, TX
Grimes County
statue
memorial
San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
Bexar County
palace
coat of arms
Hapsburg
Hapsburgs
Habsburg
Habsburgs
House of Habsburg
Spanish Governor's Palace
fort
Nacogdoches
Old Stone Fort
Nacogdoches, TX
Nacogdoches County
Stone Fort National Bank
Clara Mae Brown
Anglo-Saxon
colony
colonies
colonization
Washington-On-The Brazos
Washington-On-The Brazos, TX
Washington County
Independence Hall
settle
settler
settlers
Stephen F. Austin
Declaration of Texas Independence
1836
Brazos River
Ben Conner
revolution
Texas Revolution
Battle of Gonzales
Gonzales
Gonzales, TX
Gonzales County
Come And Take It
The Alamo
Alamo
battle
battlefield
hero
heroes
martyr
martyrs
freedom
land
inherit
inheritance
Travis
William B. Travis
I Shall Never Surrender
flag
flags
Bowie
Crockett
Bonham
James Bowie
Jim Bowie
David Crockett
Davy Crockett
James Bonham
James Butler Bonham
Sam Houston National Forest
forest
San Jacinto County
Walker County
Montgomery County
General Sam Houston
Houston
Houston, TX
Harris County
Sam Houston Monument
Hermann Park
downtown
horseback
military
uniform
Independence
Independence, TX
Baptist
church
religion
religious
bell
ring
ringing
tower
log
logs
home
cabin
spring
water
family
grave
graves
cemetery
Margaret Moffette Lea
Margaret Houston
Margaret Lea Houston
Nancy Lea
Houston-Lea Family Cemetery
Baylor
Baylor College
Baylor College At Independence
Baylor University
ruins
Fanthorp Inn
Anderson
Anderson, TX
horse
horses
African-American
African-Americans
coach
coaches
stage coach
stage coaches
horsedrawn
buggy
buggies
Zachary Taylor
General Zachary Taylor
maid
maid of honor
Queen Victoria
slave
slaves
labor
Belton
Belton, TX
Bell County
Jeff Hamilton
Uncle Jeff Hamilton
bodyguard
valet
driver
servant
office boy
Uncle Jeff
medal
Huntsville
Huntsville, TX
caretaker
guide
Mr. Stougaard
Stougaard
Sam Houston Home
tour
flag
Texan
law
legal
practice
office
sanctum
mission
Spanish
Spain