Skip to main content

The Miller Family Collection

Identifier: MS 182

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into two series: I. Correspondence; II. Personal records/Ephemera/Photographs. The first series contains personal and business letters from several members of the Miller family. The correspondence covers major events like the Civil to more intimate family episodes like long lost loves. The second series holds various items of interest to the family. Particular family members left wills, business records, and audit papers. The second series also has photographs of many family members included in the correspondence.


  • Creation: 1839 - 1968
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1840 - 1877


Conditions Governing Use

The collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

The Miller family collection is most significantly a study of pre-Civil War and Civil War life and occurrences. Plantation life is outlined: its hospitality and courtly manners, farming concerns, management of slaves, and during the war, fear of retaliation by enemy troops and of commandeering of property by Confederate troops. During the war, there is mention of the interruption of railroad and other conveyances, the movement of troops, guerrilla warfare, and sickness. Political and business interests of family members are indicated both before and after the war. The collection then follows the family’s migration to various Southern states.

Unusual tales appear alongside the accounts of war and family life:

Tom Jamison went to California after gold in 1850.

A Paine cousin writes from medical school in New York, telling of girls dressed in bloomers, of annoying abolitionist and freesoilers, and of women’s right advocates. He expresses doubt about the issue of women becoming physicians, and hints at uneasiness in a school at which only a few students are Southerners like himself.

Jesse G. Frazer fled the South during the Civil War due to his Northern sympathies. Parts of his letters are written in code to avoid being traced to him; his wife, the former Lizzie Jamison, died before they could be reunited.

The donor of this collection, Dr. C Keith Barnes, was connected to Miss Elizabeth Miller in that his wife was a beneficiary in Miss Miller’s will.


4 Linear feet (Correspondence, photographs, ephemera, artifacts and other papers, primarily from the Civil War Era.)

Language of Materials



The Miller family collection traces the lives of the Millers before and after the Civil War. It begins with Tom Jamison’s journey to California for the 1850s Gold Rush. The family experienced a number of monumental events in U.S. history. Several men of the family fought or evaded the Civil War. While the men fought, the women maintained their homes and tried to preserve their Antebellum lifestyle. The collection then follows the family’s migration to various Southern states. Miss Elizabeth Miller’s 1960s photographs, wills, and other documents end the period of the Miller family collection. This carton of material came from the attic of Miss Elizabeth Miller in December 1968. It relates to her parents’ ancestors. The collection has not been separated and is arranged in two series. The first series contains the letters family members wrote pre and post-Civil War. The second series includes family wills, confederate material, photographs, and literature.


Arranged in two series: I. Correspondence; II. Personal Records/Ephemera/Photographs.

Physical Location

Vault: FD4

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Keith Barnes. Items came from Elizabeth Miller's attic, December 1968.

The Miller Family Collection
Anne Dorf
September, 2021
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library Repository

TCU Box 298400
2800 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76129-0001
Fort Worth Texas 76129
(817) 257-4566
(817) 257-7282 (Fax)