Amon Carter Museum Collection


Thomas Jefferson Jennings


Sarah Hyde Mason Jennings

Portraits of Thomas Jefferson Jennings and Sarah Hyde Mason Jennings by artist Eugene Pierrot, 1877, Oil on linen mounted on masonite board, framed, 30 by 36 inches.

Summary: This collection consists of documents, art and publications relating to Fort Worth and Tarrant County history donated by the Amon Carter Museum.  

  • On March 24, 2009, the Tarrant County Commissioners Court accepted from the Amon Carter Museum the donation of two portraits of early influential leaders in the County and Fort Worth. Believed to be the first portraits painted in Fort Worth, they were executed by Eugene Pierrot, a French immigrant who was probably living in Dallas at the time of the paintings. The subjects are Thomas Jefferson Jennings and his wife, Sarah Hyde Mason Jennings. Mr. Jennings (1801-1881) was born in Virginia, and came to Texas in 1840, where he married Mrs. Sarah Hyde Mason, a widow, in 1844 in Nacogdoches. He served as Attorney General of the State from 1852-1856, later serving as representative of Cherokee County. He practiced law in Tyler, moving to Fort Worth about 1874. Having been in ill health for years, he died in 1881 in Fort Worth. The paintings were given to the Amon Carter in 1971 by Edwin E. Bewley Jr., great grandson of the subjects. Sarah Hyde Mason Jennings (1816-1893) was a Texas War for Independence widow and entitled to Texas lands for her husband's service. She patented two large surveys totaling 1,280 acres in Tarrant County on February 5, 1856. She sent her son, Hyde Jennings, to Fort Worth to manage her real estate interests in the early 1870s. Here he platted the 542-acre Sarah Jennings survey in what is now downtown Fort Worth. This was approximately West Seventh Street south to Pennsylvania Avenue, bordered by Throckmorton and Jennings Avenue on the east and Summit Avenue on the west. In 1873, he and his father worked with E. M. Daggett, K. M. Van Zandt and H. G. Hendricks to donate 320 acres to be used for railroad purposes as an enticement to bring the Texas and Pacific Railroad to Fort Worth. In 1876, she donated Block One in the Jenning's East Addition to the City of Fort Worth to be for public use as a park. It was to be called Hyde Park in honor of her parents and became the first park in the city. By 1901, plans to build a Carnegie Library on part of the site, split the property diagonally (at 9th Street), placing a small park across from the new library building. She is shown seated on the end of a sofa dressed in black with a white lace collar pinned at her throat. While gazing directly at the viewer, there is a softness in her gaze not matched by her husband's sober staring look. He is dressed in a black suit, with his long beard touching to the top of his shirt. The pallor of his complexion and the drawn look of his eyes remind the viewer of his long-time illness. The paintings are believed to have been created the same year, 1877 (images shown above).
Civil War Documents
  • M.P. Lamar's post-Civil War Oath of Amnesty Tarrant County, Texas No. 257, May 1865 (image below).
  • Key Magazine, formerly called the Fort Worther, various issues dating to 1968 and 1969
  • Fort Worth City Directories now housed with the Archives collection of city directories on the reference book shelves.

Image of M. P. Lamar's Civil War Oath of Amnesty:

M. P. Lamar's civil War Oath of Amnesty

This page was last modified on October 26, 2017


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