A book on the plantation was published in 1964, the doctoral dissertation of Dr. Dorman H. Winfrey, later State Librarian. Introductory Note to the book is by O. Douglas Weeks, professor of government at The University of Texas in 1964, who married into the Devereux family. Dr. Week's introduction, a capsule of the property's history follows:
The principal source for this study of Julien Sidney Devereux and his Monte Verdi Plantation is a voluminous collection of personal papers which belonged to two East Texas pioneers, a father and a son, John William Devereux (1769-1847) and Julien Sidney Devereux (1805-1856). The former was born in Virginia and the latter in Georgia. Both afterwards were longtime residents of Alabama. In the early 1840's they came to the Republic of Texas settling first in Montgomery County and finally in 1846 in Rusk County. By this time the father was elderly and soon died. The son, however, before his untimely death in 1856 was able to build up a plantation of 10,721 acres worked by some eighty slaves. He thus was one of the leading citizens of Rusk County and East Texas in their early years. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives. He had previously served in the Alabama legislature. His father had served in both the Georgia and Alabama lawmaking bodies. Julien Sidney Devereux was survived by his second wife, Sarah Landrum Devereux, many years his junior, whom he had married in Texas. She was left with four very young sons who lived to maturity. She was able to keep the plantation going throughout the Civil War, but thereafter it became increasingly difficult. She lived until 1900, dying in Jacksonville, Texas, at the home of her son, William P. Devereux.
The Devereux papers were for many years the property of William P. Devereux. Not long before his death in 1928, he assigned them to the joint custody of his daughter, Mrs. Julien Devereux Weeks, and me, her husband. We carefully preserved the papers from that time until October 24, 1961, when they were transmitted to the Archives of The University of Texas. This was under the terms of the will of the late Mrs. Mary Perkins Devereux, widow of William P. Devereux. She died in 1960, and he had bequeathed the papers to her.
Mrs. Devereux's will (February 5, 1954) provided:
I hereby give, devise, and bequeath:
(e) Unto the University of Texas all the papers of Julien S, Devereux, known as the "Devereux Papers" now in the custody of my
son-in-law, Douglas Weeks, and stored in his office in Garrison Hall at the University of Texas provided, however, that the said
Douglas Weeks shall be permitted to retain custody of such papers so long as he may desire and provided, further, that any
member of my family shall be permitted full and free access to all of such papers, including the right to photostat and copy.
Mrs. Devereux's desire that the papers become the property of The University of Texas was motivated by a life-long interest in and many connections with the University. She herself was a student here in the long session of 1884-1885 at a time when her brother-in-law, the late Professor George P. Garrison was a member of the faculty. Her two children, my wife and Dr. William P. Devereux of Dallas, and two of her grandchildren, Sarah Jane Weeks Hills and Julien Devereux Weeks, as well as a number of her nieces and nephews, were graduates of the University. My long service on the faculty was also of influence.
The Devereux papers consist of several thousand items and are made up of letters, diaries, day books, bills and receipts, broadsides, and other memoranda belonging to John W. Devereux, and other members of the Devereux family. The collection is without doubt one of the most complete records of any antebellum Texas slave plantation. It is rich with primary source material on early Georgia, Alabama, and Texas. Some items date from the eighteenth century. The items are most numerous for the period from 1840 to 1856 when Julien S. Devereux lived in Texas in Montgomery and Rusk Counties. In Rusk County, where he last resided, the records of his Monte Verdi plantation are especially voluminous. In his last years he erected an imposing mansion on this plantation, which has recently been carefully restored by Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Lowry of Texas City, Texas. They use it as their country home, but they have been very generous in making it available to the public.
Dr. Dorman H. Winfrey, now Director and Librarian of the Texas State Library, has done a most painstaking job in what was his doctoral dissertation at The University of Texas. His doctoral committee were agreed on its superior quality. My wife and I as well as all other members of the Devereux family are quite grateful to Dr. Winfrey for restoring to proper prominence an important figure in the early development of Texas.