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Henry J. Dannenbaum Papers

Identifier: MS 0736
Finding aid note: Forms part of the Houston Jewish History Archive. Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

Two boxes of correspondence, news clippings, reports, publications, court documents, and organizational papers document Henry J. Dannenbaum's time as Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States working to enforce the Mann Act (White-Slave Traffic Act).


  • Creation: 1910 - 1912


Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Stored offsite at the Library Service Center and require 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Henry J. Dannenbaum Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.

Biographical / Historical

Henry J. Dannenbaum was born on October 30, 1871 in East Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas. He attended Henry College in Virginia, graduating in 1890. He studied law privately and was admitted to the bar in Sequin, Texas in 1892. He married Sadie Bowman around 1888, and the two had five children. Dannenbaum became a prominent lawyer and prosecutor in Houston, Texas, and served on the Houston School Board - both as a member and president - from 1904 to 1907.

Dannenbaum was an outspoken critic of white-slave trafficking, particularly among young immigrants. He was active in lobbying for the passage of the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. After the law was passed, Dannenbaum accepted an appointment as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General (Wickersham) to investigate violations of the Mann Act. During his year with the Department of Justice he successfully brought a number of violators to justice. He voluntarily retired from his position as Special Assistant and returned to his practice in Houston full-time.

In 1915, the governor appointed him to the position of judge for the 61st District Court in Houston. He was the first person of Jewish descent to sit on the state bench in Texas. He was president of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Israel of Houston and of District 7, Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, as well as a member of Social Services Foundation of Houston.

Dannanbaum died August 23, 1940 in Houston.

Some parts excerpted from:


.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence, news clippings, reports, publications, court documents, and organizational materials documenting some of Henry J. Dannenbaum's work as Special Assistant to the Attorney General, investigating violations of the Mann Act (The White-Slave Traffic Act).


This collection is arranged in six series: Series I: Correspondence Series II: Court Documents Series III: News Clips Series IV: Organizational Materials Series V: Publications Series VI: Reports

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers were donated by Glen Rosenbaum, Feb. 2, 2018

Guide to the Henry J. Dannenbaum Papers, 1910-1912
Unprocessed Addenda
Traci Patterson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA