The Fredonian Rebellion was in some ways a foreshadowing of the Texas Revolution. In 1826, an empresario named Haden (or Hayden) Edwards, who had been operating under a colonization grant of 1825 from Mexico, clashed with Hispanic residents of the area near Nacogdoches. His grant authorized him to settle 800 families in the area. Edwards posted notices asserting land rights to the designated area, including land already occupied by other Hispanic families (apparently in violation of his contract with Mexico). Essentially, Edwards’ group felt that their land rights were superior to those of the Hispanic residents. This was not an uncommon situation in early Texas, and the Hispanic residents led by Gil Y’Barbo resisted. With deference to the Hispanic residents, Mexico nullified or rescinded Edwards’ grant. Edwards then declared that the area he had been granted was no longer subject to Mexican rule. He called it Fredonia, believed to be a modified form of the word freedom.
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Hardin Richard Runnels was the sixth governor of Texas. He was born in Mississippi to Hardin D. and Martha Darden Runnels in 1820. After his father died, the future governor came to Texas in 1842 during the years of the Republic of Texas from Mississippi with his mother, his uncle Hiram George Runnels and his three brothers. They first settled on the Brazos River before moving to Bowie County where they started a cotton plantation on the Red River near the community of Old Boston, named for an early store owner, W. J. Boston. New Boston later arose when the rail lines bypassed Old Boston four miles to the north. While still in his twenties, Runnels was elected in 1847 to the first of four terms in the Texas Legislature. After his last term in the legislature in which he served as Speaker of the House, he was elected Lieutenant Governor serving under Governor Elisha M. Pease during the latter’s second and final term.
Three brothers figure into the history of Texas. They are Thomas, Francis and Henry Lubbock. Colonel Thomas Saltus Lubbock is the brother for whom Lubbock county and the city of Lubbock is named. He was born in South Carolina in 1817 and came to Texas early enough to participate in the Siege of Bexar in late 1835. He was also a participant in the ill-fated Santa Fe Expedition in 1841. Thomas was captured in New Mexico while Texas troops were on their way to Santa Fe. He was taken to Mexico and imprisoned, but was one of two individuals to be able to escape. He later made his way back to Texas. When the Civil War broke out, he first served in an irregular unit comprised mostly of former Texas soldiers and Texas Rangers as scouts for the Confederate Army. He and some others later joined the Confederate Army and were founding members of “Terry’s Texas Rangers,” the 8th Texas Cavalry. Lubbock was promoted to Colonel and put in command of the regiment after the death of Benjamin Franklin Terry but happened to be ill with typhoid fever at the time. Thomas died the following day on January 9, 1862 before he could take command. He is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas.
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Thomas Jefferson Rusk is considered to be one of the fathers of Texas. He was born in South Carolina on December 5, 1803 to Irish immigrant John Rusk and his wife Mary Sterritt Rusk, and was one of seven children. He had a modest upbringing as his father was a stone mason. The family lived on the estate of John C. Calhoun who was his mentor. Rusk studied the law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar.
Robert McAlpin Williamson was born September 9, 1804 in Georgia to Judge William Peter Ballantine and Rebecca Ann McAlpin Williamson. His mother Rebecca died when he was a baby. He was well educated. His legal career began in Georgia and he was admitted to the Georgia bar. A family legend says that he left Georgia after a duel over the virtue of a woman. His opponent was killed, but the woman did not want to have a relationship with him. Williamson then moved to Texas in the mid 1820s and he settled in San Felipe de Austin where he is said to have become acquainted with William B. Travis. After moving to Texas and settling in San Felipe, he served as city attorney and also as mayor.