Benjamin McCulloch was one of twelve children. He was born November 11, 1811 in Rutherford County, Tennessee to Alexander and Frances Fisher Lenoir McCulloch. His father was a graduate of Yale College and served in the United States Army in Indian campaigns and also the War of 1812. The family migrated west from the eastern coastal states. Ben is thought to have first pursued some other businesses and moved around a lot until he came to Texas in 1835 with another brother and Davy Crockett, a neighbor, in Tennessee. Ben planned to meet up with Crockett and then head from Nacogdoches to San Antonio but was held up as he recuperated from a case of the measles, not arriving in San Antonio until after the Battle of the Alamo. He joined Sam Houston and the Texas Army in time for the Runaway Scrape, Houston’s retreat from Santa Anna.
Tag Archives: republic of texas
Juan Nepomucema Seguin was born in Spanish San Antonio on October 27, 1808 to Juan José Erasmo and María Josefa Becerra Seguin. Erasmo was descended from one of sixteen families who came to the San Antonio area from the Canary Islands in the early 1700s. The Seguin cattle ranch covered portions of three current Texas counties: Bexar, Guadalupe and Wilson. Erasmo served as postmaster of San Antonio from 1807 to 1835, mayor (alcalde) of San Antonio from 1820-1821 and quartermaster of Presidio de San Antonio de Béxar from 1825 to 1835. Erasmo was acquainted with Moses Austin who was succeeded by his son, Stephen F. Austin. Along with Don Martin de Veramendi, Erasmo assisted them in obtaining their Austin Colony grant.
(Image credit: pbs.org)
Santa Anna (Antonio López de Santa Anna) was born in Vera Cruz in 1794 and began serving in the Army in Spanish Mexico when he was a teenager. He was said to have first fought in support for the Spanish against Mexican independence before joining the movement in 1821 in support of an independent Mexico. He continued to be near the forefront of leadership in the young country of Mexico and helped defeat the Spanish effort to reclaim Mexico in the late 1820s. Santa Anna was himself elected President in 1833. The previous two decades had seen chaotic changes in the country of Mexico with the form of government varying from a constitutional republic to a centralist form with Santa Anna at the head, supported by the military. The country was vast with the Central American part being largely populated and the North American portion being sparsely populated by Native American tribes and an increasing number of American settlers. Under Santa Anna, its policy changed from encouraging settlements to being more restrictive toward them.
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was the second president of the Republic of Texas. He was born in Georgia in 1798 to John Samuel III and Rebecca Lamar. One of the youngest of eight children, Lamar was self educated, having been accepted to Princeton University, though he declined.
Before the Texas Revolution, the official religion of the area was Roman Catholicism according to Spanish law. Landowners were required to espouse the Roman Catholic faith and many did so in order to obtain title to their land. However Protestant families moved to the area prior to and following the Texas Revolution. R. E. B. Baylor, a Baptist, came to Texas in late 1839. By then, there were already a number of Baptist families in Texas. After a couple of failed efforts, the Baptist Union Association was formed in the fall of 1840 and included churches from La Grange, Travis and Independence. Baylor was a circuit judge and was an ordained minister. By about 1845, there were hundreds of fellow Baptists in the area. Among other things, the Association had been concerned about education and formed an Education Society of which R. E. B. Baylor was selected to be President.
(Image credit: http://www.tamu.edu)
As we approach the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, we consider Moses Austin Bryan. He was an eyewitness to some of the key events in Texas history. Born in Herculaneum, Missouri, he came to Texas with his parents in 1831. He had first worked for his uncle Stephen Fuller Austin in a store in Austin’s Colony before enlisting in the Texas Army. After enlistment, he served as a secretary to Stephen F. Austin, was a witness to the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence, fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, interviewed Santa Anna after his capture at San Jacinto (Bryan was the closest Spanish speaking Texas soldier to Sam Houston), served as secretary to the Texas Legation to the United States in 1839, participated in the Somervell Expedition in 1842 and served as a Confederate officer in the Civil War.
In 1841, Republic of Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar had a vision to expand the borders of the young republic further west, perhaps as far as California. Lamar had won the 1838 presidential election, following Sam Houston, the previous elected president. Lamar was in various ways the ideological opposite of Houston. He became the second of four elected presidents in the short life of the Republic and served from 12/10/1838 to 12/3/1841. At the time, the Texas economy was suffering and Lamar acted on the supposition that he had authority to pursue trade that was currently operating along the Santa Fe Trail.