Fredonian Rebellion

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  With deference to the Hispanic residents, Mexico nullified or rescinded Edwards’ grant.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.

Continue reading Fredonian Rebellion

Dr. Junius William Mottley, namesake of Motley County

Dr. Junius Mottley was born in Virginia in 1812 to John P. and Mary Williams Elmore Mottley.  His ancestors came to Virginia from England in the 1600s.  Dr. Mottley received his medical education at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.  Transylvania was founded in 1780, was the first university in Kentucky and is still operating.  A number of early Texans have ties to Transylvania.  After completing his studies, he studied with a practicing physician in Kentucky by the name of Dr. Charles Hay.  Shortly after leaving Kentucky, Mottley moved to Texas in 1835.  He joined the Texas Army and served as Post Surgeon at Goliad.  Mottley was serving in that capacity in early 1836 when he was appointed as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Washington County.  Accordingly, he was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Continue reading Dr. Junius William Mottley, namesake of Motley County

Robert McAlpin “Three Legged Willie” Williamson

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.

Continue reading Robert McAlpin “Three Legged Willie” Williamson