Ben Milam"Who Will Follow Old Ben Milam?"Bad luck had followed Ben Milam most of his life. What luck he did have finally ran out when he was killed by a Mexican bullet in the Battle of San Antonio on December 8, 1835. He became the first in a long line of immortal Texas heroes.Benjamin Rush Milam was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, on October 20, 1788. He grew up in Kentucky and served in the War of 1812. In 1815, when he and two partners chartered a schooner to take a load of flour to South America, the Captain and most ...
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David G. Burnett"Elder Statesman of the Republic"The first President of the Republic of Texas, David Gouverneur Burnet had gained revolutionary experience in 1806 as the first American volunteer to join Francisco de Miranda's expedition to free Venezuela from Spain, and as Commander of the boat that fired the first shot for South American Independence.A native of Newark, New Jersey, Burnet had left an accounting job in New York at the age of eighteen to take up a life of adventure. He returned from South America, and in 1813 decided to establish a trading post in Natchitoches, Louisiana, but he contracted ...
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James FanninCommander at GoliadRemembered as the Commander of the doomed garrison at the Presidio LaBahia at Goliad, James Walker Fannin, Jr., carried the heavy responsibility of the lives of his men with increasing anguish during the cold, gray days of March 1836.Born January 1, 1804, the son of Dr. Isham Fannin grew up on a plantation near Marion, Georgia. Although he was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1819, he withdrew in 1821 during his third year. Several years after returning to Georgia he married Minerva Fort, by whom he had two daughters. The Fannins moved ...
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Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar"Father of Education in Texas"Accomplished in horsemanship, fencing, painting, and poetry, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar came to Texas and became one of its greatest political leaders. His inspired vision of what Texas could become lay the foundation for future greatness during some of its darkest years.Born in Georgia on August 16, 1798, Lamar was educated at the academies at Milledgeville and Eatonton. He served as secretary to the Governor of Georgia from 1823 to 1826, and was elected state senator in 1829. Defeated in the elections of 1832 and 1834, he followed James Fannin to Texas to collect historical ...
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Anson JonesFirst Grand Master Remembered by historians as the last President of the Republic of Texas, Anson Jones is remembered by Texas Masons as their first Grand Master.Jones was born on January 20, 1798, at Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He studied and practiced medicine in New York and Philadelphia until 1824, when he went to Venezuela for two years. Returning to Philadelphia, he completed his M.D. degree, joined Harmony Lodge No. 52, and soon was elected Master of the lodge. In October 1832 he moved to New Orleans. He came to Texas a year later, and set up a successful medical ...
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Lorenzo de ZavalaFirst Vice-President of the RepublicOf the all the men who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, none equalled Lorenzo de Zavala in education, political experience, or diplomatic service.Born in 1788, in a small village in the Yucatan, Manuel Lorenzo Justiniano de Zavala y Saenz graduated from the seminary at Merida in 1807. He founded several newspapers, but his political views led to his imprisonment in Veracruz in 1814. Fluent in Spanish, French, English, and Latin, he studied medical textbooks while in prison, and was ready to practice medicine upon his release in 1817. In 1820 he was elected ...
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Edward BurlesonFourth Vice President of the RepublicEdward Burleson was known as the man who "had killed more Indians and Mexicans than any other Texan", when he ran against Anson Jones for the Presidency of the Republic of Texas in 1844.Born in 1793 in Buncombe County, North Carolina, Burleson moved with his family to Alabama, where he married Sarah Owen of Madison County in 1813. Burleson gained a reputation as a military leader at an early age, first in command of a company of militia in Howard County, Missouri, and then as colonel of a frontier regiment in Hardeman County, Tennessee.Burleson ...
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Jose Antonio Navarro"Texas Patriot and Legislator"For nearly half a century Jose Antonio Navarro had a hand in every major decision affecting the history of Texas. A native Texan, Navarro was born February 27, 1795, in San Antonio de Bexar. At the age of eighteen he joined the fight for independence from Spain. After the uprising failed he spent three years of exile in Louisiana. While working and studying law in San Antonio in 1821 he became good friends with Stephen F. Austin.As a member of the Legislature of Coahulla and Texas, Navarro advocated the colonization of Texas. He helped Ben ...
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Adolphus Sterne"First Scottish Rite Mason in Texas"Because of an oath made "on the level", Adolphus Sterne, the first Scottish Rite Mason in Texas, did not bear arms against the Mexican Army during the Texas Revolution, but he nevertheless played an important role in Texas' right for independence.Born in Cologne, Germany, April 5, 1801, Sterne was the oldest son of Emmanuel Sterne. At the age of sixteen he immigrated to New Orleans where he lived for several years, working in a store and studying law. In New Orleans, he became a Mason. By the time he came to Texas in 1826 ...
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Thomas Rusk"Chief Justice"Considered by many to be the only peer of Sam Houston in the esteem, admiration, and love of the people of Texas, Thomas Jefferson Rusk actually surpassed Houston in almost everything but fame.Born December 5, 1803, at Pendleton, South Carolina, Rusk was influenced early in life by John C. Calhoun, who encouraged him to study law. In 1832, after several partners in a gold mining scheme absconded with the company money, Rusk decided to follow them to Texas. He never recovered the money but decided to stay in Texas.In the fall of 1835 he raised a company of ...
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