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The Lake Creek Settlement Goes to War - Part 1

 

By Kameron K. Searle

 

Between October 11, 1835 and October 31, 1835, the Permanent Council was effectively the government of Texas.  R. R. Royall, the President of the Permanent Council of Texas in San Felipe, wrote a letter to General Stephen F. Austin and General Sam Houston at the headquarters of the Texas Army in Bexar (San Antonio) on October 31, 1835.  In his letter he strongly encouraged the army to hold its ground. 

In this letter, Royall promised more supplies and advised that, “…Reinforcements are coming from every Quarter and if you but Just hold a little San Antonio must fall Just at the sight as If it were of your superior numbers.  If you or a portion of you leave it will discourage and prevent Reinforcements now getting up in all parts of the Country.”  Royall then advised Austin and Houston that “…an Express from Lake Creek says in a few days 50 men from that Quarter will leave for head Quarters...”

During the Texas Revolution, many of the early settlers and residents of the Lake Creek Settlement volunteered to join the Texas army and fight for Texas independence from Mexico.  Some of the men mentioned in the Lake Creek Settlement documents who fought in the Texas Revolution were:  Mathew Cartwright, Jacob Shannon, James J. Foster, Joseph L. Bennett, Thomas Chatham, A.U. Springer, John M. Springer, Raleigh Rogers, George Galbraith, Evan Corner and Jacob H. Shepperd.

Over the next few weeks, from the Battle of Concepcion to the Battle of San Jacinto, we will be looking at the military records of several of the men found in the Lake Creek Settlement documents.  At the same time, we will look at documents that were missed by previous historians that tell us exactly where the Lake Creek Settlement was.

On December 10, 1835, Lieutenant Governor James W. Robinson as President of the General Council wrote, “Be it resolved by the General Council of the Provisional Government of Texas, that it is most earnestly and urgently recommended to our fellow-citizens, promptly to volunteer and to repair to the camp before Bejar, to unite with the citizen army now there, in saving our country from a long and bloody war, by the speedy reduction of that post.”  In the same letter, the General Council appointed James W. Fannin to recruit volunteers and obtain provisions in Texas on the west side of the Trinity River.  The General Council then appointed several men from the various settlements “to act in concert with Colonel Fannin.”  The General Council appointed James J. Foster of Lake Creek. 

In 1870, Mathew Cartwright an early resident of the Lake Creek Settlement applied for a military pension for his service in the army of the Republic of Texas in 1835 and 1836.  In support of Cartwright’s’ pension application, Jacob Shannon swore to an affidavit regarding Cartwright’s service.  His affidavit provides, “And Jacob Shannon says that he is a resident citizen of Montgomery County and has resided in what is now said County from the year 1830 to the present date, that he knew the said Mathew Cartwright now present before him, in the year1835, at and in Lake Creek Settlement now said County of Montgomery that he also knew him in the Army of Texas in the Campaign at San Antonio de Bexar in the year 1835 that he went from said Settlement in company with himself as members of Capt Fosters company under Capt Jos L Bennet (Foster having resigned)…”

Mathew Cartwright later joined his neighbor Captain William Ware’s company at Groce’s Plantation under the command of General Sam Houston.  He marched to Harrisburg and then to San Jacinto.  At San Jacinto, Cartwright was detailed to service in the cavalry under the command of Mirabeau B. Lamar where he fought in the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

The R. R. Royall letter to Austin and Houston is from The Papers of the Texas Revolution 1835-1836, Presidial Press, Vol. 2, pp. 279-281.  The James W. Robinson letter is from The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836, Presidial Press, Vol. 9, pp.152-153.  The affidavits of Jacob Shannon and Mathew Cartwright are found in Texas State Library and Archives, Republic Claims, Name: Cartwright, Mathew, Type: PE, Reel #: 207, Frames: 595-598.

Kameron K. Searle is an attorney in Houston, Texas who has thoroughly researched the history of the Lake Creek Settlement and the early history of Montgomery County for the last eight years.  For more information about the Lake Creek Settlement, go to the TexasHistoryPage.Com .

 

This article originally appeared in the January 14, 2009 edition of the Montgomery County News.

 

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