THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LVI OCTOBER, 1952 No. 2
Saufl Ml4a Willialms
RUTH G. NICHOLS
SAMUEL MAY WILLIAMS, Texas pioneer, patriot, merchant,
and banker, is less known to the present generation and
has received less attention by historians and biographers
than many a lesser Texas hero. Williams' part in the great events
of early Texas was not on the battlefield nor, to any great extent,
in the political arena, but in the fields of business and finance.
Both Austin's Colony and the Republic of Texas benefited, how-
ever, from the efforts, the aid, and the sacrifices of Williams and
his partner, Thomas F. McKinney.
Williams was the land office manager and secretary of Austin's
Colony; the confidant and, in one contract, the partner of Ste-
phen F. Austin himself; the junior partner in the firm of McKin-
ney and Williams, which became the mercantile establishment of
early Texas which backed the infant Republic with both money
and supplies; one of the founders and promoters of Galveston;
and finally, the founder and president of the Commercial and
Agricultural Bank at Galveston, the first and for years the only
incorporated bank in Texas.
WILLIAMS' COLLECTION OF PAPERS
In the spring of 1922, Williams' daughter, Mrs. Mary Williams
League, and her son, Thomas Jefferson League, presented to the
Rosenberg Library of Galveston a leather trunk filled with papers
which Williams had preserved throughout his life. The trunk
itself had had an interesting history. Made by hand by McCabe
and Son of Baltimore, it had been sent as a gift from Samuel May
Williams to his wife, Sarah Scott Williams, in January, 1837. The
trunk, filled with clothes for the children, and other household
articles were put on board the brig Flight, which had been pur-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed September 30, 2014.