The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962

Notes and Documents

At 1849 . , . Williamso# Letter
Contributed by ROGER CONGER
N THE DAYS OF THE TEXAS REPUBLIC, starred as it was by inter-
esting and colorful personalities, few were any more so than
Judge Robert McAlpin Williamson. Born of distinguished
pedigree in the state of Georgia in 1804 and educated as a lawyer,
he had emigrated to Austin's Colony in Texas in 1827. He was
elected alcalde of San Felipe in 1834 and was one of the real fire
brands of the Texian Revolution. He was a distinguished district
judge of the Texas Republic and also served five terms in its
congress. After statehood, from 1846 to 1848, he represented
Milam and Washington counties in the 'Texas Senate. In 1849, with
his health failing, he lost a race for the United States Congress.
Crippled in youth, Williamson wore an artificial leg which was
strapped to his knee, giving him the quaint, widely-accepted name
"Three Legged Willie." In 1948 the Texas State Historical Asso-
ciation published a splendid biography of Judge Williamson, by
Duncan W. Robinson. Few public figures have evoked a larger
store of legend. At the close of the Robinson biography, the author
concludes that "Williamson's character was dominated by two
outstanding traits-unflinching courage and a sense of humor
which humanized him and made him a favorite of fun-loving
male colonists . "
A Williamson letter recently brought to light, one written late
in his public career during the unsuccessful congressional cam-
paign of 1849, forcibly underlines Robinson's appraisal. The
letter follows:
Col. John H. Moore Independence March 13th, 1849
Dear Sir,
I have been called upon by several of our old friends as well as by
many of the newspapers to suffer my name to be run for Representa-
tive to our next Congress for this District. As flattering as all this is
to me and as much as I may desire the distinction thus gratuitously
offered still I cannot pass over in silence the respect that I have for

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/. Accessed August 29, 2015.