The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

Notes and Documents

rexas i the 1850's, As Viewed by a
Recent Arrival
Edited by AARON M. BOOM
WHILE LIVING NEAR SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, IN THE 1850's,
Robert Weakley Brahan, Jr., corresponded with a
cousin, John Donelson Coffee, Jr., who was attending
the University of Virginia. Both the writer and the recipient
came from families prominent in the development of the Old
Southwest. Brahan's grandfather, General John Brahan (1774-
1834), a native of Virginia who settled in Tennessee and later in
North Alabama, served in the War of 1812 and for many years was
a Receiver of Public Monies for lands of the United States. Robert
Weakley Brahan, Jr., was born to Dr. Robert Weakley Brahan
and Martha Haywood Brahan in Huntsville, Alabama, on
June 1, 1833. Some time after his birth the family moved to
Panola County, Mississippi. In September, 1850, at the age of
seventeen, he entered the University of Mississippi as a sopho-
more, receiving a B.A. degree in 1853. Shortly thereafter, he
studied civil engineering in Kentucky. In 1854, when his family
moved to Texas, young Brahan rode ahead with the slaves
and supervised the pitching of camp and the preparation of
food at each stopping place. After the family was settled, Rob-
ert returned to Mississippi with a brother who was to con-
tinue his education. While returning to Texas by ship, Robert
contracted measles. He made the stagecoach trip home before
he was fully recovered; this exposure resulted in a two-year
illness which proved to be fatal. He died on May 1, 1859, at his
father's plantation near San Antonio.
1Most of the information on the Brahan family was obtained from Mrs. Barton
George Lane, San Antonio, Texas. Additional information was obtained from:
Samuel Anderson Weakley to A. M. B., September 3, 1963; Acting Registrar,
University of Mississippi, to A. M. B., September 16, 1963 (MSS. in possession of
writer); Family Record of John D. Coffee (in possession of Harry Long, Memphis,
Tennessee); Clarence E. Carter (ed.), The Territorial Papers of the United States
(Washington, 1937), V, 727.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed September 30, 2014.