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The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 211

This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Southwestern Historical Quarterly and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Texas State Historical Association.

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Captain Adolhas Sterne.


[I have written this sketch mainly from one personal conversation
with Mr. Charles Adolphus Sterne, from letters, written in compliance
with my request, by him and his sister, Mrs. Rosine Ryanl; and from
the subject's general reputation; but partly from works on Texas his-
tory.-W. P. Z.]
Adolphus Sterne was born in Cologne, Germany, in January,
1800. In 1824 he came from Germany, by way of New Orleans,
Louisiana, to Nacogdoches, Texas, and settled there as a merchant.
He purchased his supplies in New Orleans, shipped them on steam-
boats up the Mississippi and Red rivers to Natchitoches, and had
them hauled thence on wagons to Nacogdoches. He resided at
Nacogdoches during the remainder of his life.
Here, in spite of his German antecedents, Mr. Sterne was re-
garded as an American. The Mexican population so regarded all
white people, except those speaking the Spanish language. Mr.
Sterne had a good English education and spoke the English lan-
guage plainly, and he was not easily distinguishable from native-
born Americans. His instinctive preference was for his own race;
and hence, when differences arose between the Americans and the
Mexicans, his sympathies were with the former.
In 1826 Mr. Sterne became identified with the local political
party known as the "Fredonians." His service was to purchase
munitions of war in New Orleans, and smuggle them to his friends
in Texas. He packed gun-flints, powder, and lead, into bales of
dry-goods and barrels of coffee, and thus sent them to Nacogdoches,
where he afterwards delivered them to Benjamin Edwards and Mar-
tin Palmer. But he was watched by the secret agents of the Mexi-
can consul at New Orleans. They discovered his device, and re-
ported it to the consul, and he reported it to his Government and to
Norris, the Anti-Fredonian alcalde at Nacogdoches.
1 Mr. Sterne and Mrs. Ryan are son and daughter to Captain Adolphus

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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899, periodical, 1898/1899; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.