The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 46
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tionary forces. The family, at a later period, having removed
from the Hudson River to Western New York, found homes in
different parts of that region. John Birdsall's father, Maurice,
located at Greene, Chenango County, whence John, while quite
young, emigrated to Chautauqua County. His talent as a lawyer
was fully recognized by Governor De Witt Clinton, who appointed
him Court Judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit, when not quite 21
years of age.2 In 1831 he became a member of the New York
Assembly from Chautauqua County. He was a member of the
New York Senate in the 55th (1832) 56th (1833) and 57th
(1834) Legislatures. He resigned as Senator June 5, 1834, on
account of ill health.
In the early autumn of 1836 he joined a party of relatives who
were moving from New York to Texas, with Harrisburg as their
objective point, that being the residence of Mrs. Jane Harris, a
daughter of Lewis Birdsall, and widow of John Richardson Harris,
the founder of the town.
The party consisted of Lewis Birdsall, his son, Dr. Maurice L.
Birdsall, John Birdsall, a nephew, and Mary Jane Harris, a grand-
daughter. They arrived at Quintana from New Orleans on board
the schooner Julius Caesar about the middle of November, and
proceeded on board the Yellowstone to Brazoria, where they spent
two weeks at the boarding house of Mrs. Jane Long. This delay
was occasioned by the difficulty in getting transportation to Har-
risburg. They here made the acquaintance of General Houston
and other officials of the new government, then holding its first
session of Congress a few miles distant, at Columbia. John Bird-
sall attended some of these sessions and he likewise met the
prisoner, Santa Anna; he was deeply impressed by the dignified
bearing of Houston, and especially with the wisdom and humanity
of his policy toward the fallen foe.
'Mr. James Sullivan, State Historian of New York, wrote on February
The statement, such as you give in your letter of January 27th, in
regard to Judge Birdsall, is correct, and it has been verified by this office.
In addition' the Civil List shows as follows:
John Birdsall, of M1Vayville, N. Y., was a circuit judge in the 8th circuit,
appointed April 18, 1826. Jenkins' "History of Political Parties in New
York," page 320-21, shows that Birdsall, "a moderate Clintonian," was
nominated by Governor Clinton as a compromise candidate for the judge-
ship, and confirmed.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/52/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.