The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 31
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The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas
fall back to Victoria, and on March 19, he started his retreat. He
had gone but a few miles when his force was surrounded by Mexi-
cans, and a fight ensued which ended only with nightfall. The
next morning, finding himself in a hopeless situation, Fannin
surrendered. A week later the prisoners were marched out under
guard and shot down without warning. Although some few were
fortunate to escape, not so Peter Allen, who shared the fate of
the rest of his white companions. The bodies of the murdered
men were piled in heaps, covered with brush and burned.16
Meanwhile the Declaration of Independence had been signed
and the convention, having been given plenary powers, prepared
for a more vigorous prosecution of the war. Among the measures
which they passed was a draft law, making all able-bodied men
between the ages of seventeen and fifty years subject to military
duty. Officials were appointed for each municipality to compile
a list of all available men within their respective boundaries. The
names were to be drawn until the required number at any time
was obtained, and those drawn were bound to serve under severe
penalty."1 Under this law, Robert Thompson, a free man of
color, "stood a draft for a tour in the army and though not
drafted he furnished a valuable mare and rifle gun for the use
of the army of Texas for which he has [expected and] received
Robert Thompson's contribution was not inconsiderable in view
of the great need for rifles and a greater need for horses. The
Government soon recognized that money and supplies, as well as
patriotism and soldiers, were necessary to sustain the war, and
a committee was early appointed by the council to negotiate for
loans and to receipt for public monies. The several committees
of safety busied themselves collecting more money and supplies
by subscriptions and donations.19 All who could, black and white,
lent their private aid. Among these were the free Negro brothers,
William and Abner Ashworth, who gave freely of their property
"Ibid., Yoakum, History of Texas, II, 100.
"7Ordinance of the Convention, March 12, 1836. H. P. N. Gammel, The
Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, I, 849-853.
"This petition is signed by 30 citizens of Montgomery county. Memorial
No. 5, File T, December 13, 1840.
"Eugene C. Barker, "The Finances of the Texas Revolution," in Political
Science Quarterly, XIX, No. 4, p. 614, 622-623.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/39/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.