The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 32
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and "contributed generously to the advancement of the Revolu-
Men, money and supplies would avail nothing, however, unless
means of communication and transportation could be had to co-
ordinate and join them together. This was a particularly diffi-
cult task in a frontier country and every conceivable conveyance
and means of locomotion was pressed into service. Two slaves
who were manumitted soon after the close of the war, largely on
the basis of aid rendered during it, may properly be considered
as free Negroes which they soon became. Thomas F. McKinney's
slave, Cary, "during the Revolution . . . was of much serv-
ice in carrying expresses, &c."21 Wyly Martin's slave, Peter, re-
ceived early recognition for his services.
Among the many who have contributed their services in once
vanquishing our enemies, a valuable servant (Peter) who hires
his own time, was pressed into service, with his wagon and
team, to carry provisions to the army last fall; he has as yet
received no compensation. Thus we see the operation of the war
carried on no less by the weak than the strong.22
"Apparently the Ashworth brothers also served in the army. Joseph
Grigsby, chairman of a select committee, reported to the House of Repre-
sentatives that the Ashworth brothers contributed to the achievement of
independence "both by personal Service and by their substance Generously
bestowed without fee or reward." Committee Reports, Sixth Congressional
Session, No. 2582, File 28. A later report of the House committee on the
state of the Republic records "that they sustained the Government in her
struggle for Independence with their property and personal service in the
field." House Journal, Seventh Called Congressional Session, 63.
21Thomas F. McKinney to Cary, November 11, 1839. Williams Papers,
Rosenberg Library, Galveston.
22Telegraph and Texas Register (San Felipe de Austin), March 5, 1836.
Committee Reports, Fourth Congress. Peter and Cary were the only two
adult slaves manumitted during the Republic, but they were not the only
slaves to participate in the war. James Robinson came to Texas in March,
1836, bound by indenture to Robert Eden Handy. Upon his arrival, he
joined the army with Handy, refusing a passport which was offered him
to return to his home and friends, and "begged permission to remain and
share the fate of those who met the enemy . . ." He did remain, and
"While thousands . . . of citizens were retreating in panic and confusion
to the United States this single minded negro boy, though unacknowledged
as a patriot and bound by no ties of interest; still rose superior to every
selfish consideration and bravely breasted the storm of Mexican invasion
at the gloomiest hour of our fortunes . . ." In his petition to Congress,
Handy "respectfully hopes that as his [Robinson's] color did not prevent
the acceptance of his services in the hour of your utmost need, it will
not now debar the payment of his reward." Robinson was at the battle
of San Jacinto, remaining at the upper encampment in obedience to
orders. Attested by Wyly Martin, then Chief Justice of Fort Bend
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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/m1/40/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.