The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 163
fohka A. Quittma int the
JAMES H. McLENDON
J OHN ANTHONY QUITMAN was born in Rhinebeck, New York,
on September 1, 1798. Upon his arrival at Natchez, Mis-
sissippi, in December, 1821, he had fifteen dollars, consid-
erable ability and energy, and unbounded ambition. By 1835,
Quitman was among the many fairly well-to-do citizens of the
United States who manifested more than casual interest in the
revolution in the Mexican province of Texas, where the residents,
largely immigrants from the United States, were fighting for the
restoration of the Mexican Federal Constitution of 1824. In a
letter to his brother, on October 17, 1835, Quitman wrote:
"There is war in Texas. Were I without family, I would repair
there immediately. Freemen who are struggling for their violated
rights should not be left to the struggle unaided."' When he
penned this statement, Quitman's activities and interests in-
cluded presidency of the Mississippi Railroad Company, presi-
dency of the Mississippi Cotton Company, directorship of the
Planter's Bank, a lucrative legal practice, and ownership and
supervision of cotton and sugar plantations with 150 slaves. He
was also captain of the Natchez Fencibles, a Grand Master
Mason, president of the local Anti-Abolition Society, president
of the Adams County Anti-Gambling Society, president of
the Natchez Anti-Dueling Society, a trustee of Jefferson Col-
lege, and a trustee of Natchez Academy.2 Although Quitman was
only thirty-seven years of age, his record of public service included
a term in the lower house of the state legislature, seven years as
judge of the State Superior Court of Chancery, and active par-
ticipation in the convention that wrote the Mississippi Consti-
1J. F. H. Claiborne, Life and Correspondence of John A. Quitman, Major-Gen-
eral, U. S. A., and Governor of the State of Mississippi (2 vols.; New York, 1860),
I, 25, 68-70, 139. Cited hereafter Claiborne, Quitman.
2lbid., I, 138; Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette, August ix, 1835;
George H. Gray, The Mystic Circle and American Hand-Book of Masonry (Cin-
cinnati, 1850), viii.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/171/ocr/: accessed December 4, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.