Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 36 of 58
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36 TEXAS AND TEXANS FIFTY YEARS AGO.
of the new district, Leon, Brazos, Falls, Robertson, Limestone and
Freestone, Judge Jewett was the immediate successor of Judge
Baylor. At the expiration of his term of office, Judge Jewett was
a candidate for re-election. He was opposed by a young attorney
of Fairfield, Freestone county, John Gregg, and was defeated by
Gregg. The war between the States coming on, Judge Gregg
resigned in order to enter the army of the Confederate States.
Judge Jewett was a candidate again to fill the vacancy caused by
Judge Gregg's resignation, and was elected, the writer's recollection
is, without opposition. Judge Jewett served but a short while
after his election the second time. His mind became so impaired,
from some unknown cause, that he was wholly unfit for the discharge
of the duties incumbent on him as judge, and his friends
prevailed on him to resign. For some time after his resignation he
remained about his home, quiet and inoffensive, with a simple,
foolish look on his face and a vacant stare out of his eyes that was
sad to behold, unmistakably indicating to the observer that reason
was dethroned, and the bright intellect that once dominated his
being had left its habitation vacant and untenanted-that his once
strong intellect was now a shattered wreck.
He managed in some way to elude the care and oversight of his
wife and friends, wandered away from home, and was lost to them
until the close of the Civil War, when he was heard of in Mata.
moros, Mexico. During the war many Mexican freighters, engaged
in transporting cotton from the neighborhood of Leona to Matamoros,
were often in the vicinity of the judge's home, and it is supposed
that he followed off some of these caravans. Before his
friends could go after him he disappeared from Matamoros, and
by some means worked his way to the city of New York, where he
was arrested as a lunatic and confined in the asylum on Blackwell's
Island. He escaped from the asylum and was found drowned in
the North river. Such was the melancholy end of one of the many
bright men who adorned the early period of Texas history, and did
so much towards the formation of its laws and system of jurisprudence.
When last heard from, his wife and children resided
near Calvert, in Robertson county.
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Wood, William D. Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago, book, 1902; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14387/m1/36/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .