The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 18
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
sired for the modern bedtime story. They were far from
soporific, and frequently after Grandfather left me I lay on the
bed trembling with fear, and later awakened from a horrible
dream, during which I had been in fearful fights with savages
Grandfather was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, not
far from the Natural Bridge. His great-grandfather, who was
born in Ireland, killed an Indian who had murdered his only
brother, so that fighting Indians came naturally to him. The
name Hugh is traditional, as it appears in practically every
generation of our family for nearly two hundred years. There
were sixteen children in his grandfather's family and eight in
his father's. At the age of sixteen Grandfather decided that
there were too many in the family to give him any chance for
success in Virginia. So he quietly decamped and made his way
through the mountains of Virginia and Tennessee and on into
Mississippi, where he led an adventurous life. He soon joined
the constabulary engaged in fighting the Mississippi River
bandits and pirates who infested Mississippi and Louisiana.
One of Grandfather's prominent characteristics was fondness
for dress. I never remember seeing him except in a frock coat
and a high silk hat. Apparently such were his habits, even in
the frontier towns of Mississippi in the eighteen-twenties. I
recall well his describing how one night he went to a ball with a
beautiful girl. He was careful to have in each hip pocket a
pistol beneath the tails of his "clawhammer coat," as he called
it. During the dance someone told him that a certain bad man
was outside with a pistol, saying that he would get him before
the evening was over. Grandfather took the young lady to her
mother, explaining that he had something important to attend
to, but that he would be back very soon. With a cocked pistol in
each hand, he hunted for the bandit, but failed to find him.
The dance was then resumed.
Grandfather married Frances Hampton Gibson at Clarksburg,
Tennessee, in 1836. She was descended from William Hampton,
who came to Jamestown in 1620. Wade Hampton was her cousin.
From her I get my middle name. Grandfather's roving disposi-
tion, however, did not permit him to rest, and he took his bride
across the Mississippi to Booneville, Missouri, which only a few
years before had been part of the Louisiana Territory that
Jefferson got from Napoleon.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/22/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.