Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 65
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The Angus McNeill Family
State Gazette as an attorney and counsellor-at-law. He became a member of railroad
committees in the state,65 and later served as secretary of state from December 22, 1857 to
December 27, 1859 under Governor Hardin Richard Runnels. He and Mary became
active in society in Austin, with Mary receiving her share of attention as a gracious
hostess.66 But with the election of Sam Houston as governor, Anderson resigned, and he
and Mary moved to the James Ross Survey in Colorado County. There, to the amusement
of the Thatchers, Mary became known as a bossy wife who henpecked her husband,
telling him not to grow a beard, to clean his fingernails, etc. However, none doubted her
concern for her family, as she cared for her father, Angus, nursing him through a difficult
The 1860s brought many changes to the McNeill family. Thomas Scott
Anderson, a strong proponent of states' rights, attended the State Democratic Convention
in Galveston as a delegate in April 1860. Mary again made the newspaper as one of the
"lovely ladies" in attendance at the ball given at General Sherman's Hotel.68 Then he ran
as a delegate to the Secession Convention from Colorado County. The three candidates
were A. H. Davidson, John Samuel Shropshire, and Anderson. Anderson received 380
votes; Davidson, 395; and Shropshire, 300.69 Mary was so delighted with the results that
she sent to Galveston for supplies for a party to celebrate his election.70 Secession was also
on the minds of Henry C. McNeill and his father, Angus. From Tecolote, New Mexico,
Henry C. McNeill wrote to Governor Sam Houston that he had heard of the ordinance of
secession by the convention, and offered to resign his commission in the United States
Army to accept one from Texas as soon as the ordinance was adopted. The convention
passed a resolution to accept the services of Henry C. McNeill and three others who had
resigned their commissions in the U. S. Army at their same rank and grade in Texas and
ordered them to report to the War Department of the Confederate States. T. Scott Ander-
son proposed at the convention on March 25, 1861 that other U. S. soldiers in Texas also
be recruited for service in the Confederacy.71 Angus McNeill was also thinking about his
son, and on March 6, 1861, he wrote from Eagle Lake that the younger McNeill was in
New Mexico where mail and news were often late in arrival, but he would be available to
serve the Confederacy. "He is known to President Davis who was Secretary of War when
he entered West Point," he added and stated that Henry had twice been breveted since
65 Texas State Gazette, October 23, 1852.
66 Dallas Herald, January 11, 1860, quoting the Texas State Gazette.
67 Cox, Pioneer Texans, pp. 193, 215-216.
68 Dallas Herald, April 18, 1860.
69 Colorado Citizen, January 12, 1861.
70 Cox, Pioneer Texans, p. 224.
71 Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, 1861 (Austin: Austin Printing Company, 1912),
pp. 124, 138, 247.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998, periodical, May 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151403/m1/17/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed November 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.