Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 52
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
property. Among the items not purchased by Mary were a number of books and several
saddles. Alexander McNeill also held a number of notes at his death, including one signed
by Henry McNeill.4 The land that Alexander McNeill had bought from Alexander Murphey
in 1806 on a fork of Country Line Creek and adjacent to Joseph Anthony's property (two
of his three executors) was not sold until Angus sold it in 1833.5 While the estate was
settled quickly, apparently Angus' mother did not consider him ready to be sent to John P.
McNeill in his early years. He remained in Caswell County where he had a number of
guardians: Thomas Turner in 1810 and James Yancey from 1813 to 1817 who seemed to
be responsible for paying for Angus' schooling. In April of 1820, the court made arrange-
ments for Angus to be apprenticed for five years to learn the trade of printing from John
H. Perkins, and it was not long after that that Angus left North Carolina for Natchez,
Mississippi, where John P. McNeill was then living.6
It was in the year 1826 that Angus McNeill became acquainted with James
Bowie. According to answers that Angus gave in a deposition for the trial of M A.
Veramendi et al. vs. W. J. Hutchins, et al., he developed an "intimate acquaintance with
James Bowie," even though Angus lived in Adams County, Mississippi, and Bowie lived
in the Parish of Rapides in Louisiana, a distance of about sixty miles.7 In 1827, however,
Angus McNeill bought land next to Bowie's in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.8 When
Bowie married Ursula Veramendi, he signed a dowry contract on April 22, 1831, in San
Antonio, mentioning $20,000 held by Angus McNeill for the purchase of textile machin-
ery in Boston to be used to establish a cotton and woolen mill, in the State of Coahuila and
Texas. (This was a part of granting citizenship to Bowie by the Congress in 1830.) In
1833, while Bowie was ill and staying at Angus McNeill's home in Natchez, Mississippi,
he received word of the death of his wife and child in Monclova, Mexico.9 And it was
with Bowie that Angus McNeill came to Texas in 1835.10 But before Texas, Angus McNeill
became involved in trading in a mercantile company in Natchez and soon became in-
volved in land speculation.
4 Probate Records of Caswell County, North Carolina, Book F, pp. 44-45.
5 Deed Records of Caswell County, North Carolina, Book BB, p. 122.
6 Katharine Kerr Kendall, Historical Abstracts of Minutes of Caswell County North Carolina, 1777-
1877 (n. p., 1976), pp. 29, 36, 152.
7 Testimony of Angus McNeill, in District Court Records of Colorado County, Texas, Civil Cause
File No. 2111: M A. Veramendi, et al. v. W. J. Hutchins, et al.
8 Holice H. Henrici, "A Speculator's Dream," in Shreveport: The Beginnings (Lafayette, Louisi-
ana: University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1985), p. 38.
9 James Frank Dobie, "James Bowie, Big Dealer," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 60, no.
4, January 1957, pp. 345-347.
10 Testimony of Angus McNeil in District Court Records of Colorado County, Texas, Civil Cause
File No. 2111: M A. Verimendi, et al. v. W J Hutchins, et al.
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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/m1/4/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.