The Dallas Journal, Volume 48, 2002 Page: 5
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Dr. Samuel B. Pryor, Early Prominent Dallas County Resident
During his brief tenure as editor, Charles was responsible for reports of "an alleged abolitionist
conspiracy that led to the slave insurrection panic of 1860." He wrote letters to the editors of various
Texas newspapers, stating that "the local blacks confessed to setting fire to the city and that they had
been recruited for that purpose by white abolitionists in a concerted plan to ruin the economy of Texas
and free the slaves. Beyond arson, their alleged tactics involved assassinations of community leaders
and the infliction of horrors upon 'certain ladies ... selected as the victims of these misguided monsters.'
" Many other Texas newspapers reprinted his letters and they were used as a propaganda tool for
secessionists, resulting in several communities establishing committees to locate and punish abolitionists
and their suspected black allies. At least thirty of both races died, but there may have been more
The 1860 Dallas Co., Texas census listed: Sam'l B. Pryor (age 40 male) as a physician, Anna (31 f),
Ashton G. (12 m), Ed. R. (10 m), Chas. R. (7 m), Pocahontas (5 f), Sam'l B. (3 m) and Wm. L. (8/12 m).
Samuel and Anna were listed as born in VA and all of their children were born in Texas. Nearby was
Samuel's brother C. R. Pryor (28 m) living in the hotel run by Sarah H. Cockrell. His occupation was
listed as "Ed[itor] Dallas Herald" and he was born in Virginia.40
During the spring of 1862 [or 1861?], Charles Pryor entered the service of the Confederate States. He
was the Secretary of State of the Confederate State of Texas from 2 May 1861 to August 1865. After
the war, he returned to Dallas where he was still living by 1869.41 While staying in Selma, Alabama, he
wrote a letter to Annie Pryor, Samuel's daughter, on 6 December 1879. He later moved to New York
where he died circa 1881 to 1882.42
Daughters Anna Maria was born circa 1863 and Rhoda Record circa 1866, both in Dallas Co.43
Dr. Samuel Burwell Pryor died intestate on 18 October 1866 after an illness in Dallas, Texas and was
buried in the city cemetery. His obituary is listed at the beginning of this article. His widow, Ann(a)
Pryor, filed a petition with assistance from Guess and Record, her attorneys, to the court asking that they
grant her the "right to manage, control and dispose of said community property" of her husband Samuel
B. Pryor, deceased. He left 7 children "who are now living." Since they had 8 children, it is likely that
daughter Rhoda was born shortly after Samuel's death. The petition was filed and approved on 29
October 1866. Anna M. Pryor filed an inventory and appraisement of the community property on the
same day, listing lots no. 5 and 6 in Block No. 7 (value $750.00), lots no. 3 and 4 in Block No. 22
($200.00) and household and kitchen furniture ($150.00).44
Anna Mariah (Powell) Pryor
S[Courtesy Heather Mitchell]
The Dallas Journal 2002 5
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 48, 2002, periodical, June 2002; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186861/m1/9/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.