Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 154 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
He was elected to the third convention, or general
consultation, which met at San Felipe, November
3d, 1835, and formed a provisional government,
with Henry Smith as Governor, and a legislative
council. Being then on the campaign in which the
battle of Lipantitlan was fought, on the Nueces, he
failed to reach the first assembly, but served about
two months in the council, rendering valuable service
to the country.
On the first of February, 1836, he was elected to
the convention which declared the independence of
Texas, but his name is not appended to that document
for the reason that the approach of the
Mexican army compelled him to flee east with his
family and neighbors, and rendered it impossible
for him to reach Washington in time to participate
in that grave and solemn act. But rightfully his
name belongs there.
Returning to his desolated home after the battle
of San Jacinto, he stood as a pillar of strength in
the organization of the country under the Republic.
It may be truly said that no man in the western
half of Texas, from 1825 to 1840, and especially
during the stormy period of the revolution, exerted
a greater influence for good as a wise, conservative
counsellor. His sound judgment, tried experience,
fine intelligence and candor, fitted him in a rare
degree for such a field of usefulness.
In 1838 he was elected to the last Congress that
assembled at Houston and was the author, in whole
or in part, of several of the wisest laws Texas ever
enacted. From that time till his death, on the 23d of
December, 1850, he held no official position but continued
to exert a healthy influence on public affairs.
Nothing has been said of his perils and narrow
escapes from hostile savages during the twelve years
he was almost constantly exposed to their attacks.
Many of them possess romantic interest and evince
his courage and sagacity in a remarkable degree.
While no dazzling splendor adorns his career, it
is clothed from beginning to end with evidences of
usefulness and unselfish patriotism, presenting those
attributes without which in its chief actors Texas
could not have been populated and reclaimed with
the feeble means used in the achievement of that
great work. His name is perpetuated in that of
the beautiful county of Kerr, named, as the creative
act says, " in honor of James Kerr, the first
American settler on the Guadalupe river." His
only surviving son, Thomas R. Kerr, resides in
Southwest Texas, and a number of his grandchildren
live in South Texas.
Col. William S. Fisher, the Hero of Mier.
In the revolutionary days of Texas there were
three men of prominence bearing the name of
Fisher. The first and the earliest immigrant to the
country was Samuel Rhoads Fisher, of Matagorda.
He was a native of Philadelphia, and a man of education,
who came about 1830. He was a leader in
local affairs, holding municipal position, and the
husband and father of one of the most intelligent
and refined families in a community distinguished
for refinement and intelligence. Capt. Rhoads
Fisher of Austin is the junior of his two sons. He
represented Matagorda in the convention of 1836,
and signed the Declaration of Independence; and
on the installation of Gen. Houston as President of
the Republic in October, 1836, he appointed Mr.
Fisher Secretary of the Navy. In 1838 he lost his
life in an unfortunate personal difficulty, greatly
lamented by the country. His memory was
honored by the high character of his family.
John Fisher was a native of Richmond, Virginia,
and came to Gonzales, Texas, in 1833 or 1834. He
was a man of education, ability and sterling character,
and was also a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, but died soon afterwards.
William S. Fisher, the subject of this chapter,
was a brother of John and, like himself, a native of
Virginia. He was also a man of finished education
and remarkable intelligence and one of the tallest
men in the country. As a conversationalist he was
captivating, ever governed by a keen sense of propriety
and respect for others
hence a man commanding
esteem wherever he appeared. His first
experience as a soldier was in the fight with the
Indians on the San Marcos, in the spring of 1835sixteen
men against the seventy Indians who had
murdered and robbed the French traders west of
Gonzales, in which the Indians were repulsed, with
a loss of nine warriors.
His first appearance in public life was as a member
of the first revoluntionary convention (com
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/154/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .