Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 289 of 894
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INDIAN WAR IiS AND PlIONEERS OF TEXAS.
George Ilancock, thie subject of this sketch, was
truly one of the sturdy p)ioneers of Texas, laving
immigrated to Texas in 1835. lie is a lineal descnl.tant
(of the Virginia family of IHancock, which
is o,f English extraction, anti had the same ancestry
as tlhe MaIssachusetts family. Their family came
to tlhis country from England at a very early
In 1(;32, George IIancock settled in what is
(ow Camlplell County, Va. At this time the
sagacious andl humane Sir Francis Wyatt was
Governor of the colony, and assiste(1 by a council
and representative assembly chosen by tlhe people.
A written constitution lhad been granted, courts of
law established, an(d the germ of civil and religious
liberty firmnly planted; for, although intolerance
andi civil commotion at tim-es disturbed the equanimity
of the Virginia colonists, they had nevertheless
conceived the true theory of government, and
were anxious to found it upon the basis of a true
colonization. The social status of the colony was
most excellent, and its chivalry was unquestionably
of the purest type. Political spirit of republican
freedom was ever present and, if at times there was
a Berkley to oppress with arbitrary and tyrannical
rule, there was always a Nathaniel Bacon to sustain
witli all tlie pcwers of the sword, if need be, the
inalien}able rights of man.
Unelr such favorable auspices as these, the Hancocks
started, andl their progeny have been true to
tlie faith of thelir fathers.
The sulject of this biograplhy was a native of
Tennessee, where lie was born on the 11tll of iApril,
1'S,0. IIe wasr rearedl in Alabama, and is a son
of Jo,hn Allen IIancock, who was a native of
Franklin County, Va., where lie was a wealtly
planter, and emigrated( to Alabama about the year
1819, and died there in January, 185I;.
John Allen Ilancock was inot a pullic man, hIis
most distinguislfing cllaracteristic lbeing a decided
aversion to lioldling )putllic oflice, but tie private
virtues and excellencies of life he possessed in a
remarkal,le degree. Man is not what lie does, but
wliat lie is, andl judlgedl by this standard Jolin Allen
Ilancock was a model.
Sarah Ryan, tlle mother of the subject of this
sketcll, was a native of Bedford County, Va.,
(laughter of William Ryan, a planter, and for a
long time high sheriff of that county. Hlis
ancestors came from North Ireland, and were
Presylterians in religion. The l)recise date of the
emigration to America is not known, but it was
some time during the days of colonization. After
emigrating to Texas in 1835, Mr. Ihancock
actively participate(d in the war for Independence
against Mexico, and was especially noticeable in the
battle of San Jacinto, being one of the five men
who were witli Deaf Smith in cutting Vincc's
bridge, which resulted in the capture of Santa
Anna. He was also in the prominent campaigns
of thle frontier, during the Woll and Mier campaigns.
Subsequently he passed a number of
years in locating and surveying lands, and in fighting
Mexicans and Indians, peiforming hard duties
in both civil and( military service. In 1843 he
engaged in commerce, opening a mercantile house
at LaGrange, Fayette County; subsequently in
Bastrop, and in 1845 in Austin, where lie extended
his business untill it became one of the most extensive
in the interior of Texas. He was for several
years a member of the Texas Legislature. He assisted
in organizing the Texas Veterans' Association
in 1873, and was prominent in its councils, being
on its executive committee for a number of years,
and a Veteran of the first class in that association.
IHe was for many years prece(ling his death a
vestryman of St. David's Episcopal church in
Austin. Iie was married( in 1855 to Louisa,
dalughter of Col. Ira Randolpli Lewis, a sketch
of whom appears elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Hancock was a man of great force of character,
of unyielding and courageous honesty, and
was ready at all times to sacrifice his private interests
to his principles. During the dissensions
between the States previous to 1860, he was a
strong opponent of secession, believing it to be
impossible of accomplishment and disastrous to the
South an(I to the whole country. When the war
broke out he retained and continued to publicly
express his convictions, preferring to risk all rather
than yield what he thought right and patriotic.
But his hand and( heart were always open to his
neighbors in distress and many a soldier, fighting
the battles of the Confederacy in the front, felt
easier from knowing that his family at home would
not suffer while George Hancock was there to lend
a lielping hand.
George Hancock andl his brother, Judge John
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/289/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .