Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 484 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
speak that after thorough and minute investig
tion of the records and history of Texas he was col
strained to say that Robert M. Williamson had dor
as much, if not more, than any other man in pr<
cipitating and sustaining the revolution of 1835-3(
This is the verdict of contemporarjy history, an
will be the verdict of posterity for all time. Wit
a price upon his head that betokened no quarter i
captured, singled out with W. B. Travis from a
his compatriots as an object of special vengeanc
by the usurper and invader, he faced the storm
defied the tyrant, redoubled his almost superhumai
efforts to free his country, knowing that his goo(
life would be the penalty for a failure, and won b!
the blessing of God.
"Soon after the inauguration of the new govern
ment he was appointed a judge of one of the dis
tricts, which made him ex-officio a member of th(
Supreme Court. After that he was Senator ir
Congress or Representative in the Lower House of
the Republic or State until the close of his public
career, about 1850 or 1851. A few of his old fellow-senators
and members, still left to us, love to
dwell upon the man and never tire in recounting
his splendid bursts of eloquence, his withering
sarcasm and ridicule, his keen sense of humor that
often destroyed an adversary with a single shaft,
his absolute freedom from fear, and his unwavering
honesty. Many of the great measures of legislation
in use and effect to-day bear the imprint of
his genius, and the jurisprudence of the Senate is
indebted to him for some of its most salutary features.
He passed away from us in the year 1859,
at his home in the county of Wharton, a county
rich in reminiscence and in the deeds of the many
eminent sons she has given to the State.
"In looking over the career of Judge Williamson,
if I were called upon to select the most prominent
of his many prominent characteristics, I should
say that his greatest virtues were sterling honesty,
inflexible patriotism and an utter abnegation of
self. He was too big a man to think of himself,
too honest to build himself up at the expense of
others, and too patriotic to tolerate with any
degree of patience any measure that could by
remote probability turn to injure the State or destroy
the rights of the people.
' He belonged to his friends and not they to him.
His warm and generous nature forbade him to
refuse a favor, and his knightly courage never permitted
him to turn his back upon a foe. In all the
corruption naturally incident to the revolution and
the acquisition of a princely landed domain by the
Republic, he walked upright before God and man,
and came out without the smell ofz fire even upon
his garments. Nay, better even than this. He
was ever the implacable foe of the land thief and
ae the defender of the people's heritage. His eagle
eye always saw through the flimsy veil of the
. jobber and detected at a glance the sinister purd
pose attempted to be concealed under the disguise
h of the public good; and every act and vote and
if thought of the man during his long and eventful
11 career in our legislative halls, attest his nobleness
e of soul and his incorruptibility of purpose. He
was always, and upon all occasions, the people's
a steadfast friend, and never spoke to them with a
d forked tongue. Too honest to tolerate deception
y he despised with loathing unutterable the slimy
arts of the demagogue, and crushed with his de-nunciation
the tricks of the politician. Men
-always knew how and where he stood and his
simple word constituted his bond. And yet he
icarried in his breast a heart full of loving kindf
ness for all, and a charity bounded only by the
limit of his resources. Take him all in all we
scarce shall look upon his like again. Faults he
had, like other men, but these faults sprang from
the youthful buoyancy of a heart that refused to
grow old with age. He loved ' the boys ' and he
remained one of them until he died.
" He may not have suited these times, but the
man and the hour met in the rugged days of our
earlier history, and the man was always equal to
"In debate upon the hustings he was matchless.
In forensic tilts with his professional brethren at
the bar he may have been equaled by some but he
was excelled by none. In the councils of the State
he was a patient investigator in committee, but a
very thunderbolt on the floor. Upon the bench he
was the urbane judge and finished gentleman, tolerant
of argument, painstaking in conclusion and
inflexible in judgment. Tradition informs us that
on one occasion he was specially commissioned by
the President of the Republic to go to a distant
county and there hold a term of court. The
county was torn and rent into factions, and instead
of raising crops the people had been devoting themselves
chiefly in the task of cutting each other's
throats. As a consequence no courts had been
held for years in the county, and none was wanted,
for the obvious reason that it would prove excessively
inconvenient to most of the citizens to be
forced to plead to indictments for murder. Just
before court convened a large mass meeting of
citizens was held, which adopted a resolution that
no court should be held. When Judge Williamson
took his seat upon the bench a lawyer arose and
after a few prefatory remarks read the resolution
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/484/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .