Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 855 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
his colonists, urged upon him for their sakes and
for the good of Texas to take the position of Secretary
of State, in order that his valuable services
could be given to Texas. He permitted
himself to be persuaded, when his own judgment
told him his health required repose and building
Having passed through the dark and stormy times
of the revolution, in which he took an active part, and
which he was largely instrumental in bringing to a
successful issue, he was nowfast approaching his end.
The immediate occasion of his,last sickness was
three days and nights of continuous labor in an uncomfortable
room without fire, during a norther,
where he was preparing instructions on the great
question of annexation and other subjects for the
new Minister, Hon. William H. Wharton, to the
He was attacked with a severe cold, which
assumed the form of pneumonia, and in a short
time terminated his useful, eventful and valuable
life, in the forty-fifth year of his age. His death
was regarded as a national calamity, and as such
was mourned throughout the Republic. As a testimonial
of respect the government issued the following
WAR DEPARTMENT, COLUMBIA,
"' December 27, 1836.
"The father of Texas is no more.
"The first pioneer of the wilderness has departed.
Gen. Stephen F. Austin, Secretary of State, expired
this day at half-past twelve o'clock, at
" As a testimony of respect to his high standing,
undeviating moral rectitude, and as a mark of the
nation's gratitude for his untiring zeal and invaluable
services, all officers, civil and military, are
requested to wear crape on the right arm for the
space of thirty days. All officers commanding posts,
garrisons or detachments, will, as soon as information
is received of the melancholy event, cause
thirty-three guns to be fired, with an interval of five
minutes between each, and also have the garrison
and regimental colors hung with black during the
space of mourning for the illustrious dead.
"By order of the President.
"WILLIAM S. FISHER,
" Secretary of War."
HENRY W. LIGHTFOOT,
Henry William Lightfoot, now Chief Justice of the
Court of Civil Appeals for the Fifth Supreme Judicial
District of the State of Texas, was born on the
old family homestead plantation, in Lawrence
County, Ala., December 29th, 1846. His paternal
grandfather, Dr. Thomas Lightfoot, a native of
Virginia, was a physician, and became one of the
early settlers of North Alabama. His father was
John F. Lightfoot and mother Malena J. Lightfoot,
He attended country schools until twelve years
of age, and then the academy at Tuscumbia, Ala.,
until sixteen years of age, when he joined the
Confederate army as a volunteer in the Eleventh
Alabama Cavalry and served as a soldier until the
war closed. In the fall of 1866 he visited Texas
and returned, determined to complete his education
and then make Texas his future home. The
property of his family being almost entirely swept
away by the war, he went to work as a field hand
upon the farm and saved enough money to enable
him to again attend school. He entered Cumberland
University at Lebanon, Tenn., in the fall of 1867,
and graduated from the Law Department in June,
1869, with high honors. His graduation speech
possessed unusual merit, gave promise of a successful
career that he has since carved out for himself
at the bar, and was favorably commented upon
in the leading Tennessee and Alabama papers. He
entered upon the practice of his profession in his
native county, in the latter part of 1869, and, after
two years and six months of successful practice at
the bar there, moved to Sherman, Texas, in January,
At the spring term of the District Court at
Bonham, in 1872, he met Gen. Sam. Bell Maxey.
They occupied the same room at the hotel, became
well acquainted, formed a partnership to practice
law together, and Mr. Lightfoot moved to Paris,
Texas, Gen. Maxey's home, in June following.
The partnership continued for more than twenty
years, the firm building up one of the largest and
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/855/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .