1790 - 1872
||28 Jun 1790
||Wilkes County, Georgia
||07 Dec 1872
||Egypt, Wharton County, Texas
||13 Jul 2017 |
||Mercer Thomas, b. Abt 1750, Currituck County, North Carolina , d. 16 Oct 1819, Amite County, Mississippi |
||Green Annis, b. 15 Mar 1748/1749, Stafford County, Virginia , d. bed Aug 3, 1802, Wilkinson County, Mississippi |
||Aft 15 Mar 1773
||Halifax Dist., North Carolina
||Thompson Nancy, b. 22 Dec 1796, Barnwell District, South Carolina , d. 09 Jan 1855, Wharton County, Texas |
||24 Dec 1810
||Amite County, Mississippi
|>||1. Mercer Penelope, b. 10 Dec 1811, Amite County, Mississippi , d. 05 Sep 1844, Galveston, Galveston County, Texas |
| ||2. Mercer Reason, b. 17 Oct 1813, Amite County, Mississippi , d. Abt 1837, Egypt, Colorado County, Texas |
|>||3. Mercer Levi, b. 28 Jul 1815, Amite County, Mississippi , d. 14 Feb 1865, Colorado County, Texas |
|>||4. Mercer Elijah Green, b. 20 Mar 1819, Amite County, Mississippi , d. 11 Mar 1856, Egypt, Wharton County, Texas |
|>||5. Mercer Terrissa, b. 22 Feb 1822, Amite County, Mississippi , d. 05 Jun 1905, Runnels County, Texas |
|>||6. Mercer Letitia Ann, b. 01 Dec 1824, Amite County, Mississippi , d. 1891, Jackson County, Texas |
||Mr and Mrs. Eli Mercer attended church at Independence, Washington County, Texas in 1846.|
||1860 Comal County, Texas Census, Eli Mercer|
||07 Oct 2011 |
||Land Donation of 640 Acres to Eli Mercer for fighting at the Battle of San Jacinto|
| ||Land Grant District Bastrop Bounty #000117 to Eli Mercer|
| ||Land Grant to Eli Mercer Bastrop 1st District #000377|
| ||Eli Mercer, Gillespie County Abstract # 451 Bexar District, 1st Class #675|
| ||Eli Mercer, Llano County, Texas Bastrop District, Bounty Class, Abstract 563 File Number 109|
| ||Texas Alamanac 1860; Account of the Battle of San Jacinto|
Gives insight as to what Captain Wm. J. E. Heard and Eli Mercer witnessed before and during the Battle of San Jacinto. It reflects their account of the actions of Sam Houston. Sam Houston comments during a speech about the actions and statements of General Sherman that they felt were untrue.
| ||1st Regiment Company F Infantry
led by Captain William Jones Elliot Heard|
William Mosby Eastland, first lieutenant, Elija G. Mercer, first Sergeant, Wilson T. Lightfoot, second sergeant, Alfred Kelso, first corporal, and Eli Mercer, second corporal
||The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906
| ||The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986
Information regarding Eli Mercer's advice to Stephen F. Austin "I think the only chance is to fight them from the brush, fight them from the brush all time; never take our boys to an open fight, our situation will not admit it."
||Mississippi, Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers, 1812-1815 Record for Eli Mercer|
||Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869 Record for Eli F MercerTexas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869 |
||Elected as Commissioner to inspect land offices 1840 Eli Mercer|
||New Orleans, Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 Record for MercerNew Orleans, Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 |
Port of Arrival New Orleans, May 6, 1839
Departed from Galveston
||THE TEXAS BAPTIST EDUCATION SOCIETY-ITS ORGANIZATION AND HISTORY.
Brother Huckins sent by the Baptist Missionary Society to Texas with help from the monetary contribution of Jesse Mercer, cousin of Eli. Brother Huckins writes in detail of his first experiences in Texas, among the Baptists. He mentions working with Eli Mercer and also baptizing Gail Borden and wife Penelope Mercer Borden.
| ||Last Will and Testament of Eli Mercer|
- MERCER, ELI (1790/1872). Eli Mercer, early settler, was born in Georgia on June 28, 1790. His father, Thomas Mercer, was a Baptist minister in Wilkes and Hancock counties, Georgia, before 1803, when he moved his family to southwestern Mississippi. In Mississippi Eli Mercer married Ann Nancy Thompson on December 24, 1810. They became the parents of six children. Penelope, the oldest child, married Gail Borden, Jr. In 1829, probably through the influence of Borden, whose brother, Thomas H.,qv was already in Texas, Eli Mercer, his wife, their five unmarried children, and three slaves traveled by boat to Natchitoches, Louisiana, and then overland by wagon to the Colorado River in what is now Wharton County. In February 1832 Mercer bought 500 acres of the James W. Jones League from Thomas H. Borden for $298. In 1837 he bought one quarter of the adjoining league from John P. Borden. In the early years the area was known as Mercer's Crossing because of the ferry that Eli Mercer operated there. Mercer's land on the Colorado became known as Egypt because of the abundance of corn produced there. Mercer was a delegate to the conventions of 1832 and 1833qqv from the District of Mina. At the 1832 convention he voted to petition the Mexican government to make Texas a separate state. In 1836 he was appointed one of the commissioners for organizing the militia for the jurisdiction of Austin. During the Texas Revolution he supplied the Texas army with beef and other provisions and hid corn in the cane brakes so that the community had food and seed when peace came and the settlers returned to their homes. When Texans fled before the approach of Antonio López de Santa Anna's army, Gail Borden borrowed a wagon and team from Mercer, and he and Joseph Baker hauled their press to Harrisburg, where, on April 14, an edition of the Telegraph and Texas Register was being printed when the enemy arrived. The press was dumped into Buffalo Bayou, but some copies of the paper were saved. By February 1836 Thomas Rabb was organizing the men of the area into a company of "Citizen Soldiers." Eli Mercer joined on February 29 as a first sergeant. Both Mercer and his son Elijahqv participated in the battle of San Jacinto. Mercer is said to have been the first producer of sugar in Texas. In the Telegraph and Texas Register in November 1836, Borden praised the quality of sugar produced on the Mercer plantation. Eli Mercer served as postmaster at Mercer's from 1835 to 1837, by which time the town was called Egypt and was still part of Colorado County. He served again in 1841. In 1836 he was on the committee that selected Columbus as the county seat of Colorado County. He was elected justice of the peace for the Lower District in the first Colorado County election in 1837 and served on the first jury in 1838. In 1838 Thomas J. Rabb, William J. E. Heard, and Mercer were appointed to receive subscriptions for the Colorado Navigation Company to promote the use of the river for transportation, and in September 1850 Mercer and others organized a new effort to remove the great raft in the Colorado that for so many years obstructed navigation on the lower river. Mercer was a longtime member of the Baptist State Convention, and when Baylor University was established at Independence in 1845 he was a charter trustee. He died in Egypt, Wharton County, on December 7, 1872. His exact burial site is unknown.
Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Texas State Archives, Austin. Annie Lee Williams, A History of Wharton County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1964).
Vernon P. Crockett
CHARTER TRUSTEE OF BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
- ACCOUNT OF THE BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO ELI MERCER AND GEN. SAM HOUSTON
From: "The Uncompromising Diary of Sallie McNeill, 1858-1867" By Sallie McNeill, Ginny McNeill Raska
Wed. 11th Sewed all yesterday, making myself a gingham dress. No letter last night, only Mollie's "Pilgrim". Read "Texas Almanac" this morning. The different accounts concerning the Battle of San Jacinto, and the Revolution of 1836, given by SAM HOUSTON AND SHERMAN, are enought to confuse anyone. Sherman houwever has the best proof, for I believe MR. MERCER'S account true. He is a strict member of the Baptist Church, I heard him exhort several times at Wharton last summer. Gen. Houston has also been immersed, and though I know little about his private character at present. I have heard him acknowledge his past transgressions. He was admitted in the church at Independence. He is very sarcastic and egotistical in his political speeches. He declared he would not accept any office after his defeat as a candidate for Governor, yet he is now filling that office. Mrs. Houston is a strong minded woman I think, not very good looking. Her eldest son is dissapated but the girls are possessed of good abilities.
Beginning with its first editon 1857, Texas Almanac included some accusations against Sam Houston concerning his conduct at the Battle of San Jacinto and during the Revolution.
A veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, Eli Mercer settled in what is now Wharton County in 1829.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION READ UNDER ELI MERCER DOCUMENTS
Texas Alamanac 1860; Account of the Battle of San Jacinto
1820 Mississippi Census, Amite County p. 22, Eli Mercer age 26-45, with wife of age 16-26. Entry adjacent to that of Samuel F. Thomas age 26-45 with wife of same age. (Eli's wife Nancy's maiden name was Thompson)
Not found in the 1830 Mississippi Census. They were in Texas prior to 1830.
1850 Texas Census, Wharton Township, Wharton County, p. 325, dwelling 59, family 59, E. Mercer 60, b. Georgia with wife Nancy, 56, b. North Carolina.
Wharton County was formed in 1846 from Matagorda, Jackson and Colorado Counties and you will find the Mercers mentioned in Wharton, Jackson and Colorado Counties.
TELEGRAPH AND TEXAS REGISTER VOL. 1, SAN FELIPE DE AUSTIN, SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 1836 NO.13
For the jurisdiction of Austin
George Ewing, first judge, Gail Borden jr., second ditto, Thomas Gay, James Jones, and ELI MERCER,commissioners for organizing the militia.
THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY, VOLUME 9 BY TEXAS STATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
"Thus Eli Mercer, writing to Governor Smith, December 16, said: "I received your appointment authorizing me to assist in organizing the militia of Austin. I have called a meeting of the board to attend to this, but feel it my duty to join the army, which I shall do next Tuesday. I recommend Mr. Menefee for my place in organizing the militia." Archives of Texas, D, file 13, No., 1261
A Pictorial History of Texas, from the Earliest Visits of European ...
By Homer S. Thrall
TIIK MEXICAN MARCH TOWARDS SAN JACINTO?HOUSTON'S RETREAT?CAMPS IN MILL CHEEK BOTTOM?THIS MEXICANS MEKT WITH RESISTANCE AT SAN FELIPE, AND TURN DOWN THE RIVER TO RICHMOND?BOTH ARMIES CROSS THE BRAZOS.
/THE length of time required to capture the small J- garrison of the Alamo had been very vexatious to the President-General of Mexico, whose previous military movements had been conducted with great rapidity. But his victory was complete, and he now had leisure to plan for further operations. On the 11th of March he ordered Generals Sesma and Woll, with 675 infantry, 50 dragoons, two six-pounders and eight days' rations, to march for the interior, intending that they should go, via Columbus, San Felipe and Harrisburg, to Anahuac. He also ordered about 400 men, with three guns, under Colonel Juan Morales, to reinforce Urrea at Goliad. His plan contemplated the invasion of the province by three divisions. One, consisting of about 750 men, under General Gaona, was to go via Bastrop and Washington to Nacogdoches ; the coast division of 1,700 men, under Urrea, to advance via Victoria, Brazoria, and Galveston to Anahuac; and the central division, of about 4,000, under Filisola, was to follow the route taken by Sesma. Santa Anna, when he heard of the capture of Fannin, thought the conquest of Texas was effected, and in the exuberance of his delight gave orders to his subordinates to shoot all prisoners. He intended soon to return to his capital, and leave Filisola and Almonte to complete the reorganization of the government of the conquered province. But having heard from Sesma that a considerable army, under Houston, was encamped on the east bank of the Colorado, he, at the solicitation of Almonte and Filisola, concluded to remain and complete his work.
On the fourth day of the session of the Convention at San Felipe, General Houston was re-elected commander-in-chief of the forces in the field. Two days later, on the 6th, the day the Alamo fell, Houston, with George W. Hockley, chief of staff, and one or two companions, left Washington for the headquarters of the army at Gonzales, arriving there on the 11th. Mr. Yoakum says: "It was Houston's intention to combine the forces of Fannin and Xeil and march to the aid of Travis." But Houston, in his last senatorial speech, says he had anticipated that calamity (the fall of the Alamo), and went to Gonzales, intending to fall back. There has been no little controversy as to the number of men at Gonzales when Houston arrived there. Mr. Yoakum fixes the number at 374; other authorities make it twice as large, though no thorough organization had been effected. As our readers will remember, thirty-two of the citizen soldiers from Gonzales entered the Alamo during the siege. The night Houston reached the place, the sad tidings arrived that the Alamo had fallen and its brave defenders were all killed. This produced an indescribable scene of grief in the town, as a dozen women and a large number of children had lost their husbands and fathers. A terrible panic ensued. Twenty-five soldiers, says Houston, deserted that night, and fleeing towards the Sabine, spread the news and the panic throughout the country.
Houston deemed a retreat inevitable, and securing the women and children, the party took up the line of march about midnight, March 12th. As the rear guard left the town, the place was fired, without any orders. The Texans arrived at Peach creek the next day. Here they met a reinforcement of 125 men; but when the news of the massacre of Travis and his companions was told the new troops, twenty-five of them immediately left for their homes. The Texans reached the Navidad on the 14th, and the Colorado, at Burnham's, on the 17th, where the river was crossed; the army now numbering about six hundred men. Descending the stream, they encamped on the west bank, opposite Columbus, until the 25th. In the meantime,'the Mexican advance, under Sesma, had reached the right bank of the river. By the 26th, Houston's army had increased to between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred men.
Houston has been severely censured for not making a stand at that place. The river offered a good line of defence; and as soon as he resumed his retrograde movement, many men, whose families would be exposed, had to leave the army to secure their safety. In his last speech in the Senate, he gives the reason for his retreat. When encamped on the Lavaca river, going west, he had dispatched Col. Win. T. Austin to Velasco for artillery. The guns were shipped up to Columbia, but owing to excessive rains, it was found impossible to transport them to army headquarters. Without artillery, and the soldiers depressed by the sad fate of Travis and of Fannin, Houston thought it best to fall back to the Brazos. When he reached the river at San Felipe, instead of crossing the stream and establishing a line of defense, he turned up across Mill creek, and encamped, from the 29th of March until the 12th of April, in the bottom.
Mosely Baker, with a company of about one hundred men, was stationed on the east bank of the river, opposite San Felipe, to protect the ferry, and prevent the enemy from passing the stream. At Richmond, Wylie Martin, with forty six men, was guarding the two ferries. On the day that Houston encamped on the west bank of the Brazos, Santa Anna started the bulk of his army from San Antonio; the central division following Sesma, and Gaona marching for Bastrop. The General himself did not leave the city until the last day of March, and arrived at Columbus on the 5th of April. Leaving his heavy guns and most of the infantry to follow, the President, with a division of cavalry, reached the neighborhood of San Felipe on the 7th. The town had been burnt. Baker showed so determined a resistance, that the Mexicans deflected down the river, camping at Cole's on the 9th and 10th, and sending a foraging party to the fine MERCER AND HEARD plantations, for provisions, sugar, etc. At Cole's a negro was captured and dispatched to Houston, with an insolent message to the General, in which Santa Anna told him that he knew where he was; and as soon as he had cleaned out the land of thieves at Harris* burg, he was coming back to smoke him?Houston?out. The negro delivered the message. On the 11th the Mexicans camped at Powell's, and reached Richmond on the 12th. Almonte, who knew the place, rode down to the lower ferry, kept by Mr. Morton, and in good English announced that the Mexicans were approaching, and he wanted to make his escape. The negro ferryman, deceived by the speech, took the boat over, and it was instantly seized by the Mexican soldiers. In the meantime, the Mexicans were firing their guns at Captain Martin's company, at the upper ferry; while others were crossing below. When Martin ascertained the ruse that had been practiced, he immediately started up the river to report to Houston.
Houston seized the steamer Yellowstone, that had entered the Brazos to carry out cotton; and with this steamer, and a ferry boat, crossed the stream opposite Groce's on the same days?April 12th and 16th?that Santa Anna crossed the advance division of Mexicans at Richmond.
The pertinent question recurs, why did Houston remain so long in the bottom?
This hiding of himself, and so long period of in action, have been severely criticised. He had stepped, so to speak, right out of the way of Santa Anna; but did not ascend the river far enough to intercept Gaona, who would cross at Washington or Tenoxticlan. Newell, in his history, says this was done for a secure position. If Houston wished to avoid a fight, this was a very secure position. In his Senatorial speech, the commander assigns another reason. He says that the reason he did not fall upon Santa Anna was, that excessive rains had so swollen the streams that it was impossible for him to emerge from his island camp in the bottom. This is hardly satisfactory. Why did he go there? While he was in that camp, Santa Anna had traversed the whole distance from San Antonio to the Brazos, and finding the crossing opposed by a few determined men, under Mosely Baker and John N. Seguin, had gone down the stream and crossed at Richmond. It is probable that the true reason for this strange strategetical movement was very different from the one assigned ; one that he was never willing to avow, In all his references to this trying period, the General complains of the insubordination of the soldiers. He had ordered San Antonio evacuated. The order was not obeved. Had ordered Fannin to evacuate Goliad. This was so tardily executed that his army was sacrificed. In the general army under Houston himself, men came and went, almost at will. He had the most unbounded confidence in the personal courage of his men, every one of whom was a hero. But he feared that in a hard-contested battle, this personal heroism might bring on a spirit of independence that would be uncontrollable, and might result in disorder and defeat. During the period in which they were in the bottom, they were isolated and he had an opportunity to organize them, and establish his personal influence and authority over them. At any rate he felt, when he crossed the river, that he could rely upon the obedience, as well as the valor of his troops. He had taught them that obedience which is said to be the first duty of a soldier.
The Fabian policy of General Houston was not generally approved by the civilians. Nor was there a cordial feeling between the commander of the army and the newly inaugurated President. Soon after the adjournment of the Convention, the President and his Cabinet removed from Washington to Harrisburg, to be nearer the coast, and at a point where supplies for the army could be collected and forwarded to headquarters. Houston severely condemned this movement, as increasing the excitement and panic in the country. President Burnet remained at Harrisburg until the armies crossed the Brazos, when he descended the bayou to Lynchburg to secure the safety of his family and other families on the San Jacinto river. But before leaving Harrisburg, General Rusk, Secretary of War, was dispatched to army headquarters to arrest the retrograde movement of the army. In an order to Houston, Burnet rather curtly told the General: "The enemy are laughing you to scorn. You must fight them. You must retreat no farther. The country expects you to fight. The salvation of the country depends on your doing so." General Houston's response to this executive missive was the Battle of San Jacinto.
Per Bud Northington of Egypt, Texas (descendent of the Heard family)
Wife of Gail Borden: Penelope Mercer & children stayed with her parents in Egypt in advance of the Runaway Scrape (men had gone off to fight) hoping that Texas Army would hold back Mexicans from crossing the Colorado River in 1836.
Many families later stayed in Egypt while Texas Militia set up defense following San Jacinto to keep Mexican army from coming back
- Eli Mercer was Second Corporal in the 1st Regiment Company F Infantry thatt fought at the Battle of San Jacinto under Captain William J. E. Heard. Captain Heard lived on the adjoining plantation of Eli Mercer. Eli's son, Elijah married the sister of William J. Heard, Jemima Amelia Heard.
William J. E. Heard Obituary:
No notice has yet appeared in the ADVOCATE of Bro. Heard, although he died several months since. He was a historical character, both in church and State, and deserves more than a mere passing notice. He was born in Tennessee, but moved early in life to Alabama; and, with a large company of relatives immigrated to Texas in 1830. He settled first on the Navidad river, but soon after removed to Egypt on the Colorado. In 1830, he was on a visit to Alabama, and thus failed to participate in the military movements which culminated in the capture of San Antonio. As soon as the news of the invasion by Santa Anna was received, he collected a company - of whom he was elected captain - and hastened to join the army at Gonzales. At the battle of San Jacinto his company (F of Burleson's regiment) was immediately in front of the enemy's cannon. When within one hundred yards of the battery, they saw the flash of the guns, and all fell down. As they arose, Captain H. shouted to his men that the battery must be taken before its gunners could reload and fire. The men rushed forward, at double-quick, and seized the guns - one of which was loaded. Captain H. counted fifteen dead Mexicans lying close to these guns. His own trusty rifle was fired sixteen times during the fight.
In 1840, Capt. Heard was with Colonel John N. Moore in a scout on the upper Colorado. They had a fight in which about sixty Indians were killed and a large number of horses retaken. In 1842 he went to San Antonio to repel the Mexicans under Woll. He intended to join the expedition to the Rio Grande until he became satisfied that President Houston did not intend a serious invasion of Mexico, when he returned to his home and was elected Chief Justice of the new county of Wharton. In the Fall of 1837 Rev. Dr. Ruter, in company with the Rev. J.W. Kinney, visited the Colorado, and the Doctor organized the Egypt class at Bro. Heards House, Dec. 10. There were nine members, only one of whom is now living - Mrs. Martha Read of Marlin. Bro. Heard [can't read this line] where Congree was then in session. Of the preachers in Egypt before annexation, the following are still living: Alexander, heard, Crawford, Sneed, DeVilbiss and Thrall. Emphatically, Bro H.'s house was a preachers home. he dispensed a generous hospitality. During the war his house was most of the time, full of Confederate soldiers. To enjoy superior church privileges, in 1865 he removed to Chappell Hill, where he was at once elected a trustee in our literary institutions, and a church steward. In May last he was attacked with dropsy, and continued to gradually sink until his death which took place on the 8th of August. Captain Heard was a high-toned, honorable gentleman, a brave soldier, a pure patriot, a useful citizen of unsullied reputation; and an exemplary Christian. He died in peace at the good old age of seventy-three
Celebrating 235 years of American independence and 175 years of Texas independence
Posted by The Baylor Proud Team in Alumni, Just for Fun
While we celebrate the 235th anniversary of America's independence this weekend, much of Texas is celebrating our great state's 175 years of independence from Mexico all year. (Texas Monthly is advertising it as the state's "terquasquicentennial;" say that five times fast.)
Baylor and Baylor people have long played important roles in Texas history, even before independence was won. Albert Horton, one of Baylor's founding trustees, was a scout for Col. James Fannin during the Texas Revolution. Two other trustees, James Lester and ELI MERCER, fought at the Battle of San Jacinto.
During Texas' time as an independent nation, Horton served in the Republic of Texas Congress. University co-founder William Tryon was chaplain for the Republic of Texas Senate. Then as Texas became part of the United States, university namesake R.E.B. Baylor helped draw up the state's original constitution.
The influence of Baylor and Baylor people in Texas has continued ever since. Sam Houston moved his entire family so that several of his children could enroll at Baylor. The university offered the state's first law degrees, first literary society, first journalism courses and first religious courses for college credit, and members of the Baylor family played large roles in helping establish the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
Sic em, Bears in Texas history!
Reminiscences and Events in the Ministerial Life of Rev. John Wesley ...
edited by Hiram Atwill Graves
REMINISCENCES OF A SUPERANNUATED PREACHER.
By John Wesley Devilbiss, Sr.
[The reminiscences following were contributed by Brother DeVilbiss in a series of articles to the Texas Christian Advocate, and are here reproduced as being more appropriate, interesting and instructive than anything which could be written in their stead.?Compiler.]
At the earnest solicitation of many of my brethren of the West Texas Conference, among them Reverends Thrall, Thornberry, Sutherland, O. A. Fisher, and others, I begin some brief recollections of my connection with Texas Methodism and my labors in this broad field, hoping thus to be of some use in my declining years to the church, and of doing something that may encourage my dear brethren who are now in the active work of the ministry.
These reminiscences have been delayed beyond my own expectations and the expectations of my brethren for two or three reasons: First, my very bad health during the winter has precluded me from doing much labor of any kind. Second, learning the crowded state of the AdvoCate, I concluded to wait till you had less material on hand, and would be better able to give place to these recollections of past labor in God's vineyard, if you should deem them worthy of any place in your excellent journal. Third, as you are now engaged, no doubt, with the Jubilee AdvoCate, and your publishers have their hands full, I thought it would be best for me to wait till you are through with that important publication. As health permits, I propose now to give you these brief sketches, and will begin with my Trip To TEXAS In 1842.
The Ohio Conference was held this year at Hamilton, Butler county, Ohio, closing Obtober 4. I, with five others, volunteered to transfer to Texas as missionaries. I find my transfer among my credentials in Bishop Morris' handwriting, dated October 4, 1842. I immediately made the necessary preparations and set out for my destination. I took steamer at Marietta, Ohio, and went to Cincinnati. There we tarried several days, awaiting a light-draught steamer, as the water was very low. About November 20, we went aboard the Narragansett, a goodly craft, and were soon off for Texas. Our company consisted of Rev. Daniel Poe and wife, Rev. Wm. O'Connor and wife, and Revs. Wilbur J. Thurber and Richard Walker, all of the Ohio Conference, and Rev. Isaac M. Williams, of North Ohio Conference. We had also in our company, Rev. Littleton Fowler and wife, General Chambers and Major Reiley, all citizens of Texas. Of that company all have passed away from earth except Mrs. Fowler (now Mrs. Woollam), and perhaps Mrs. O'Connor, who, if living, is now Mrs. Hatch, and the writer. Rev. H. S. Thrall, who was also among the Ohio Conference transfers, preceded us some weeks. He is still on the effective list and able to do full ministerial work, besides an immense amount of literary labor. He is the Presiding Elder on San Antonio district, and beloved by all.
But one incident of note occurred on the trip, except an occasional stick on a sand bar, till we arrived at New Orleans. This incident was a shooting match. Just below the mouth of the Ohio river our steamer stopped to wood from some flat boats, which were moored alongside a beautiful sand bar, or beach. On this beach was lying a large cottonwood tree, entirely clear of bark. Brother Poe brought out his long rifle, which had been made to order, and which in its whole length was just equal to the height of the owner, six feet six and a half inches. A round piece of paper, with a black spot in it, was pinned to the horizontal trunk of the tree for a mark. Brother Poe took the first shot, and cut a small nick in the paper. Brother Fowler missed the mark altogether; so did two or three others. The unwieldy piece was then handed to the writer, and, by accident or somehow else, out went the black spot and down went the paper, and immediately the steamer's bell rang for starting. I rather enjoyed the adulations of the passengers. "That boy vill do for Texas!" "Why, he beat the owner of the g+ju!" I should have hesitated to have ventured another shot.
At New Orleans the captain and his chief clerk tried to sell out the green Ohio boy by an effort to get him to a masquerade ball. They might have succeeded, but fortunately Gen. Chambers overheard their plans and promptly notified me, and thus saved me, no doubt, much mortification and perhaps other trouble. Here, also, a Jew merchant sold me a good overcoat, wrapped it up, and, in breaking the thread, essayed to drop it behind the counter, and handed me another all done up, worth about half as much. I had no little trouble to get the coat I had bought.
It was reported at New Orleans that Galveston was blockaded by a Mexican squadron. This report (which afterwards proved to be false) influenced us to take the steamer for Red River. We had a tedious trip; were two days getting over the falls at Alexandria, La., and after much delay arrived at Grand Ecore, not being able to get to Natchitoches on account of low water. At Grand Ecore we hired a wagon and team to haul our baggage and our ladies, and the men went afoot. Here I had my first experience in camping out. It was pleasant weather, and we all enjoyed the occasion in the pine woods. The next night we spent at a new house, in the western part of Louisiana. For the first time I saw a house without an upper floor in it. It looked strange and ghostly to me, and when Brother Fowler remarked that "this is a good sample of our Texas houses," I was rather shocked. I inquired how they did when it snowed. "Ah," said Brother Fowler, "that seldom happens in this country." The next day we we were to cross the Sabine river into Texas. It was the tenth day of December, 1842. I was advised not to drink any water from the Sabine, as it gave a person an inclination to steal something as soon as they got into Texas. I walked to the front end of the boat; our wagon followed, and then the balance of our company, so that I was the first one of the Ohio folks to tread on Texas soil. We drove and walked about ten or twelve miles to a Brother Brown's, who had a large plantation and was well to do. Never were a lot of weary travelers more pleasantly taken in and cared for than were we by good Brother and Sister Brown.
Brother Fowler remarked to me, "Brother DeVilbiss, this is a fair specimen of Texas hospitality." I found it so in hundreds of instances since that time.
Palo Blanco Ranch, May 3, 1884.
REMINISCENCES OF A SUPERANNUATED PREACHER.
I took leave of my readers at Brother Brown's, ten miles West of Sabine river. Our company held a council, and it was concluded, for want of horses, that it was best for only a part to go to Conference, at Bastrop, which was appointed for December 22d. The others remained in the vicinity of Brother Brown's?myself among them. As it would require three or four weeks for the Brethren to go to Conference and return, we resolved to hold several protracted meetings. At one of these we had a number of bright conversions. One was a young Frenchman who understood very little of the English language. He became deeply interested for his salvation; came to the mourners' bench, and after a severe struggle, found peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It was amusing to hear his expressions of joy in broken English. I have never witnessed a clearer conversion. This man came to Central Texas, settled in a thriving county seat, went to merchandising, succeeded in business, married, raised a large family, and some two years ago died an honored citizen and a faithful . member of the Presbyterian Church.
I became very much attached to these good people in Eastern Texas, and had great hopes that I might receive an appointment among them. In this, however, I was disappointed. When the brethren returned from Conference I was informed that I was junior preacher on Egypt circuit, with Henderson D. Palmer in charge and John Clark presiding elder. I was now three hundred miles from my field of labor, and how to get there I did not know. Providence opened my way. Brother Sneed had bought a bunch of horses, and wished them taken to Washington county, on the Brazos, and offered me one to ride provided I would assist in getting the others across the country. Mr. Editor, could you have seen Brother Palmer and myself on this trip, you would not have taken us for Methodist preachers! Each had two horses tailed to the one he rode, and a few more followed of their own accord. We had a pleasant trip, and in due time delivered the stock safely to the owner, who had preceded us a week or ten days. Brother Sneed loaned me a horse to ride to my circuit, and keep till I could procure one of my own.
The nearest point to our circuit was about thirty-five miles, which we made in a day. We were now on the Colorado, two miles from Columbus, our initial appointment. We put up at a Mr. Wright's, and were informed that the Colorado was higher than ever known by the oldest citizen. Columbus was on the west side of the river, and the following Sabbath was the day for preaching. It was Friday night, and we saw no way of crossing the river unless we could construct a raft. Mr. Wright informed me that Mr. Beason had some dry willow house logs, which lay very near the water, and at a good place to launch a raft. In the morning, early, I went to see Mr. Beason, and without any difficulty got the logs. Armed with auger, saw, axe, hammer and nails, Brother Palmer and I went to work, and by .3 p. m. our raft was finished and launched, and appeared to me to be entirely seaworthy, though Brother Palmer and the by-standers thought otherwise. We would have to run down the river about two miles to make Columbus, and these gentlemen thought the eddies and flood-wood together would cause our raft to founder. Just as we were making our preparations to go aboard, a messenger arrived, informing us that a Mr. Williams had been drowned that morning in attempting to cross a slough, and requesting Brother Palmer and myself to make a coffin for him. I confess this news rather dampened my confidence in the raft, and we abandoned the enterprise. We gathered some rough tools, found some rough planks, and by 12 m. on Sunday finished the coffin. We buried our young friend, and that night 1 preached to a small congregation at Mr. Wright's, and Brother Palmer delivered a warm and appropriate exhortation. Monday we set out for Egypt, which could be reached without crossing the river; and after a hard day's ride, through mud and water, arrived at MR. ELI MERCER'S and put up for the night. Mr. MERCER and family were Baptists, of the true Christian type. We were cordially received and hospitably entertained. The plan of our circuit was a very meager document, and did not designate any houses or stopping places for the circuit-riders, as they were called. Here we found a noble set of people, and well-to-do in worldly matters. The neighborhood was fitly named Egypt, for there was always an abundance of corn raised there, which was hauled a long distance to supply the new settlements further west. Here we concluded to make our home, and began our work. The circuit embraced all the settlements in what is now Colorado, Lavaca, Jackson, Wharton and Matagorda counties. We had sixteen appointments, and it required nearly four hundred miles of travel to get round the circuit, which we accomplished in four weeks. During about three months of this year we had to travel at night, on account of the greenheaded flies. If we attempted to cross the prairies in daylight, we did it at the risk of losing our horses. Brother Lancaster, in his reminiscences, says: "There appeared a small horse-fly, with a green head, and they were so numerous that a man could scarcely cross the prairie in day time. It was common fora horse to drop and roll, then rise and run, and leave the rider to trudge his way on foot." I have heard of several instances where the horse made for the timber, but dropped dead before reaching it. Then the mosquitoes?so large and so numerous! They could easily penetrate a buckskin glove. Notwithstanding these annoyances, we had a gracious visitation of divine mercy. We. received from the people nothing but kindness and hospitality. At our first quarterly meeting we had a gracious outpouring of the Spirit. Among the converts were two daughters of that good man, Colonel Hodges, whom most of our old preachers knew. He was one of the noblest and best men of earth. His oldest daughter, familiarly called Puss, subsequently married Mr. Thomas Sutherland, raised a large family, and died a few years ago triumphantly in the faith of the gospel. The younger, called Duck, married Mr. Bell, at Goliad, She has a large family, I think, of fourteen or fifteen living children, and still lives an ornament to the church of God. We had a gracious work ot grace among the colored people. Many of them were happily converted to God, and united with the church. Slaves though these people were, they appeared to be happy. They were well fed, well clothed, and had ample time and opportunity to worship God.
- ELI MERCER DELEGATE FOR MINA (BASTROP) DISTRICT FIRST CONSULTATION AND CONVENTION, SAN FELIPE DE AUSTIN 1 Oct 1832
Texian Consultations at San Felipe
1832--"the Texans imagined that a memorial setting forth their grievances would cause a feeling of pride and sympathy to swell in the bosom of Santa Anna, Mexico's ruler."-Sam Houston Dixon in Romance and Tragedy of Texas History.
1833--proposed constitution.....an independent State of Texas in the Federal Mexican union....call for repeal of the eleventh article of the decree of April 6, 1830 forbidding North American immigration into Texas....reduced tariffs on essential goods.
First Consultation and Convention, San Felipe de Austin 1 Oct 1832. The first two assemblies of colonists who had come to Texas at the invitation of the liberal principles of republicanism established by the Republic of Mexico under the Constitution of 1824 were organized as a mechanism of explanation of concern and the cause of unrest among the settlements. Ironically, the colonists were in support of future centralista dictator, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who had taken up the cause of republicanism and restoration of the principles of 1824. Times prior to the convention were cause for optimism since the xenophobic and racist Bustamente's military leader had left the State and General Mexia had confirmed to Santa Anna the loyalty of the colonists.
The call for this convention was issued September 14, 1832 by Horatio Chriesman, the first Alcalde of San Felipe and John Austin, the second Alcalde of Brazoria. Fifty-six elected delegates from the municipalities presented credentials and took seats. Stephen F. Austin was elected president, defeating William Wharton and Francis W. Johnson was elected secretary. Wharton was appointed chair of the committee to prepare the memorials to the government reflecting proceedings of the meetings. Representatives from San Antonio declined participation and no representatives from La Bahia were present during the main meeting, but appeared toward the end at which time Rafael Manchola was elected to be among the representatives to communicate proceedings of the meeting to government officials.
--DeWitt Colonists/Residents in Italics--
For Biographies, Search Handbook of Texas Online
DELEGATES-First Consultation 1832
Samuel Bruff, David Wright, William Demetrius Lacy, William R. Hensley, Jesse Burnham
Philip A. Sublett, Donald McDonald, William McFarland, Wyatt Hanks, Jacob Garrett
Henry S. Brown (photo), Claiborne Stinnett
Nestor Clay, Alexander Thompson
James Kerr (left), Hugh McGuffin, Joseph K. Looney, William Menefee (right), George Sutherland
Patrick C. Jack, Claiborne West, James Morgan (photo)
John Connell, Samuel C. Douglass
Samuel W. Hoyt, Ira Ingram, Silas Dinsmore, ELI MERCER
Charles S. Taylor, Thomas Hastings, Freeman Hartz
Benjamin Holt, Absalom Hyer, Jesse Parker
Stephen F. Austin (left), Wiley Martin, Francis Johnson (right), Luke Leassier
Archelaus Bynum Dodson, George F. Richardson, Robert Wilson
Thomas D. Beauchamp, Elijah Isaacks, Samuel Looney, James Looney
John M. Bradley, William English, Frederick Foye, George Butler
Jared E. Groce, William Robinson, Joshua Hadley
John Austin, George B. McKinstry, Charles B. Sayre, William H. Wharton (photo)
Resident: Proposed closing a disservice
By NATALIE BEDNORZ
Saturday, November 5, 2011 2:07 AM CDT
The fight to save the Egypt Post Office from possible closure is still on as residents prepare to meet with USPS representatives at 5 p.m. Monday night at Mount Gilead Baptist Church. The USPS cites a decline in office workload and a steady decline in revenue as an indicator that maintaining the facility is not warranted. If the post office in Egypt closes, residents will travel five miles away to Glen Flora for services.
Bud Northington, whose family has resided in Egypt for several generations, said in an interview Thursday that it would be a disservice to the people of the community to close the post office. He and other residents plan to attend the meeting in order to provide USPS representatives with information about what they believe makes the service historically important to them.
They say the post office has no significant historical marker, but they're wrong, Northington said. There is no doubt Egypt is a historical location and the post office has been moved around to several locations within the community. Just because the building isn't a historic landmark doesn't mean there isn't any valuable history there.
Egypt is the oldest community in Wharton County. It was settled in 1829 by ELI MERCER who established a crossing on the Colorado River. In 1835, he established a post office in the middle of four converging mail routes which received mail every two weeks. This was one of the first in Texas. According to Northington, the post office was burned to the ground when Mexican General Santa Anna passed through Egypt on the way to San Jacinto in 1836. Since then, it has been moved to different places and buildings around the community.
Egypt was here before Houston and Rosenberg, even Wharton, Northington said. The same families that have depended on this post office are still here. There are nearly 300 people who use this post office. I know someone who has moved to Conroe and continues to keep a P.O. box here because he loves Egypt.
Northington also notes that many people walk to the post office everyday because they don?t have vehicles. Jeff Hershey, who organized a letter writing campaign to save the post office, also spoke of the issues with transportation for many people who rely heavily on it for various services.
This is an isolated community with no other services except our post office, he said in an earlier interview. We have a lot of people with disabilities who depend on this.
Revenue at the Egypt post office was $16,472 in 2007, $16,992 in 2008, $16,233 in 2009, and $16,644 in 2010. An average of $16,500 a year since 2007. The USPS proposes 3,700 rural post office closings throughout the nation in an effort to close the gap between rising costs and a decline in mail volume.
"E. M.", friend of Rev. James Huckins, I have no doubt is Eli Mercer. In this article Eli Mercer is referring to the death of his eldest son Reason Mercer. This was from the Journal of James Huckins
March 5. Have today passed through two settlements on the San Bernardand West Bernard, where the gospel has never been preached, and yet even here are some of God's dear children. A part of my road lay through a most dangerous bog, where my feet were immersed in the water for more than two miles. The Mexicans are said to have lost 150 horses in this very place, yet the Lord has preserved me and my horse from harm. In a short ride which I took
this morning I counted no less than 180 deer, and there are eminences in thisvicinity from which the traveler may count 1,000 head of cattle. These low country prairies afford an almost unlimited range for stock. Such is their
extent that cattle, horses, mules and hogs can be raised to almost any extent,and from the scarcity of timber, they must be employed solely for this purpose. I have never seen cattle superior to those which I find in this region.
They are large and in good condition, presenting horns of very great size.There are many pieces of corn which are now ready f or the second ploughing. I am now at the house of my friend, E.M. His wife is a member of the Baptist church. He has five children, all of whom have given evidence of a change of heart, and all, with one exception, have united with the Methodist church from the fact that there are no ministers of our faith to baptize them.
This morning my friend, E.M., took a walk with me. He gave me a very affecting account of the dealings of God with him. Said the old man:"When I came to this country I was a careless sinner, but from childhood,having been accustomed to religious instruction and to the faithful preaching of the gospel, and finding myself entirely cut off from such privileges, and being thrown into entirely new scenes, I began to realize the loss which I had sustained and to sigh for those blessings which I had abused, but still I did not pray. Thus years passed away, my conscience still active, and my soul still longing for some one to instruct me in the way of salvation. But at last the hand of God was laid heavily upon me. My whole family was laid upon beds of sickness. I was the only one to escape. My eldest son, a child of great promise and my main dependence, died. No friend was near. I closed his eyes and laid him out myself; and then I made his coffin, and further, I was under the necessity of digging his grave. As I stood in that grave, it seemed to me as if all heaven was frowning upon me, and as though hell was yawning to receive me. My guilt became a load heavy to be borne. It seemed as though it would sink me into the earth. I dug for a few moments, but the burden of my heart became in supportable, and with that anguish which no tongue can describe, I left the grave and retired to a secret spot, where I poured out my soul to God in prayer. O that I could have seen you then!" said the old man. "I have been praying to God ever since, and for these five long years I have most earnestly desired the ordinance of baptism, and you are the first man whom I have seen qualified to administer it.
Mrs. J.L. Mims, of Fort Worth wrote to the compiler as follows;
March 17, 1938: At Webberville we had a talk with Mr. Lee Manor,(since deceased) and he told us about the old Manor and Woods Cemetery on top of the hill above where the Blake Manor store and old home is. He said: "old Father Mercer is buried up to there and I am the only one who knows where his grave is. I guess it is on our lot and my father showed it to me. We found at the foot of the grave where Mrs. Taulman is standing in the Kodak picture I am sending you, 'E.M." on a piece of slab. Beside the grave is one under a tree with nothing readable on the bits of stones that must be the marking of his wife's grave.
J. J. Manor HIll Cemetery
Cemetery notes and/or description:
FM 969 and Sandy Brown Lane, S. of Manor. About 19 miles SE of Austin in Travis County about .5 miles west of the Bastrop County line. It is just north of FM 969 and the intersection of Webberville Way and Sandy Brown Lane. Utley Quad, 3097-123.Historical Marker
- THE AUSTIN PAPERS
October, 1834,January, 1837
EUGENE C. BARKER
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
AUSTIN?University of Texas Press
[Addressed:] Col. S. F. Austin
J. W. Fannin, Jr., to David Mills
Cana Creek Sept. 18, 1835
David Mills, Dr. Sir
Letters have been recd express from citizens residing at or near Copeno informing the citizens of Matagorda, that the armed vessel Vera Crusanna had arrived and was landing arms and ammunition and that they were to wait the arrival of two vessels with 400 troops, which are expected soon
Gen. Martin Perfecto De Cos is on board and I suppose the expected force with what is at Bexar is to form a small body-guard with which he purposes visiting San Felippe.
We have determined here to raise a sufficient force to justify a reasonable belief that we can succeed, in an effort to secure at least the arms and ammunition and if to be found the troops. You know we are weak in numbers,
tho, thank God, united in council and firm resolve to be free or die. Hence I am instructed by our fellow citizens to convey to our friends on Brazos and Bernard the information and our consequent resolution and
to ask their speedy and efficient cooperation. It is proposed to organize and collect the people of Cana and Bay Prairie and rendesvous at Robertson Ferry on Colorado River on Monday 28 Inst and proceed from thence to
James Carr's residence on the Lavaca when proper information will be recd to guide our future perations?the austin papers 127
We have only to ask of your and our friends to use your influence and accustomed diligence in collecting volunteers and spreading the inteligence
as rapidly as possible. Dispatch confidential messengers to Velasco, Columbia, Col Halls neighborhood and San Felippi. The last named can join the party at Carrs [James Kerr's], and I am particularly anxious for some of the citizens to have an opportunity of confronting Gen1- Cos
MERCER and Menefee's settlement will also turn out and should not be neglected I will attend personally to Matagorda and Bay Prairie and will see that suitable spies and scouts are sent ahead to afford us information
upon which we can rely, send copies of this to Archer, Wharton and McKenney and to Hall and Bengham and Johnson, Baker and P. Jack.
J. W. Fannin Junr-
LETTER TO STEPHEN F. AUSTIN FROM ELI MERCER
Eli Mercer to Austin
23d Sept 1835
The presant time is both critical, and important. Critical on account of our disorganized situation; and difficult because our rights are invaded when we are without resourses. The people hail your appearance in Texas
at this time as one of the happiest events; because they believe you are capable of managing our difficult affairs better than we could without you. We wish you to head the preasant expedition against General Coss in person believing your presance will be much neaded; to unite the people, enforce obedience, and to plan the movements of the troops.
Believe me Sir I use no flattery with you but speak what I believe to be the truth in friendship. We are all alive to the cause of defense in this part, and will attend to every thing that will promote the cause we are about to imbark in. We know no party here, but are united in the General cause. The subject of the Consultation will be promptly attended to in this part.
[Addressed:] Col Austin San Felipe Texas
LETTER TO STEPHEN F. AUSTIN FROM ELI MERCER
Eli Mercer to Austin
Egypt 12th Oct 1835
I heard of your crossing Colorado, in company with a good number hope you are now at head quarter, assisting there, we rely with much confidence on the taking of Ugartechea Our numbers certainly are sufficiently strong for 500 Mexicans. Please to recollect we have not a man to lose,
but must calculate on gaining our Victories with out loss. I understand that Coss wrote you to San Felipe, requesting to See you in San an Tone; but I hope your prudence will dictate to you that if you See him it will be when he is a prisoner. I think if Coss and Ugartechea could be defeated
and made prisoners, we would have time after that event to be in readiness for the next attack. I think the only chance in our situation is to fight them from the Brush, fight them from the Brush all the time; never take
our Boys to an open fight our Situation will not admit of it. all must be deciplind before,we can fight in the open field
[Addressed:] Col Austin, Gonzales Texas?