Republic of Texas

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Republic of Texas

 

updated 10/1/2011

The Texas Bluebonnet Tartan was conceived and designed by June P. McRoberts. She designed a pattern to represent the state flower, the Bluebonnet, using the colors and symmetry of the flower itself. She received much help and guidance from the Scottish Tartan Society Museum in Scotland and later registered the Bluebonnet Tartan with the STS Museum, the official register for tartans. The first official recognition of the McRoberts tartan came in 1986 when the Sesquicentennial Committee of Texas adopted the Bluebonnet Tartan as the official Sesquicentennial Tartan. In 1989, Texas Representative Schlueter became aware of the Texas Bluebonnet Tartan and one of his last acts before retiring was to put forth the motion that the tartan be officially adopted as the State Tartan. In May 25, 1989, by In-House Concurrence Resolution #242, the Texas Bluebonnet Tartan became the official State Tartan for the great state of Texas.

 

The Scottish/Texas ConnectionAlamo_night

Over 40% of the original "300" Steven F. Austin colonists were of Scottish ancestry.

There were 4 Scots and 26 men of Scots descent among those who fought in the Battle of the Alamo. Piper John MacGregor stood on the adobe walls in the midst of the battle to pipe the men on in true Scottish tradition. don't miss the 2004 movie "The Alamo" which shows the Scottish tradition of the Texans, and features MacGregor in his true role.

 

Richard W. Ballentine. (1814-1836). Richard W. Ballentine, Alamo defender, was born in Scotland in 1814. He traveled to Texas from Alabama aboard the Santiago and disembarked on December 9, 1835. He and the other passengers signed a statement declaring, "we have left every endearment at our respective places of abode in the United States of America, to maintain and defend our brethren, at the peril of our lives, liberties and fortunes." Ballentine died in the battle of the Alamoqv on March 6, 1836.

John McGregor. (1808-1836). John McGregor, Alamo defender, was born in Scotland in 1808 and lived in 1836 in Nacogdoches, Texas. He took part in the siege of Bexarqv and later served in the Alamo garrison as a second sergeant of Capt. William R. Carey'sqv artillery company. It is said that during the siege of the Alamo, McGregor engaged in musical duels with David Crockett,qv McGregor playing the bagpipes and Crockett the fiddle. McGregor died in the battle of the Alamoqv on March 6, 1836.

Isaac Robinson. (1808-1836). Isaac Robinson, Alamo defender, was born in Scotland in 1808 and came to Texas from Louisiana. He took part in the siege of Bexarqv and later served in the Alamo garrison as a fourth sergeant in Capt. William R. Carey'sqv artillery company. He died in the battle of the Alamoqv on March 6, 1836.

David L. Wilson. (1807-1836). David L. Wilson, Alamo defender, son of James and Susanna (Wesley) Wilson, was born in Scotland in 1807. In Texas he lived in Nacogdoches with his wife, Ophelia. Wilson was probably one of the volunteers who accompanied Capt. Philip Dimmittqv to Bexar and the Alamo in the early months of 1836. He remained at the Alamo after Dimmitt left on the first day of the siege. Wilson died in the battle of the Alamoqv on March 6, 1836.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835-1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973).

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Aberdeen Angus cattle were first exported from Scotland into Texas in 1883.

Our ranching term "spread" comes from Gaelic "spreid" which is a flock of sheep and "spredith" which means cattle or livestock of any kind.

The Texas town of Ingram was named after the original Texas bragger. He wrote home to Scotland telling outrageous stories extolling Texas.

Ten men from Scotland financed the building of the state capitol in Austin. In exchange, the state government gave them 150,000 acres which became the famous XIT Ranch. The XIT stands for "Ten in Texas".

Most of the leaders who battled for Texas’ independence were of Scottish ancestry, i.e., Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, James Bowie, David Crockett, Peter J. Bailey, Henry P. Brewster, J.A. Brooks, David Burnet, Mathew Caldwell, Capt. Ewen Cameron, S.P. Carson, Robert Cochran.

Over half of the counties of Texas are named for persons of Scottish ancestry.

The colloquialism "y’all" evolved from the Gaelic construction "sibh vile" (se’ vall) or you all. In Scotland the phraseology "are you all going?" or "are we all invited?" is used as opposed to the English form of "all of us" or "all of you."

The oldest signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence was Collin McKinney, of Scottish descent. Both the county of Collin and the town of McKinney are named after him.

Famous early Texas names of Scottish origin: Bigfoot Wallace, John B. Denton, Cecil Lyon, Burke Burnett, John Simpson Chisum (Chisholm), Albert S. Johnston, Stephen Crosby, Capt. R.A. Gillespie, Anthony Lucas, William C. Crane.

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The Scots-Irish

The Irish in Texas Natives of Ireland were among the first settlers in Spanish-ruled Texas, and the story of the Irish in Texas is in many ways coincident with the founding of the republic and the development of the state. The heritage of the Irish seems in retrospect to have peculiarly suited their migration to a new land, for the English dominance of Ireland must have been to the new colonists in Texas a close parallel to the oppression they eventually found in the new country. It is not surprising that as many as twenty-five Irishmen probably signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence, that four signed the actual Texas Declaration of Independence, and that 100 were listed in the rolls of San Jacinto, comprising one-seventh of the total Texan force in that battle.

The following excerpts were taken from:  *Brownstein, Robin. The Peoples of North America - the Scotch-Irish Americans. Chelsea House Publishers. 1988. Pages 13-14

On April 21, 1836, a ragtag band of soldiers collected near the San Jacinto River in southeast Texas. Defenders of the newly formed Republic of Texas, they awaited the arrival of their enemy, the Mexican army, led by President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Although outnumbered two to one, the small troop defeated Santa Anna’s army at the Battle of San Jacinto and thus secured Texan independence. The leader of the small army was General Sam Houston, whose name remains synonymous with Texas. He served as the republic’s first president and later, when Texas became America’s 28th state in 1845, represented its interests in the U.S. Senate. In 1859 Houston was elected governor. Today the nation’s fourth-largest city (according to the 1990 Census) bears his name.

Sam Houston’s success completed a line of energetic pioneering that began in 1689, when Houston’s great-great-grandfather made the hazardous ocean crossing from Northern Ireland to North America. His son Robert - Sam’s grandfather - moved his family from Philadelphia to Virginia. When the 13 American colonies rose up to defy Great Britain in the revolutionary war, another Robert Houston - Sam’s father - served as a captain under General George Washington. In 1806, Robert Houston led his family west from Virginia to the Tennessee frontier, when his son Sam was 13.

The Houston's belonged to an ethnic group that played a major role in American history during its formative years. This group, known as the Scotch-Irish, immigrated to North America from Ulster, or Northern Ireland, after migrating there from Scotland. The term Scotch-Irish is actually an American invention, first coined in 1695. Initially the immigrants themselves shied away from the term, preferring to describe themselves as Ulster-Scots, as they had in their homeland….

Theodore Roosevelt - U.S. president from 1901 to 1909 - wrote: "The backwoodsmen were American by birth and parentage, and of mixed race; but the dominant strain in their blood was that of the … Scotch-Irish… Mingled with the descendants of many other races, they nevertheless formed the kernel of the distinctively and intensely American stock… fitted to be Americans from the very start.

There are 254 counties in Texas, and of these there are at least 113 of Scottish connections. There are some that probably had Scottish origins, but it is hard to know for sure (i.e., "Collingsworth " where the root word "Collins" is Scottish). Several are of Irish origin, thirty eight are named for surrounding features, four for Indian tribes and the remaining are of Spanish and other ethnic origins, making the names from Scottish ancestry in the majority.

source: Houston Highland Games

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Sam Houston 1793-1863 He sought and won public office and was elected to the US Congress in 1823 and again in 1825. In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee by a large majority. In 1836 Houston was elected commander-in-chief of the armies of Texas. On April 21, 1836, his force defeated Santa Anna and secured Texas long sought independence. Houston was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. After serving his term as President, he served in the Congress of the Republic in 1839-40. Then in 1841, Houston was again voted by a large margin to the head of the Texas government. After statehood in 1845, Houston was elected Senator from Texas to the Congress of the United States. Still later, in 1859, Houston was elected to serve as Governor of the State of Texas. His great-greatgrandfather John Houston was born in Ireland in 1690, left Ulster for Philadelphia in 1735, could trace his ancestry back through Scotland to the Middle Ages. John Houston fought at Derry in 1689.

 

 

 

 

In 1706, the first member of the Bowie Family, John Bowie (1688-1759), immigrated to America from Scotland. He settled in the area that would eventually become the state of Maryland. His great-grandson: Colonel James Bowie Known for his famous "Bowie knife" and a sometimes-reckless adventurer, Jim Bowie is now immortalized as one of the true folk heroes in early Texas.Bowie was born in Kentucky in 1796. While still very young, he moved with his family, first to Missouri, then in 1802 to Louisiana, where he spent most of his youth. It was there that he first acquired a reputation for his bold and fearless disposition.In 1827, Bowie participated in a bloody brawl near Natchez, Mississippi, where several men were killed and Bowie was wounded. Rezin Bowie, his brother, wrote he had the first Bowie Knife made at Avoyelles, Louisiana, for his brother James to defend himself, and that James used the Bowie knife in the sandbar duel.After recovering from the wounds he received in the sandbar fight the following year, he moved to Texas.Before the revolution in Texas, Bowie took part in many adventures. He spent considerable time cultivating friendships with Indians in his search for elusive silver and gold reported to be hidden in the interior of Texas. By some accounts, he is said to have found the fabled San Saba mines, also known as the Bowie mines, near the geographic center of present day Texas.In the Texas Revolution, Bowie was a leading participant at the Battle of Concepcion and in the Grass Fight near San Antonio. He was in command of a volunteer force in San Antonio when William Travis arrived with regular army troops. The two men shared authority during much of the Siege of the Alamo, which caused some personal friction. But pneumonia disabled Bowie, and he was confined to his cot at the time of his death when the Alamo fell on March 6, 1836.

 

 

Austin Photo

Stephen F. Austin
(1793-1836)

In 1813, at the age of twenty-one years, he was elected to the territorial Legislature of Missouri, and was reelected to that position each year until 1819, when he moved to Arkansas. Meanwhile, Stephen's father, Moses Austin, received a grant of land in Texas for purposes of colonization.

The elder Austin died soon after returning to Missouri from a trip to Texas, but bequeathed his grant to Stephen with instructions to carry it to a successful completion. Accordingly, after many delays and frustrations with the Mexican government, Steven Austin introduced a large number of colonists from the United States. An unassuming man with a kindly presence, he was deeply respected by all, and achieved unparalleled influence over the often unruly settlers in Anglo Texas.

Austin is remembered in Texas history for his many efforts on behalf of Texas before, during, and immediately after Texas' Revolution with Mexico. His contributions to Texas included: long and perilous pilgrimages to Mexico on behalf of Texas; his unwillingness to counsel his people to take up arms against the Mexican government as long as any hope for peace remained; his firm and decided voice, speaking words of encouragement and hope during the darkest days of the revolution; and his laborious travels in the United States to obtain needed support for his struggling countrymen.

DUNLAP, RICHARD G. (?-1841). Richard G. Dunlap, diplomat and secretary of the treasury during the Lamar administration, the son of Hugh and Susannah (Gilham) Dunlap, was the first white child born in Knoxville, Tennessee. After serving in the War of 1812 and the Seminole campaign in Florida in 1817, he represented Knox and Anderson counties in the Tennessee legislature from 1829 to 1831. He moved to Texas in 1837 and was appointed secretary of the treasury by President Mirabeau B. Lamar on December 14, 1838. From March 13, 1839, until April 20, 1840, he served as minister from Texas to the United States. He married Mary Louisa Winnon on July 1, 1840. He died in New Orleans on June 24, 1841.

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Texas Day of the Scots   Proclaimed by Governor George Bush 2000

Whereas, such famous Texas heroes of Scottish descent as Sam Houston, David Crockett, and Jim Bowie are all representative of the bravery, character, and fortitude that enabled Texas to win its independence against overwhelming odds. When their strong Scottish sense of fairness had been violated, these men rose up and inspired others to join them with such vigor that their stories are known throughout the world today as examples of extreme sacrifice for freedom and unchallenged merit in battle;

Whereas, Scottish roles have continued to contribute American military heroes with such well-remembered names as Lee, Grant, Jackson, MacArthur, Patton, Bradley and more recent heroes in space - Armstrong and Ross;

Whereas, it was not just the famous Texans of Scottish descent, but the hundreds of Scottish pioneers and settlers who came to Texas with the intent and determination to remain and build their homes and families who have made a noteworthy contribution to the great heritage of Texas;

Whereas, Scottish pioneers began arriving and influencing American culture since our earliest colonial days and have made a deeply lasting impression on our political and religious freedoms and attitudes;

Whereas, twenty-five of the fity-six signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent;

Whereas, a number of America's earliest presidents were also of Scottish blood, including John and Samuel Adams, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, William Henry Harrison, Grover Cleveland, Chester A. Arthur, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Benjamin Harrison; with names of Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Graham, Austin, Abercrombie, Clark, Colledge, Conley, Daniels and Wallace, (all listed on the Scottish roles), continuing to influence American politics in more recent times;

Whereas, rural American culture is rich in the spoken, literary, and musical influences of the Scottish immigrants in America as evidenced by the names Foster, Harper, Collier, Forbes, Webster, Hawthorn, Carnegie, Fox, Carmichael, Cash, Daniels, Haggart, Bennett, Chaplin, Cotton, McGuffey, Crabbe, Day, Crawford, Hepburn, Cooper and Wayne - all found on the Scottish roles;

Whereas, an impressive number of American pioneers and inventors, including Betsy Ross, Sam Houston, David Crockett, Jim Bowie, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, John Chisholm (Chisholm Trail), Richard King (Ranches), Cyrus McCormick, Robert Fulton, Jefferson Davis, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Samuel Morse, Horace Greeley, John Muir and Andrew McNally were all of Scottish descent; and the names Goodyear, MacIntosh, Mack, Underwood, Rollo, Winchester, Pinkerton, Pettigrew, Hamilton, Warwick, Cutler, hastings, are also found on the Scottish roles;

Whereas President Theordore Roosevelt, in referring to the backwoodsmen of our country's earliest days, wrote that they were "American by birth, and of mixed race; but the dominant strain in their blood was that of the Scotch-Irish" (a term referring to Scots who came to America from Ireland);

Whereas, Texas is further reminded of the Scottish influence with the names of Austin, Beaumont, Dallas, Denton, Edinburg, Houston, Livingston, MacDade, Paris, Rusk, Shepherd, and Willis from the Scottish roles; and it is noted that one out of twelve Americans today, as descendents of American pioneers, can trace some Scottish ancestry.

Further, Governor George W. Bush has issued by proclamation that November 30, 2000 should be designated as "Day of the Scots" and that he "urges all Texans to recognize with appreciation the great achievements of Scottish-Texans and their contributions to the economic, social and cultural vitality of the Lone Star State."

 

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Irish at the Alamo Travis, Crockett, McGee, Jackson, McCafferty, Nolan

Scots at the Alamo: Macgregor, with pipes, Wilson, Robinson and Ballantine. Alamo Scots

the old 300 More than 85 percent of the pioneers who renounced their American citizenship to follow Stephen F. Austin into the Mexican state of Tejas were of Celtic origin, and half that number were of Scottish descent.  Most of the families who followed Austin to Texas came as farmers, but several were already of substantial means from the Trans-Appalachia South. they were all were part of a large westward migration from the Eastern Seaboard states that had begun in the late 1700's. To avoid problems among the colonists, Austin attempted to select only those of "better" classes, and indeed, only four of the grantees could not read.
So, armed with an independent self-reliance strengthened by generational advances through Appalachia, and fortified by a Calvinistic code the stressed discipline, hard work and perseverance, those who followed Stephen F. Austin to Texas carried names linked to Scottish clans like Anderson, Andrews, Bailey, Barnett, Beard, Bell and Bowman. There were also Brown, Callihan, Carter, Charles, Clark, Clarke, Coats, Coles, Cooper, Cumings, Cummins and Davidson.
There were names like Duty, Dyer, Elder, Fenton, Fisher, Frazier, George, Gilbert, Gilleland, Gray, Guthrie, Haddon, Hall, Hamilton and Harris, as well as Harvey, Haynes, Hope, Hudson and Hunter. There were Ingram, Jamison, Johnson, Keller, Kelly, Kennedy, Kennon and Kerr, along with Linsey and Little.
Other among the grantees were McClain, McCormick, McCoy, McCrosky, McFarlan, McKinney, McKinsey, McNair, McNeel, McNutt and McWilliams, along with Martin, Mathis, Miller, Moore, Morrison and Morton. There were also Nelson, Nuckols, Parks, Phelps, Phillips, Prater, Ramey, Rankin, Richarson, Roberts, Robertson, Robinson and Ross. Also, Scobey, Scott, Sims, Smith, Spencer and Sutherland. Among the names were also Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Walker, Wallace, White and Wilkins.
In all, there were only two names of German origin, eight from France, and two of Dutch extraction. The remainder carried names affiliated to Scottish clans or of Celtic stock from the British Isles.
The Celt's common quest in Texas was land, a commodity many of their ancestors had lost in Scotland and Ireland, and these new Texians were willing to face isolation, back-breaking work and Indian perils on new borders to hold on to it.
As Fehrenbach wrote in Lone Star: "The Anglo-Celts had not crossed the sea to become servile tenants."
The group of Scots, Irish and other Celts who followed Austin into Texas was just the beginning. Many more, with names such as Houston, Bowie, Crawford, Everitt, Grimes, Coleman, Bower, Carson, Latimer, Stewart and Briscoe would eventually declare their independence from Mexico, and some would die for that belief.


More information may be obtained from the organization Descendants of Austin's Old Three Hundred, by writing its president, Shirley Steadman, P.O. Box 185, Marion, TX 78124. Readers may also be interested in the new book "Austin's Old 300 - The First Anglo Colony in Texas: A Genealogical Profile," (ISBN 1-57168-291-0), $21.95, published by Eakin Press, P.O. Box 23066, Austin, TX 78735. From Electric Scotland