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things you should know about
Author of the
Texas Declaration of Independence
and namesake of Childress County
- Born on January
8, 1804, at Nashville, Tennessee his sister Sarah married James
K. Polk. Polk was later President of the United States during
the Mexican War.
- A nephew
of Sterling C. Robertson, Childress first saw Texas
in 1834 while his uncle was establishing Robertson’s colony along
the Brazos River.
- Before moving
to Texas permanently, Childress raised
money and recruited volunteers in Tennessee for the Texas army.
and Sterling Robertson were elected representatives for the Milam
first wife died shortly after giving birth to the couple’s son.
- At the Convention
of 1836, Childress was named chairman of a committee to write
a Texas Declaration of Independence and he is generally acknowledged
as the author.
and Robert Hamilton were sent to Washington D. C. as ambassadors
from Texas - seeking official recognition
for the Republic.
married Rebecca Stuart Read Jennings in December 1836 and their
union produced two daughters.
attempted to open a law practice in Galveston
and Houston but failed.
then attempted suicide (by Bowie knife) in Galveston
– this time his efforts were successful (October 6, 1841).
- On August
21, 1876, Childress County was named in his honor.
- The statue
(above) was cast for the Texas
Centennial in 1936 by French-born Naturalized Sculptor Raoul
grave is in Galveston’s
was one of three “founding fathers” to die by suicide – the other
two were Anson Jones (who
died by a self-inflicted gunshot), and Thomas Rusk who committed
suicide in Nacogdoches.
© John Troesser
Editor's Note: Our thanks to Bill Liles who corrected an error that
TE made in confusing Thomas Rusk's demise with that of James Collingsworth.
Mr. Liles correction:
I discovered [Texas Escapes] just last week and have found it to be
quite informative and rich in content. I did notice an error, however,
in [your article] on 10 Things You Should Know About George Campbell
Childress: Thomas Rusk did not die by throwing himself overboard in
Galveston. He committed suicide in his own home in Nacogdoches; being
despondent over his wife's death and over a tumor at the base of his
neck. The gentleman that threw himself (or fell overboard) into Galveston
Bay was 1838 Republic of Texas presidential candidate (and sitting
Chief Justice) James Collinsworth. - Bill Liles, February 01, 2009