Today in Texas History – December 7

From the Annals of the Colonists – In 1830, Texas pioneer and memoir writer Noah Smithwick was banished from Texas as “a bad citizen.” Smithwick came to Texas in 1827 as a young man settling in San Felipe. He came to the aid of a friend who was accused of murder and chained in leg irons.  Being a blacksmith, Smithwick furnished the prisoner with a file and a gun so he might escape.  Smithwick was tried and declared and banished from the colony. Smithwick returned to Matagorda in the fall of 1835 and reached Gonzales the day after the opening battle of the Revolution.  He served in the Texas Army and after the Revolution, tried cattle ranching before establishing a mill near Marble Falls.

Smithwick was an ardent Unionist and after receive receiving threats from secessionists he left Texas with a number of friends and moved to  southern California in 1861.  He dictated his memoirs to his daughter. After his death in 1899, she had the manuscript published by Karl H. P. N. Gammel as The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days.

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