William Jarvis Russell was born 1802 in North Carolina. In May 1832 Russell was among the citizens at Anahuac who demanded of John Davis Bradburn the release of William B. Travis and Patrick C. Jack, arrested by Mexican authorities. When their release was not forthcoming, Russell accompanied John Austin to Brazoria to secure a cannon to enforce their demands. On their return to Anahuac, Austin and Russell were stopped by the garrison at Velasco commanded by Domingo de Ugartechea, who refused to allow the gun to pass. On June 22, 1832, Russell was appointed lieutenant in command of the schooner Brazoria and ordered to bombard the Mexicans from the Brazos River. At the battle of Velasco Russell is said to have fired the first shot of the Texas Revolution, on June 26, 1832. On June 29 he and William H. Wharton received the surrender of Velasco. At Harrisburg on June 4, 1835, Russell signed a petition to the Mexican government protesting what the signers felt to be the arbitrary enforcement of the customs laws at Anahuac, and on June 23, 1835, he took an active role in the formulation of the Columbia Resolutions, which called for a meeting to adopt “measures to meet the present crisis” and pledged to support the decision of the majority on how to deal with growing troubles with Mexican officials. On September 26 Russell was elected chairman of the Committee of Safety of Matagorda County, which raised a company of volunteers for Texas defense and elected delegates to the Consultation at San Felipe de Austin. Russell joined Capt. James W. Fannin’s company of Brazoria Guards in October 1835 and took part in the capture of Goliad on October 9, 1835, and the Siege of Béxar. He was on detached duty at the time of the battle of San Jacinto and was discharged from the army in July 1836.
William Scott was born 1784 in Virginia. He was appointed second lieutenant in the colonial militia in August 1824. He bought a schooner in 1825, probably the same boat that Austin rented from him in June 1827. He commanded the schooner Stephen F. Austin at Anahuac in 1832 and in April 1836 offered the Texas government the use of his sloop, the Fourth of July, provided that his son assume command. He was elected captain of the Lynchburg Volunteers in September 1835 and contributed the blue silk used in making one of the first Lone Star flags for Texas. He was with the army in the Siege of Béxar in November of that year. He was scheduled to appear in court for attacking two neighbors thought to be Tories but died at Galveston Bay on October 9, 1837, before his trial.
Samuel Damon was born 1808 in Massachusetts. In 1831, when his ship arrived at the mouth of the Brazos, he was told that Mexican officials would not allow any more Americans to enter Texas. Damon swam ashore undetected, made his way inland, and eventually found shelter in the home of Abraham Darst, one of Stephen F. Austin’s colonists. He later traveled to San Felipe and obtained permission from Mexican authorities to operate a freight line between Columbia and San Antonio. In the fall of 1835 he was assigned the duty of transporting military supplies to the Texas forces commanded by Edward Burleson near San Antonio de Béxar. After delivering the supplies, Damon took part in the Siege of Béxar and the capture of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos. As a soldier at the battle of San Jacinto he guarded the wagons, baggage, and wounded soldiers near Harrisburg. He died at Damon’s Mound, Brazoria County on October 3, 1882, and is buried in the Damon Cemetery.
Robert C. Morris was a resident of New Orleans in 1835 when he enlisted as a private in Capt. Samuel O. Pettus’s company of New Orleans Greys. He was elected captain before the company arrived in Texas. His men arrived at the mouth of the Brazos River aboard the Columbus, transferred to the Laura for the trip up the river, and landed at Brazoria late in October. In a letter of introduction to Stephen F. Austin dated October 20, 1835, J.W. Collins stated that Morris had been “a fellow soldier with me in the Louisiana Guards for 5 or 6 years” and recommended him as “a Soldier & Tactician”. On the day following, William H. Christy of New Orleans addressed a similar letter of endorsement to Sam Houston, and on October 29 Archibald Hotchkiss described his friend Morris to Houston as “a young man of firmness and a man who will not disgrace the grays”. After marching his troops to San Antonio, Morris was promoted to major in the Volunteer Army of Texas by the provisional government, and his company came under the command of Capt. William Gordon Cooke. He was present for the Siege of Béxar and served as second in command to Col. Benjamin R. Milam’s division when the city was stormed. When Milam died, however, Col. Francis W. Johnson succeeded to command of his division and Morris remained deputy commander. On December 11, 1835, Morris was one of the Texas officers who signed the articles of capitulation offered by Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos. On December 31, 1835, Morris left San Antonio for Matamoros with Johnson and with James Grant as third in command. After a horse-capturing raid to the Rio Grande, Morris and Grant, with twenty-seven men, were returning to the main force at San Patricio when they encamped on Agua Dulce Creek on the night of March 1, 1836. There, on March 2, they were surprised and overwhelmed by a force of Mexican general José de Urrea’s cavalry. Morris, with Grant and twelve other Texas volunteers, was killed in the fighting.
Dr. Asa Hoxey was 1800 in Georgia. He favored Texas independence and served in 1835 as Washington County delegate to the Consultation at Washington-on-the-Brazos, which issued the Texas Declaration of Independence. He also served on the General Council and participated in the Siege of Béxar. Although he did not practice medicine after coming to Texas, he served as medical censor during the first administration of President Sam Houston. He was regarded as “a brilliant and delightful conversationalist” and was “an omnivorous but discriminating reader”. His home became a favorite meeting place of the leaders of the republic. He died on May 20, 1863.