Andrew Briscoe was born 1810 in Mississippi. Briscoe opposed the irregular collection of customs dues by Mexican authorities at Anahuac and presented resolutions of protest at a mass meeting there and later at Harrisburg. When he attempted to trade to DeWitt Clinton Harris goods with unpaid duties, both he and Harris were arrested by Mexican officials. They were released when William B. Travis and his volunteers came to drive Antonio Tenorio out of office. In July Briscoe wrote to the editor of the Brazoria Texas Republican justifying the action taken. In August he received a congratulatory letter from Travis. Briscoe was captain of the Liberty Volunteers at the battle of Concepción and followed Benjamin R. Milam in the Siege of Béxar. He was elected a delegate from his municipality with Lorenzo de Zavala and attended the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, but evidently because of the urgency of reentering military service he did not remain until its close. At the battle of San Jacinto he was captain of Company A, Infantry Regulars. He died October 4, 1849.
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William M. Logan was born 1802 in Tennessee. Logan arrived in Texas in November 1831 and settled near Liberty. Shortly afterward, he became involved in a dispute with John Davis Bradburn, the military commander at Fort Anahuac. Bradburn was harboring three runaway slaves from Louisiana. Logan, acting as a slave catcher, claimed the three as runaways, but Bradburn refused to relinquish them without proof of ownership and the authority of the governor of Louisiana. However, when Logan returned with the documents, Bradburn again refused to hand the three over on the grounds that they had requested the protection of the Mexican government and had joined the Mexican army. Bradburn’s actions caused both resentment and alarm among Anglo-Texans and has frequently been cited in later years as one of the immediate causes of the Texas revolution. In 1835 Logan enlisted in Andrew Briscoe’s company of Liberty volunteers and served as lieutenant during the Siege of Béxar. In March 1836 at Liberty he was elected captain of the Third Infantry, Second Regiment, of the Texas volunteers who fought at San Jacinto. He died 1839 in Houston. A historical marker in his honor was placed on the southeast corner of the Liberty County Courthouse in Liberty.
Dr. James Grant the revolutionary leader, also known as Don Diego Grant, was born on July 28, 1793 in Scotland. In March 1825, he received a dual appointment as medical officer to the Real del Monte mining company and as physician to the British diplomatic mission in Mexico. During the next two years he appears to have undertaken clandestine visits to Texas on behalf of the British charge d’affairs and spymaster Henry Ward. This activity culminated in the Fredonian Rebellion of 1826–27, in part instigated as a British attempt to interpose a barrier to American immigration into Texas.
On September 25, 1830, he formally became a citizen of Mexico and was elected to the state legislature as one of the three deputies for the department of Parras. His involvement in politics saw him appointed secretary and eventually deputy president of the legislature by 1835 and won him the appointment of Jefe de Armas or colonel of militia. In that latter capacity he took the field against Gen. Martin Perfecto de Cos in April 1835, after the Centralistas set up a rival state legislature in Saltillo. On that occasion Cos backed down, but following General Santa Anna’s victory in Zacatecas the following month, Cos returned and on June 5 arrested both the president of the Federalist legislature, Augustín Viesca, and his deputy president, James Grant, as they tried to flee to Texas.
The remaining Federalist leaders set in motion plans for a “general revolutionizing” aimed at creating a breakaway republic of Northern Mexico. As part of this plan, the escape of Viesca and Grant was engineered in order that they could gather troops in Texas, where the colonists were already in open revolt and laying siege to General Cos at San Antonio de Bexar. Grant and a Colonel Gonzales accordingly rode to join the Texian insurgents at Bexar only to find the siege faltering and the army on the point of disintegration. According to John Durst, a deputy from Nacogdoches, Grant was responsible for persuading Ben Milam to make the famous appeal for volunteers to storm the town, and he was certainly elected one of the four colonels to lead the assault. Although badly wounded on the first day, he and Colonel Gonzales subsequently brokered the defection of most of Cos’s forces and so brought about his surrender on December 9, 1835.
Afterwards, with the aid of Col. Frank Johnson, Grant set about organizing an expedition to Matamoros to link up with his Federalist colleagues. Initially this expedition had the backing of the Texian General Council, and, as commander-in-chief, Gen. Sam Houston was accordingly instructed to take command. Unfortunately confusion ensued as operational command was successively offered to Frank Johnson and James Walker Fannin. In the meantime, relying on his own authority as deputy president of the former legislature and Jefe de Armas, Grant proclaimed himself acting commander-in-chief of what he called the Federal Volunteer Army. Sending off Colonel Gonzales and a prominent Tejano leader named Placido Benavides as an advance guard, he unilaterally marched from San Antonio on January 1, 1836. News of this move and accusations he had stripped the garrison of both men and supplies precipitated a violent split in the provisional government and its effective collapse at a critical time.
Houston quickly caught up with Grant and on January 21 persuaded four of his six companies to halt at Refugio. However, Grant and Frank Johnson pushed forward with the remainder first to San Patricio and then across the Rio Grande. They were also accompanied by a senior East India Company officer, Colonel Edwards, revealing the British government’s continued clandestine involvement. Over the next month they fought Mexicans and Comanches but failed to make substantive contact with Antonio Canales or any of the other Federalist leaders other than Benavides. Gonzales had already been surprised and defeated at Meier. Worse, Colonel Edwards was killed on February 20, and two days later Frank Johnson returned to San Patricio with part of the force, where he was surprised by Gen. José de Urrea in the early hours of February 27. Unaware of this disaster, Grant and the remainder of his men were heading north from Camargo on March 2, when they too were ambushed, this time at the battle of Agua Dulce Creek. Benavides and a handful of others escaped, but most were quickly killed or captured. Accounts of Grant’s death vary in detail but agree that after being pursued for some miles he surrendered and had dismounted only to be immediately stabbed in the back by a Mexican lancer.
Manuel Flores (Jose Manuel Nepomunceno Paublino Flores) was born in Bexar, his service record No. 4220 shows him as serving in the Texan army from October 1st, 1935, to October 1st, 1836, as first sergeant under Captain Seguin; as First Lieutenant in Second Regiment of Cavalry, Company “B”, and as Captain from March 1st to October 12, 1837. He was credited with urging the Texans forward, after their first fire upon Santa Anna’s men. The Texans having fallen on their stomachs, waiting the reaction, he shouted: “Get up you cowards. Santa Anna’s men are running.” This man was also disappointed by the fact that Texas was accepting annexation, and while residing in Matagorda he attempted a revolution against the established Texan authorities. General Canalizo of the Mexican army procured his services to incite the Indians in Texas to uprisings. On May 14, 1839 Texas Rangers under Lieutenant James O. Rice discovered him and his band on the San Gabriel river in Williamson County, and in the encounter Flores was killed. Much too sad an end for his splendid record.
Mourad Whitfield Bumstead was born February 12, 1811 in Hempstead, New York to Jacob Bumstead and Rhoda Martin. He was a fourth great grandson of Connecticut Governor Robert Treat and of Jasper Crane — cofounders of Newark, New Jersey — and a distant cousin of Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Family stories say he was a surveyor and that he traveled to Georgia where he became ill and lost contact with his family. His family moved to Ohio before he recovered, and he was unable to find them and his parents believed he had died until their deaths.
Mourad arrived in Texas in 1831. In June of 1832, he participated in one of the earliest armed resistances to the Mexican authorities when he joined forces with about 200 other Texians with Amos Thames and James Drake under Captain Frank Johnson, the alcalde at San Felipe de Austin. They sought to rescue William B. Travis and his law partner judge Patrick Jack who had been arrested by Colonel Juan Davis Bradburn, commander of the garrison at Anahuac. Colonel Bradburn had already earned the ire of the Texians by, among other things, dismissing the city council at Liberty, declaring martial law in all of East Texas, conscripting labor and supplies to construct the fort and failing to control his disorderly troops — most of whom were reported to be convicts. Bradburn was a Virginia native and veteran of the War of 1812 who married a wealthy Mexican heiress and was serving in the Mexican military.
In 1835, Captain Andrew Briscoe of Anahuac organized the “Liberty Volunteers”. Mourad joined Briscoe and is on his November 21st, 1835 muster roll. Captain Briscoe wrote “Of these men I think there are six or eight who will refuse to follow me into San Antonio. The rest will go, intending to conquer or to die.” Briscoe’s men joined Ben Milam in the battle of Concepcion and the siege of Bexar on October 24th.
Stephen F. Austin was in command in San Antonio. Mourad, Drake and Thames, dissatisfied with his command, joined the company of James Chessher, a long time ferryman over Pine Bayou, who mustered a company of Jefferson and Jasper County volunteers and joined Ben Milam’s forces in the siege. (Members of the company were: David Chessher; William and Adam Byerly; James Drake; Amos Thames; Enoch and Nathaniel Grigsby; William, Moses George and Elisha Allen and Murad W. Bumstead.) Milam led the attack on San Antonio for five days, from December 5 – 9, 1835, when he was killed by a sniper’s bullet. Mourad was discharged from this service on the 13th of that month.
Incorrectly transcribed in the records as “M.W. BRIMSTEAD”, he served at the “SIEGE OF BEXAR / THE STORMING OF SAN ANTONIO”, December 5-10, 1835. Their victory won by the vastly outnumbered men served to impede the progress of Santa Ana’s Mexican Army, giving the Texians more time to prepare for the perilous days ahead. The original muster list is housed at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum where his name is written “MW Bumpsted”.
On May 11, 1848, Mourad married Jane Cravey in Jefferson county. Jane was born July 3, 1829 in Florida, the daughter of Henry Cravey of South Carolina and Mary Sapp of Georgia. Mourad and Jane Bumstead had 10 children. Mourad died May 17, 1887 in Fletcher, Hardin county. His wife, Jane survived him and died July 12, 1912 at their home-place in Fletcher (now Lumberton), Texas.
In 1908, T.J. Russell, a long-time resident of Jefferson County, wrote that “Murad W. Bumstead lived on the west side of Village Creek, near Cook’s ferry“. Later, in the same piece, he wrote “Down on Village creek lived at the old Cook Ferry, Capt. James Chesher; then Murad W. Bumstead on the West side of the creek and near him was Job Foster…” (Village Creek is now a popular stream and recreation area North of Beaumont, Texas that flows into the Neches River.)
Mourad Whitfield Bumstead’s pension application of June 1874
I, M.W. Bumstead, resident of the county of Hardin said state being duly sworn upon my oath do say; that I am 63 years of age and a native of Essex County in the State of New Jersey; that I immigrated into Texas from the city and state of New York in 1831 that continuously since, I have resided in the present territory of the county of Hardin, Texas save, and except a residence of about one year in the present territory of Liberty County; that am identically the same person whose application for pension supported I think by the proofs of witneses James Chessher and Adam and William Byerly, the first of Hardin County since deceased and the latter of Jasper County, Has been heretofore forwarded through Messers C.R. Johnson and Co of Austin to the Comptroller’s office at the state of Texas.
That I served in AD 1832 in an expedition under Frank Johnson against Bradburn in command of the Mexican post of Anahuac; that in AD 1835 with a body of men who left here with Henry Millard I went to San Felipe de Austin where we organized into a company where of the said Henry Millard was elected Captain; that thence proceeding with said Company or a number there of to a point about 15 miles below ….. consolidated with the company of Captain Andrew J. Briscoe that all of the last mentioned Company except to the best of my recollection Amos Thames, James Drake (both of whom are now dead) and myself having become dissatisfied left the army then commanded by Stephen F. Austin I think and Thames, Drake and myself attached ourselves to the company commanded by Capt. James Chessher. Edward Burleson having about that time assumed the command of the forces near San Antonio (in) the place of Austin; that after having participated in the fighting which resulted in the reduction and capitulation of San Antonio, I was on or about December 13th 1835 honorably discharged of said service for which I have since received a bounty of 320 acres and a donation of 620 acres of land from the Republic of Texas.
Further, that —— way in 1836 July, I entered into the service of Texas at Beaumont Texas, under Captain Benjamin Harper and proceeding with his company joined the Texas Army under Rusk I believe on the Coletta (?) near San Antonio, and remaining in said service time that now remembered until I was discharged honorably near the mouth of the Lavaca River at a place called I believe Dimmit’s Landing, that for …. another bounty of 320 acres of land, my discharges and other evidences of my services aforesaid having been heretofore filed in the Archives of Austin are hereby referred to for greater certainty.
And I do further solemnly swear that I have never yet received any pension or part there of due me under the act of August 13, 1870 (of the State of Texas) or any ad amendatory or supplementary thereof.
Mourad W. Bumstead
This foregoing affidavit was subscribed and sworn to before me by Mourad W. Bumstead who is to me well known on the 29th day of June A.D. 1874 and the witnesses J.B. Langham and Cave Johnson who are credible, also subscribed the same or the same time in my presence to certify which I have unto set my pen and seal of office, this date last written.
W. Hubert Clk District Court, Jefferson County
Click here to view the Republic of Texas Claims for Mourad Whitfield Bumstead.