SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
David Burket-Index | DeWitt Colony Expansion

 

Abe Zumwalt's Cattle Brand Abraham Zumwalt
1803-ca.1850

Phoebe Burket
ca.1811-1900

The A above is Abraham Zumwalt's cattle brand registered no. A in Gonzales on 10 Jan 1832

Abraham Zumwalt arrived with the interrelated families Burket, Zumwalt and Kent via New Orleans at the mouth of the Lavaca River on 16 Jun 1829 as described by Nathan Boone Burkett in his unfinished memoirs, Early Days in Texas:

"There were five families in our group, all being friends and neighbors from the same section of Missouri, which was also the home state of Green DeWitt. We went to the headquarters of DeWitt's Colony…. Uncle Abe Zumwalt, who married my father's sister and came to Texas with us.....after this happening <referring to encounters with Indians> he sold his league and labor of land $600, as he decided he had rather live where it was more thickly settled."

Judge Paul Boethel writes in The Lavacans: "Andrew Kent and family traveled overland in winter 1829 to arrive in May 1830 to join relatives. Family tradition says he was accompanied by his wife's brothers, Adam and Abraham Zumwalt." Elizabeth Zumwalt Kent (1798-abt 1894) is believed to be the last daughter of the marriage of Jacob Zumwalt Sr. and Catherine Miller while Abraham (1803-1847) is believed to be a son of Jacob Zumwalt's second marriage to Francis Price in 1800. This makes DeWitt Colonists "Black" Adam and "Red" Adam Zumwalt first cousins to Elizabeth Kent and Abraham Zumwalt. There is a similar uncertainty in Abraham's relation to the Zumwalt family as there is for Mary Ann Zumwalt Burket. Since both were likely children of Jacob Zumwalts and Mary Ann has been assumed the daughter of Jacob Zumwalt Sr. in numerous works, Mary Ann and Abraham have been assumed to be siblings in some instances, half-brother and sister as mentioned above, if not full brother and sister.  Nathan Burkett in his memoirs refers clearly to Abraham as "Uncle Abe," and then separately to the fact that he married his father's sister.  This could imply that he was an uncle independent of marriage to Nathan's aunt, but also may simply be explaining how Abraham Zumwalt qualified for the title "Uncle Abe,"  e.g. an uncle by marriage.  It has also been pointed out that both Abraham and Mary Ann might have been children of a Jacob Zumwalt Jr.   Abraham Zumwalt is believed by this author to be the one listed on the Aug 1824 poll tax list for Callaway County, MO and the one that first married Juliet Hope on 26 Sep 1825 in Callaway County. Juliet Hope deserted Abraham after five days of marriage on 1 Oct 1825 resulting in the first recorded divorce in Callaway County history.

San Marcos River, GonzalesCo[Photo:  San Marcos River near Abraham Zumwalt's grant.  Click on picture for enlargement].  Land grant records in the Texas Archives indicate that Abraham Zumwalt applied for title to a league of land on 11 Aug 1831.  His league was described by a survey done by Byrd Lockhart as "situated on the southest margin of the San Marcos River, about four leagues above Gonzales......following the meanders of the river upward 7480 varas to the point where (this survey) began." Abraham's petition was signed with his mark "X". Green Dewitt’s affidavit says he arrived with his family of three in Jun 1830.

Honorable Commissioner:  I, Abraham Zumwalt, a native of the United States of the North, the formalities of law permitting, appear before you and say that having been admitted by Empresario, Green de Witt, to settle the lands of his Colony according to the provisions of the Colonization Law of the State and as appears on the Certificate which I duly enclose, as I am married and having a daughter, other than the one I brought to this country, and until now,  not having the title of possession to the tract that corresponds to me as a settler, I beseech you that through the use of your powers you will be pleased to put me in possession of a league which is entirely vacant on the southwest margin of the San Marcos River, about four leagues above Gonzales, by it I shall receive justice.  Gonzales, August 11, 1831.   Signed Abraham (X) Zumwalt.  [From Abraham Zumwalt's petition for land title translated from the Spanish, Texas Spanish Land Grant Archives, vol. 13, pg. 461.   For text of a complete land grant, see David Burket Land GrantAbraham Zumwalt's original land grant in Spanish is here].

On 1 Feb 1836, Abraham Zumwalt was one of the 11 voters in the Lavaca River area of the DeWitt Colony which was administered by Andrew Kent, Isaac Millsaps and Henry C.G. Summers to elect two delegates to the Convention on 1 Mar on Washington-on-the-Brazos. This suggests that Abraham Zumwalt settled in the Lavaca River area, possibly the Zumwalt Settlement near his brother-in-law Andrew Kent and cousin "Black" Adam Zumwalt rather than on his league north of Gonzales or in Gonzales town where his brother-in-law David Burket and cousin "Red" Adam Zumwalt first settled. His land grant record, voting list above and the reference in nephew Nathan Boone Burkett’s memoirs are the only known records left by Abraham Zumwalt in Texas. As pointed out by Nathan Boone Burkett in his memoirs, Abraham apparently left Texas and returned with his family to Callaway County, Missouri where a daughter Julia Ann (1837-1924; m. Henry Monroe Thomas) was born 12 Nov 1837. Abraham married Phoebe Burket (abt 1811-abt 1900), sister of David Burket, who were children of John William and Catherine McClure Burket. The name of Abraham and Phoebe Zumwalt’s first daughter referred to in his land grand application is unknown and it is assumed that she died young in Texas. They had two children Elizabeth (1831-1874; m. William P. Thomas and Robert Martin) and Mary Jane (b. abt 1834; m. William Abbot) who were born in the DeWitt Colony. Upon return to Missouri in 1837, they had children John Lewis (abt 1839-1920; m. Jane Barton), Sarah C. (1841-1918; George W. Birdsong), Isaac (b. 1844; m. Sarah A. Shelton) and Singleton E.B. (Zinc) (abt 1847-aft 1910; m. A.H.D. Hunt) in addition to Julia Ann. Singleton and wife were married in Gonzales County in 1870, but he was back in MO living with relatives in 1910.

The fate of Abraham Zumwalt back in Missouri is unclear, however, wife Phoebe Burket Zumwalt and children Elizabeth, Mary J., Julia A., John, Sarah, Isaac and Singleton are listed in the 1850 census of Callaway County without him. On 16 Feb 1874, Phoebe Zumwalt and descendants granted power of attorney in Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri to Travis County, TX attorney George W. Miller for a fee of one quarter of assets recovered to gain title to lands granted to Abraham Zumwalt for service to Texas:

State of Missouri, County of Miller. Know all men by these presents that we Phebe Zumalt, Julia Ann Thomas, Sarah C. Birdsong, Mary Anne Abbet, Isaac Zumalt, John Zumalt, Singleton Zumalt, Henry M. Thomas, George W. Birdsong, William Abbet, and Henry M. Thomas, curator and guardian of minor heirs and deceased have made constituted and appointed and by these presents to make constitute and appoint George W. Miller of Travis County in the State of Texas our true and lawfull Attorney for us and in our name place and stead to demand and receive of the Government of the State of Texas, all such Land Certificates as the said Abraham Zumalt dec’d may be entitled to by virtue of being an Emigrant to the Republic of Texas in and by reason of services rendered in the army of the same or to recover said Certificate from any person or persons whomsoever having possession of the same if issued heretofore if said Certificates have been located and the lands claimed by virtue thereof, held or claimed by any person or persons whomsoever, as also any other title or grants for lands situated in the State of Texas, Then our Attorney Geo. W. Miller is hereby authorized to institute suit or suits in our names for the recovery thereof or to make compromises with those claiming adverse to us, giving and granting our said attorney full power and authority to and perform all and every act and thing whatever means to be done in and about the premises, as fully to all intents purposes as I might or could do if personally present, with full power of substitution hereby ratifying and conferring all that my said Attorney or his substitute shall lawfully cause to be done by virtue hereof. In consideration of his expenses and services rendered by our said Attorney, Go. W. Miller, we do hereby bind ourselves our heirs administrators and assigns to make unto the said Miller his heirs assigns or administrators a good and bonafide title to one undivided one quarter of the undivided whole of the land Certificates or lands recovered of if the value of the same be recover then the said Miller is to receive on quarter of the gross amount so recovered. In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and Seals using scrolls for seals this the 6th day of February A.D. 1874. Henry M. Thomas; Julia Ann Thomas, late Julia Ann Zumalt and daughter of Abraham Zumalt Dec’d; George W. Birdsong, Sarah C. Birdsong, late Sarah C. Zumalt, daughter of Abraham Zumalt; William Abbet, Mary Jane Abbet and daughter of Abraham Zumalt, Dec’d; Isaac (his "X" mark); John (his "X" mark) Zumalt; Singleton (his "X" mark) Zumalt; Phebe (her "X" mark) Zumalt, wife of Abraham Zumalt, Dec’d; Henry M. Thomas, guardian and curator of James H. Thomas and curator of Robert and Meredith and Mary Martin, minor heirs. Duly appeared before me a Notary Public within and for County of Miller and State of Missouri Phebe Zumalt widow of Abraham Zumalt late of the County of Callaway and State of Missouri Dec’d; Julia Ann Thomas, Sarah C. Birdsong, Mary Jane Abbet, Isaac Zumalt, John Zumalt and Singleton Zumalt, children of the said Abraham Zumalt Dec’d; Henry M. Thomas, husband of Julia Ann Thomas and George W. Birdsong, husband of Sarah C. Birdsong; William Abbet, husband of Mary Jane Abbet, and Henry M. Thomas, Curator and Guardian for James H. Thomas, minor heir and child of William P. and Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of Abraham Zumalt Dec’d, and Curator for Robert Meredith and Mary Martin and Elizabeth Martin, Dec’d, she the said Elizabeth Martin being the Mother of said Children by her Second Marriage with Robert Martin. This 16th day of February AD 1874. Daniel Cummings Notary Public with my Notary Seal hereto affixed.

In 1967, legend within the Zumwalt family of Gonzales County related by Mrs. Riley Zumwalt (granddaughter-in-law of Red Adam Zumwalt) was that

"Abraham Zumwalt who was granted the land west of the San Marcos where the village of Ottine is now northwest of Adam Zumwalt's league disappeared. The family suspected foul play was involved, nothing more was ever heard of him and he left no heirs."

As discussed above and described by nephew Nathan Boone Burkett in his memoirs, Abraham Zumwalt apparently left Texas sometime late 1836 or 1837 after selling his league because of a desire to return home to Missouri where it was more stably settled. Son Singleton (Zinc) Zumwalt from Callaway County, MO apparently lived for some time around 1870 in Gonzales County where he married.


David Burket-Index | DeWitt Colony Expansion
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved