For Biographies, Search Handbook of Texas Online
Millicans Gin, Near Edna, Jackson County, 17 July 1835
....belief that Santa Anna was hostile to State sovereignty and the State constitution...would oppose any force that might be introduced into Texas for any other than constitutional purposes.
On the 17th of July a large meeting was held of the citizens on and near the Lavaca and Navidad rivers, at the ginhouse of William Millican. Its members lived in a territory twenty miles wide by fifty in length, in which there was no town. They were all farmers and not a politician or professional man among them. Major James Kerr, the oldest inhabitant, was elected president, and Samuel C. A. Rogers (in 1891 living in the same vicinity), was made secretary. 'There never was on the soil of Texas a better average population; George Sutherland, who afterwards led a company in storming Bexar, and had a horse killed under him at San Jacinto (and his son, William, then also present, killed in the Alamo) who had been in the legislatures of both Tennessee and Alabama and in the Texas conventions of 1832 and 1833, was there. John Alley, who also led a company under Milam in storming Bexar, with his brothers, Thomas and William, was there. The veteran, John McHenry, who had fought for liberty in South America, followed Long, and suffered imprisonment with Milam and John Austin, was there. Andrew Kent, who afterwards gave up his life in the Alamo, had come thirty-five miles to be there. John S. Menefee, a soldier at San Jacinto, was there with his venerable father, Thomas Menefee, and his younger brother, George S., Bazil Durbin was there. S. Addison White, a soldier of Velasco, with his father, Archibald S., and his brothers, John M. and James G., was there. Francis M. White, subsequently in the storming of Bexar (a legislator, commissioner of the land office, and yet living honored and loved), was one of the assembly. So was Patrick Usher, a worthy son of North Carolina, yet to be a gallant soldier, a judge and a legislator and finally to die a prisoner in Perote. And with all these were assembled the adult members of the families of Dever, Heard, Wells, Stapp, Williams, Coleman, New, Looney, Scott, York, Andrews, Millican, Guthrie, Beatty, Whitson, Hatch, Benj. J. White, Milby, McNutt, Felix B. Earnest and Paul Searborough (both destined to perish as Santa Fe prisoners) and Keller and others, composing a first class population of farmers, far removed from any town or center of political agitation.
These facts are stated because of the unjust assertion of more than one contributor to the history of that momentous period that the War Party, or as sometimes stigmatized, the "demagogues," agitators," and "fanatics" were found in the towns, while the farmers generally composed what was inappropriately called the Peace Party. There was no unconditional Peace party, beyond an insignificant little nest of tories, who received the prompt attention of Gen. Houston, immediately after the battle of San Jacinto, the commanding agent in which prompt attention was Capt. D. L. Kokernot (late a venerable citizen of Gonzales County, under whom served also a recently arrived youth from New York bearing, the name of Charles A. Ogsbury, late a well-known citizen and ex-editor of Cuero, Texas). On the contrary, the farmers most exposed geographically to Mexican vengeance---as those on the Navidad, Lavaca, Guadalupe and west side of the Colorado---generally belonged to or sympathized with the War Party, while the most conspicuous advocates of the other element in the country resided in the towns. But it is repeated again and again, that these differences of opinion, changed more or less by every fresh arrival from Mexico, constituted no conclusive index to the patriotism of the country. With the same degree of conviction as to the unalterable designs of Santa Anna and his supporters for the subjugation and ruin of Texas, all were for war, and all for independence, as a few short months abundantly demonstrated.
The Navidad meeting thus auspiciously constituted, after a free and full interchange of views, unanimously declared:
Their belief that Santa
Anna was hostile to State sovereignty and the State constitution.
They concluded by calling on the militia to hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment's warning, which the militia did, as was proven by the alacrity with which, when the emergency arrived, the companies of Captains Alley and Sutherland marched to the seat of war at Gonzales and San Antonio de Bexar. These spirited proceedings were promptly reported at San Felipe and other places. There was a lull at San Felipe, however, caused by awaiting the report of Gritten and Barrett, who had been sent, as will be seen, on a mission to Cos. The people at Gonzales, however, warmly approved the Navidad resolutions, as shown in a letter of July 25th, from James B. Patrick to James Kerr. From John Henry Brown's History of Texas.
SONS OF DEWITT