The Robertson Genealogy Exchange

Colonel Harlee's Notes on 12243 Sterling Clack Robertson (Part Four)


A CHARACTERIZATION

Mention has already been made of Robertson in the convention which declared the independence of Texas and in the senate of the Republic of Texas.

The following characterization of him is from an article, "Gen. Sterling C. Robertson and the Part he Played in Texas History" by Sam Houston Dixon in the Waco (Texas) Times-Herald, 6 Apr 1923:

Gen. Sterling C. Robertson has been described as a man of commanding appearance, cultured, refined and honorable in all his dealings and highly esteemed as a citizen and official. William Menefee, who served with him in the convention at Old Washington in 1836 and in the congress of the republic, said this of him: "Mr. Robertson was one of the leaders in the convention at Old Washington. He was polished in speech and progressive in thought. He did not aspire to leadership, but his towering intellect, courteous bearing and pleasing personality gave him that commanding position. As a senator in the republic's first and second congresses, he measured in intellect and influence with the biggest men of that body. ...In debate he was brief and pointed and never tired the senate with long speeches. He was more often applauded than criticised for his stand on measures before the senate. Personally, I admired him very much."

WAR FOR TEXAS INDEPENDENCE

Mention has already been made of the part played by [12243] Robertson in the War for Texas Independence in which he commanded a company in the army of Texas, commanded by Gen. Sam Houston which defeated the Mexican army under Gen. Santa Anna at San Jacinto, Texas, and captured its commander.

[12243] Robertson was "detailed to guard the encampment near Harrisburg, Ap'l 21st 1836," the day of the engagement at San Jacinto. Robertson and his company were then part of Gen. Houston's army engaged in the campaign which culminated at San Jacinto and won the independence of Texas from Mexico. From reliable information, having repeatedly heard Robertson's granddaughters relate information they received from his son, their father, this writer learned that Robertson was present with Gen. Houston at San Jacinto shortly after the battle there when the captured Mexican commander, Santa Anna, was brought before Gen. Houston.

The original of the following order...was loaned by Robertson's granddaughter, [122431D] Mrs. Imogene (Robertson) Gamel....

The address, "To Sterling Robinson, Esquire," is at the top of the letter; the address, "To Major Sterling C. Robertson, Present," is at the bottom so that when the letter is folded it appears as the outside address, as was the custom before envelopes came into use....

Robertson was evidently at Gen. Houston's headquarters at Washington, Texas, 5 Mar 1836, when this order was addressed to him.

(Copy of Order)

Head Quarters — Washington 5 March 1836
To Sterling Robinson Esquire
Sir — You will proceed forthwith to the United States and are hereby authorized to raise such number of Troops as may be in your power for the service of Texas for two years or during the present war—in the event of a Company or Regiment being raised the men shall have the power of electing their own officers who will report with their command to the Head Quarters of the Army of Texas without delay.
SAM HOUSTON — Comdr in Chief of the Army.
To Major Sterling C. Robertson — Present.

If he proceeded to the United States and raised troops there he did so quickly for he was near Harrisburgh, near San Jacinto, a day or two before the battle at San Jacinto.

The original of the following certificate is among the papers of his grandson, [1224316] Huling P. Robertson....

Certificate

I do hereby certify that Sterling C. Robertson joined the army near Harrisburgh, previous to the Battle of San Jacinto, under my command about the 19th or 20th of April 1836.
(Signed) Robt. McNutt, formerly Major 1st Reg. T. V.
Nashville, Aug 6th 1838.

GRANTED LAND FOR SERVICE IN TEXAS REVOLUTION

From photostat of record in General Land Office, Austin, Texas-Printed form, manuscript parts shown in italics:

(Endorsed:) File 494 — Milam Co. Donation — Donation Warrant Sterling C. Robertson.
STATE OF TEXAS — No. 7 — 640 Acres.
KNOW ALL MEN TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
That Sterling C. Robertson having — been detailed to guard the encampment near Harrisburg, Apl 21st 1836 — IS ENTITLED TO — SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY Acres of — DONATION LAND, In accordance with an Act of Congress of the Republic of Texas, passed Dec. 21, 1837.
Said Sterling C. Robertson — His HEIRS, EXECUTORS, ADMINISTRATORS, OR THEIR ASSIGNS, ARE ENTITLED TO HOLD SAID LAND — But It — CANNOT BE SOLD, ALIENATED, OR MORTGAGED, AND IS EXEMPT FROM EXECUTION DURING THE LIFETIME OP THE PERSON TO WHOM - IT I9 GRANTED.
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, at Austin — this first day of May 1846 — Wm. G. Cook — ADJUTANT GENERAL.
Approved Feby 12th 1848 — C. S. Mann - Actg, Ad Genl.

INDIAN WARFARE

During the years 1836 and 1837, [12243] Sterling C. Robertson, then over 50 years old, served as a captain of Texas Rangers in Indian Warfare on the distant borders of Texas. He was among the first of the Texas Ranger captains.

At that time he had plenty of business affairs which had to be neglected while he performed this arduous and dangerous duty in defense of his country. His patriotism transcended considerations of private fortune—a worthy example, not followed by some "one hundred percent patriots" of later times, and gentlemen who bestowed. "distinguished service medals" upon each other for "service" arranging for the expenditure of public funds.

Comptroller's Military Service Records No. 7149, Texas State Library:

I certify that Sterling C. Robertson joined the Army of Texas under my command on the tenth day of May 1836. I detached him under orders to raise a company or more of men—he proceeded to Nacogdoches in the discharge of his duties and again reported himself to me about the 25th July of the same year and I then detached him to go against the Indians this service was performed by said Robertson upon his own expenses & I considered him entitled to rank & pay as Captn. — (Signed) Thos J Rusk — Late Brig Genl - Comg T. A. - Houston Dec 21st 1837.

I certify that the distance from Harrisburgh to Nacogdoches is one hundred & eighty miles from Nacogdoches to San Augustine thirty miles & from San Augustine to Victoria about Two hundred & seventy miles April 23d 1838 — (Signed) Thos J Rusk — late Brig Genl — Comg T A.

Auditors Office — Houston 23 Apl 1838 — This day came Sterling C Robertson and says the annexed instrument is just true and original and the only one that he has offered for Liquidation that he owes the Government nothing on his own account or on account of any other persons Sworn to before — (Signed) J W Moody — Auditor.

(Endorsed:) 7149 Sterling C Robertson filed 23 Apl 1838. Examined admitted to audit for $300.75. Military services J W Moody Auditor 10 May 1836 Isd 23 Apl 1838 No draft 8541. T Appr April 24th 1838 Francis R. Lubbock comptroller. Copy Isd.

Order from Gen. Rusk

The order from Gen. Rusk for the service just mentioned is among the papers of [122431C] Mrs. Johnson....

(Copy)

(Endorsed) Genrl T. J. Rusk — Orders — To Sterling C. Robertson Esq. Present.
Headquarters, Victoria 12th July 1836 To Sterling C. Robertson Esqr.
Sir: Yon are hereby appointed to enroll men for the purpose of protecting the Frontier from Indian depredations. You are expressly prohibited from enrolling. any men now in the army or on his way to the army and you will not enroll any man for a less time than Four Months. In all respects you will subject yourself to such orders as you may receive from Col. Edward Burlisson.
THOMAS J. RUSK, Brig Glenn Comdg.

Controller's Military Service Records, No. 5997, Texas State Library:

Recd of S. C. Robertson — Seventy Eight, 3/4 Lbs of Powder at One Dollar pr Lb Forty four Bars of Lead at Twenty five Cts pr Bar Forty Eight Flints at Two Dollars, One Hundred Lbs of Rice at Twenty Cts. pr Lb. Amounting to One Hundred & Eleven Dollars Seventy five Cts for the Use of the Bttl of Rangers — Nashville — (Signed) Charles Curtis — Asst Qtr Master — Bttl of Rangers — Septm. 5th 1837.

I hereby Certify that S. C. Robinson Left Victory July twelfth, 1836 by order of General T. J. Rusk under my command to return to the frontier in Comand of a Company of Rangers for four months which he done and Discharged his duty faithfully as Capt in said Core the term of four months and is here by honorable Discharged from the same this 19 November 1837 — (Signed) Edw Burleson — Then Col Comdt Rangers.

Auditors Office — Houston 22 decr 1837 — This day came S. C. Robertson and says the annexed instrument is just true and original and the only one that he had offered for liquidation that he owes the Government frothing on his own account or on account of any other person Except Six rangers, at $30 each. — Sworn to before me — (Signed) J. W. Moody, Auditor.

(Endorsed:) $411.75 S C Robinson filed Decr 21 1837 Examined same day Admitted to audit for $411.75 Military 12 July 1836 Isd Decr 21 1837 No. Draft W.

(Second Endorsement:) 5997 S C Robinson fild Dec 21 1837 Examined same day Admittd to audit for $411.75 Military July 12 1836 Isd Decr 21 1837 No. Draft 7206 W X approved 22nd Dec 1837 Francis R. Lubbock Controller.

Controller's Military Service Records, No. 6037, Texas State Library:

Columbia July 3d 1837 — Major Robison — Bot of Hamilton & Henderson — To 4 Kegs Powder at 8.00 $32. — To 2 pare shoes 6 — 1 Round Jacket 3. — 1 doz fish hooks $41.

1837 Columbia Texas — S. C. Roberson Dr — To Hamilton & Henderson — July 3d 4 Kegs powder 64/— 32 00 — 2 pr Shoes & 1 Linen coat 600 — (item not stated) 50 — $38.50 — Recvd payment. — Willis A Faris agent for Hamilton & Henderson — Houston Decr. 22nd. 1837.

Auditors Office — Houston Dec 1837 — This day came Sterling C Robertson and says the annexed instrument is just true and original and the only one that he had offered for liquidation that he owes the Government nothing on his own account or on account of any other person Sworn to before — J W Moody 1st Auditor.

(Endorsed:) 6037 $38.00 Sterling C Robertson filed 27 Dec 1837 Examined same day & admited to audit for—$38.00 the Fish Hooks Rejected J W Moody Auditor 3 Jul 1837 Isd 28 Dec 1837 No. of Draft 7248C Approved 26th Jany 1838 Francis R. Lubbock Comptroller — S C Roberson Act $38.50.

The bureaucrat who "the Fish Hooks Rejected" probably never had to find provisions for a force afield.

LETTER FROM HIS SON

According to a letter from [12243] Robertson's son, hostile Indians infested the region of his colony in 1841 and Robertson, then 56 years old, was still after them.

The letter, original loaned by its writer's daughter, [122431D] Mrs. Imogene (Robertson) Gamel..., was written at "Randals" no doubt the home of [122112] James Randolph Robertson..., called "Randle" or "Randall," near the present town of Hearne, Robertson Co., Texas, where [12243] Sterling C. Robertson resided at the time of his death. Copy of the letter follows:

(Folded and addressed:) Col. Sterling C. Robertson, Care of James R. Robertson.

Randals, Saturday 28 Feby 1841.

Dear Father:
I reached this place 24th inst and contrary to your doctrine & my expectation, found you gone up the country after Indians.

I was beaten for the Sheriffality by a plurality of 93 votes by Capt. Lynch.... I was not hindmost and I'm satisfied it may be all for the better yet I intend to take all for the better, let what will turn up.

I leave here tomorrow morning for Austin by the near way. I apprehend Brodonger, the mail rider, will accompany me through.

I have determined to see the U. S. this year, if money can be found in the country. Flury...has let me have the notes he holds on Barton's estate, and on Cazenow (?), Amt of all $1200. If I can get one half of the Amt it will do. He has also let me have one note on Edward Tatum of $600. I have no faith in getting it, but shall try.

My present plan is as follows. I've made an arrangement with Mr. V. R. Irion...to go to school together, and remain together until we both have license to practice law, and be partners afterwards, if both are willing. He can furnish money enough for both of us. He has some in this country and the balance he can raise in the U. S. He proposed to furnish me, without any security but he shall be made safe if he assists me any.

I believe that I can learn more now in one month than I ever could before in three. Now is the time for me to push, if I ever do anything. In three years the important land suits in these upper counties will come on about that time and if I push for it I can get back and have my share of the practice. I've always been pushing and have done nothing yet, but still live in hopes, if I die in despair.

I saw Col. Butler as I came up. He has not written those transfer deeds yet. He says you must get all your papers relative to McMullin's suit, and give them to him before court as it will take some time for him to examine, and prepare the case for trial. He further says until you furnish him with all your documents in time, he will be unable to do you justice. You can soon get all the papers after you return. I would do it but dont know where the papers are nor who your evidence is.

I've got the mare you got from Boyers (?) and will ride her to Austin.

My young gray horse is very poor. I will leave him here.

I think it is likely that I will go down the Colorado by Lagrange.

If I fail in getting money at Austin, I'll do what I think is for the best; or do the best I can.

I want to start for the states by the first of April, and will go by land.

Congress has done enough this session to prevent the collection of all debts.

All the official acts of W. H. Steele have been confirmed by Congress.

Our speckeled bull is at Davises (??).

I remain sincerely with much respt, Your obt son
E. S. C. ROBERTSON.

P. S. I'll see you before I go if I can.
In case of any accident on the road to Austin I'll leave a memorandum, with Thomson, of all the papers I take with me, so that you may know all that is destroyed, if the Indians should get me.

E. S. C. ROBERTSON.

LETTER FROM HIS BROTHER

A newsy letter addressed "Major Sterling C. Robertson, Nashville, Texas," dated Fayetteville, Tenn., Jany 29, 1842, was received by him from his brother, E. B. Robertson....

From it he learned that his "old mother was in tolerable health." She survived him as will he seen from mention in their wills.

The letter shows that he had written his brother, 27 Dec 1841, that he was then in good health.

HIS DEATH

Shortly after his brother's letter was written, [12243] Sterling C. Robertson died of pneumonia, 4 Mar 1842, at the home of his relative, [122112] James Randolph Robertson..., near Hearne, Robertson Co., Texas.

According to family information he last resided with that relative to whom he bequeathed one thousand acres of land.

His will, dated 10 Aug 1840, describes him. "of County of Milam in the Republic of Texas." He probably then resided at Nashville, Milam Co. James Randolph Robertson's home place is nearby across the Brazos River in Robertson Co.

Robertson Co. was formed from Milam Co. and named for him, 1837, before his death.

The Sterling C. Robertson Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Waco, Texas, was named for him after his death.

WILL OF STERLING C. ROBERTSON

Texas, Milam Co., Clerk of Court, Vol. 8, p. 321. Copied from Abstract of Title to certain lands in Texas, loaned by Mrs. Lela Sterling Robertson....

In the name of God, Amen:

I, Sterling C. Robertson, of the County of Milam, in the Republic of Texas, being of sound mind and disposing memory, knowing the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death, do make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making null all other wills and testaments which I may hereto before have made, and declaring this to be my last will and testament and words and form following, to-wit:

Item 1st: I desire that all my just debts be paid as early as practicable and that my body be decently buried with as little ostentation as possible.

Item 2nd: I will and bequeath unto my mother, Sarah Robertson Sr., so much of my lands which are to be sold as will bring Five Thousand Dollars, for her support, and to indemnify her for the many sacrifices she has so generously made for me; twenty five hundred dollars worth of the lands to be sold as soon as practicable after my death, and the money to be delivered to her by my executors hereinafter named, the balance to be sold and proceeds to be given to her, as soon as the lands can be sold without making too great a sacrifice.

Item, 3rd: I will and bequeath to Mrs. Louisa Flury, the wife of Anthony B. Flury, of the County of Washington in the Republic aforesaid, and to Elizabeth Hannum, her sister, they being children of my deceased sister, Patsy Hannum, one half league of land to be selected by my executors hereinafter named, and of my Elm Creek or Little River lands, as early as possible after my death and the situation of my succession will justify, the said bequest not to be subject by any means whatever to the control, entire or in part, of the said Anthony B. Flury, the husband of the said Louisa Flury, neither to be subject as aforesaid to the control, entire or in part of any person or persons, the said Louisa may hereafter at any time marry, but the same to remain to the said Louisa and her heirs forever. It is further my will that the said bequest to Elizabeth Hannum aforesaid shall not be subject as aforesaid to the control, entire or in part, of any person or persons the said Elizabeth may at any time hereafter marry, but that the same shall be and remain to her, and her heirs forever.

Item 4: I give and bequeath unto my cousins, James R. Robertson...of the County of Robertson, to H.V. Robertson...and Jonathan F. Robertson...of the County of Washington, all of the Republic aforesaid one thousand acres of land each, to be taken off of and out of league No. 6 adjoining the Tenoxtittan Leagues on the north side of the Brazos River, to have and to hold to them and their heirs forever.

Item 5: The net remainder and residue of my estate of every description, either personal or real, either in the Republic aforesaid or in any of the United States of the North, I will and bequeath unto my beloved son, Elijah S. C. Robertson to him and the heirs of his body forever, but if my said son shall die without issue, then all of my estate that he has not disposed of to return to the heirs female, of my two deceased sisters Elizabeth Childress and Patsy Hannum, of their bodies begotten and to the children of my brother, Eldridge B. Robertson. Further it is my will and desire that part of my estate which falls to the daughters of either of my brothers or sisters last before mentioned shall be and remain for their use alone, not subject by any means or in any manner to the control, entire or in part of their present husbands, or of any person or persons they may or either of them may at any time hereafter marry.

Item 6th. I nominate, constitute and appoint James R. Robertson...of the County of Robertson, Alexander Thomson, of Yellow Prairie, and William D. Thomson of the Town of Nashville, both of Milam County, and all of the Republic aforesaid, executors of this my last will and testament, with a request that they will accept the trust herein reposed in them, and carry out and sustain this my last will.

In testimony whereof, I, the said Sterling C. Robertson, have hereonto set my hand and seal, having first read and published this my last will and testament in the presence of the witnesses whose names are hereunto subscribed as such, this tenth day of August, in the year of our Lord, 1840. /

STERLING C. ROBERTSON.
(Witnesses) : N. C. RAYMOND / G. B. ERATH / WM. H. MOORE W. S. MURRAY.

Proof of Will filed for record July 2, 1891. Recorded in Vol. 8, p. 323. Republic of Texas, County of Milam.

We, the undersigned, do solemnly affirm that the writing which has been presented for Probate this day by E. S. C. Robertson (701) is the last will and testament of Sterling C. Robertson, Dec'd., late of Milam County, as far as we know or believe; that we saw said Robertson assign his name to the said writing, and also believed him, that said Robertson, at that time to be of sound mind and memory, and that we recognise the writing now presented to be the original, also that we assigned the same as witnesses. / N. C. RAYMOND / W. 8. MURRAY / G. B. ERATH / April 7, 1842.

Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and date above written. / H. B. KING, Chief Justice, M.C.

HIS MOTHER'S WILL

The will of Sterling C. Robertson's mother...refers to the bequest of her in her son's will as "a claim against the estate _of my son Sterling C. Robertson late of Texas . . . the amount to be obtained is not to exceed five thousand dollars and which might be obtained in land in Texas."

LOCATION OF GRAVE OF MAJOR STERLING CLACK ROBERTSON

(Memorandum of an investigation by Wm. C. Harllee).

On 5 August, 1931, with my wife, (Mrs. Ella Florence (Fulmore) Harllee) and Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Robertson) Sutherland..., (both are great grandchildren of Major Sterling Clack Robertson), and Sergeant Major Newgarde, I proceeded from Austin, Texas, to Georgetown, Texas, to home of Mr. Daniel D. Fowler. Thence, with Mr. Fowler, we proceeded to Gause, Texas, and with Mr. Roy Fuller, who resides about 2 1/2 miles south of Gause, we proceeded to the farm house of Mr. Herman M. Lang, about 4 1/2 miles east of Gause on Gause-Hearne highway near site of old Nashville on Brazos River.

All this party with Mr. Herman M. Lang and his two sons proceeded to an old cemetery in a pasture on land owned by Mr. William H. Bailey, about 1/2 mile north-east of Mr. Lang's home.

There was pointed out by Mr. Daniel D. Fowler and Mr. Herman M. Lang the spot where they had seen the tombstone of Sterling C. Robertson bearing his name and certain data which they did not recall concerning his birth and death.

The spot where the headstone of Sterling C. Robertson stood is close by and north of an elm tree, and about 60 feet south and about 40 feet west of a headstone bearing the following inscription: "SACRED / TO/ the Memory / of / Nancy Roberts born / Dec. 27, 1800 / Who departed this life / Dec 29th 1839 aged 39 years / and 2 days."

The footstone of Sterling C. Robertson still stands. It is about 6 feet west of a fallen white stone shaft with no visible inscription. The footstone is of brown river stone with parts crumbled and fallen off and now about one foot high, about 16 inches wide and about 4 inches thick.

About 6 feet west of the foot stone is part of the head stone standing in the ground and broken off even with the ground. It has crumbled and split and is now about 20 inches wide and about one inch thick, bearing evidence of having been thicker before parts of it crumbled and split off.

Mr. Fowler and Mr. Lang stated that the head stone of Sterling C. Robertson with inscription showing his name and other data was standing there until recent years. Mr. Fowler stated he had often seen it there as late as 15 years ago. Mr. Lang stated that he had often seen it there since he moved to his present home which he bought from Mr. Fowler in 1912.

Mr. Fowler was born in 1850. He lived near Gause from 1861 to 1895 when he moved to Georgetown. He bought from the administrators of the Lewis estate in Hearne about 1890 the land now owned and resided upon by Mr. Lang and the adjacent land upon which this cemetery is located now in the pasture owned by Mr. William H. Bailey. He often traversed this land and often saw the head stone of Sterling C. Robertson located as described.

Mr. Lang has resided at his present home adjacent to the land of Mr. William H. Bailey on which the cemetery is located and has often seen the headstone of Sterling C. Robertson located as described and later, after the part bearing the inscription was broken off, he has seen it lying nearby. Mr. Lang bought the entire tract from Mr. Fowler and sold to Mr. Bailey the part upon which the cemetery is located.

Beside and north of the grave of Sterling C. Robertson there is a grave, which from the size of the depression appears to be that of a child. (Probably that of Sterling Robertson, born 7 August 1847, Robertson Co., Texas, and died there 26 Aug 1847, oldest son of Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson and grandson of Sterling Clack Robertson). Part of the head stone of brown river stone stands in the ground, broken off even with the ground. It is in line with the head stone of the grave of Sterling C. Robertson.

There are evidences of many other graves in this cemetery. Only a few have stones now standing. The following inscriptions were copied: "(Masonic Device) / SAMPSON P FERGUSEN / Born in Edgefield D. S., So. Ca. / April 10, 1817 / Died / Nov. 18, 1869 / Aged 52 years & 6 days" (Note the discrepancy of 7 months. Wm.C.H.) The following is on a broken and fallen stone: "W. G. REYNOLDS / BORN / Feb 11 1845 / DIED Apr 6 1874 / Aged 26 Yrs / 1 Mo & 22 DAYS / FAR FROM AFFLICTION / TOIL AND CARE / THE SOUL IS / (Stone broken)."

This cemetery is within a mile of the site of old Nashville where only the ruins of an old cistern now remain of that early settlement of East Texas where over a thousand people of Robertson's Colony once lived. Texas Highway No. 43 and the I. & G. N. Railroad tracks cross the Brazos River here adjacent to old Nashville site to the north and near the old cemetery to the south. The old Nashville site is on the river banks. The old cemetery is near the river.

The highway bridge on the southwest side bears a plate with the following inscription: "NASHVILLE / HERE WAS LOCATED / THE SITE OF STERLING C. ROBERTSON'S COLONY 1834 / — / THE HOME OF / GEORGE C. CHILDRESS / AUTHOR OF / TEXAS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE / FIRST COUNTY SEAT OF / MILAM COUNTY."

From the cemetery the party proceeded to Hearne, Robertson Co., Texas, where we were joined by Mr. Charles Later and Mr. William Ely, nephew of Mr- Fowler (Mr. Fowler remaining at Hearne). Thence we proceeded on Hearne-Cameron road about 2 1/2 miles west of Hearne to the premises in Robertson Co. where Major Sterling C. Robertson lived and died.

James Randolph ("Randle") Robertson...also lived at this place at the time of death of Sterling C. Robertson. Then the former's son Hays Robertson, and then J. C. Ford, in turn resided there. From the Ford estate it passed to Oscar G. Hudson, present owner. Tenants reside there now.

Sterling C. Robertson's house was a double log house, two stories high, built of squared cedar logs. On the site now stands an old unpainted frame tenant house. The old cistern built of concrete and an outbuilding built of squared cedar logs are the only visible remains of the establishment occupied by Major Sterling C. Robertson.

About 1/4 mile from the house is the site of a burial ground, now overgrown and difficult to penetrate. Mr. Later, a long time resident of that section, stated that Hays Robertson and Jack Robertson, sons of John Randolph Robertson, and also other members of that Robertson family were buried there. He believed that no monuments were erected there. He had known the place well and could not recall having seen any tombstones there.

Mr. Later was under the impression that Major Sterling C. Robertson was buried there but had no definite knowledge to that effect. His impression arose from the fact that Sterling C. Robertson had died at the nearby house and that this burial ground was later used for John Randolph Robertson, his sons Hays and Jack and other members of that family.

The Brazos River divides Robertson and Milam Counties. The site of the Sterling C. Robertson home in Robertson Co. where he died is about three miles from the site of old Nash. ville and the cemetery nearby, which are in Milam Co.

It is likely that the cemetery site on the Sterling C. Robertson place in Robertson Co. was not used as such as early as 1842 when Sterling C. Robertson died. The cemetery near old Nashville was then being used for burials.

After this investigation I am of the opinion that Major Sterling C. Robertson was buried in Milam County, Texas, at the location described in the old cemetery near old Nashville,
(Signed) WILLIAM C. HARLLEE.

Mr. D. D. Fowler, Georgetown, Texas, wrote, 2 Dec 1932, after reading the above memorandum of investigation: "I am sure that the location of the grave is correct. I am very sorry that the old sand rock had been burned and crumbled from the effects of fire which burned the cedar fence around the grave."

Another statement concerning the location of Robertson graves in the cemetery at Nashville was published 27 Oct 1927, in The Rockdale (Texas) Reporter in an article, "Story of Bridge Celebration," by Dr. H. W. Cummings, President, Hearne (Texas) Chamber of Commerce:

"The site selected for this bridge (across the Brazos River) is one of the historic spots of Texas. Here was the town of Nashville, one of the early settlements where Sterling C. Robertson, for whom Robertson county was named, first located; and where the graves of the Robertson family can yet be seen.

"It is said that in selecting a place for the capital of Texas this place, Nashville, came within one vote of being chosen as the capital city."

FRANCES KING

Little is known of Frances King. From the fact that Sterling Clack and Frances (King) Robertson's son, Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson, when a youth under twelve years old, went to Texas with his father it is assumed that his mother had died in his earlier youth.

There appears to have been a King family in Giles Co., Tenn., where Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson was born, but the county records were burned in 1865 and no records which could be identified as of her family have been found.

ANOTHER ROBERTSON FAMILY OF TEXAS

Another Robertson family, not known to be related to the family of Sterling Clack Robertson, was established early in Texas by Jerome Bonaparte Robertson whose son, Gen. Felix H. Robertson, a distinguished officer of the Confederate States Army, wrote as follows to Mrs. Cone Johnson, daughter of Gen. E. Sterling C. Robertson, son of Sterling Clack Robertson.

(Printed: Confederate States flags and words:)
Gen. Felix H. Robertson — Formerly Chief of Staff to Gen. Joe Wheeler — Confederate Army of Tennessee — 214 N. Ninth Street, Waco, Texas.

(Remainder is in manuscript:)

July 7th, 1924.
Mrs. Cone Johnson, Tyler, Texas.

My Dear Mrs. Johnson:

Your letter dated June 27th came during my absence at Crawford, where I remained until yesterday. This may account for not sooner answering your delightful letter.

I have but recently learned positively that that branch of the Robertson family of which my father came was from Maryland. My grandfather married a widow Kuch at Port Tobacco in Maryland.

I have lately learned that two brothers named Cornelius and Thomas lived once in Washington, D. C., and Thomas was a minister in the Episcopal Church.

From the fact that my Grandfather Robertson's family had the name Cornelius and Thomas as a family name, I infer that the two I have named as living in Washington, D.C., were in all probability of kin to my Grandfather Robertson. Except for the fact that one was a minister in the church I should consider it an established fact that they were perhaps brothers.

All then that I know is that a kinsman of my father was on the Supreme bench in Kentucky. All the rest is matter of talk but I do not know anything with accuracy about my Robertson, kin except that they were ardent Jefferson men in their politics.

After my grandfather's marriage to the widow Kuch he moved across the mountains and went into Kentucky. Sons and one daughter were born to him.

The sons were named Napoleon, James Cornelius, and Jerome Bonaparte.

From the names given to his sons you will know he was an ardent supporter of Thomas Jefferson.

He later moved to Union Co, Kentucky, and died leaving a will which was duly probated.

His estate consisted mainly in land, and it wild. This fact necessitated the hiring out of the children.

My father (Jerome Bonaparte Robertson) was in that new country apprenticed to a man pursuing the business of a hatter. Later his master removed to St. Louis taking my father with him. My father continued to live in St. Louis until he had about completed his apprenticeship when he succeeded in buying his unexpended time, when he returned from St. Louis to Owensboro, Ky., to begin the study of medicine under a Dr. Harris then a practitioner of local note in that community.

The monetary crash of 1836 and 1837 made many people homeless and in that section of Kentucky greatly aided the cause of Texas which advertised her struggle against Mexico.

My father was among that number who came to Texas under the command of Gen. T. J. Chambers, arriving a short time after the battle of San Jacinto. He was first placed under Gen. Felix Hutton until furloughed by the President of Texas in 1837.

In 1838 he was married in Washington Co Texas, to Mary E. Cummina, daughter of a land surveyor in Robertson Colony, and in due time I made discovery of Texas in the town of Washington.

I was appointed to West Point in 1857 by Ex-Gov. P. H .Bell. I remained at that school until 1861 when war clouds came over our land. I refused to stay with the Union and resigned to come South.

I remember your father during the life of his first wife. They lived near my father in the town of Independence. His first wife was the mother of your half brother Sterling. And she was a fine performer on the fiddle, as we called it then. She was the niece of Henry V. Robertson (7770114) who lived about four miles away.

I did not see your father after he moved from Independence until the close of the war of 1861-5, and only occasionally after that time, but I always remembered him and was always glad to see his face.

I met here some few days since your brother Huling. He was here to take some sort of treatment. I met your brother Randolph some years since. Also your sister, Mrs. Harrison.

Hoping you may be able to get something of value out of this rambling account, I am, very truly yours,

FELIX H. ROBERTSON

BIBLE RECORDS

No family Bible of Sterling Clack and Frances (King) Robertson has been located.

They had but one child; Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson.

All of the latter's children who had children are now (1935) either alive or survived by spouses, with addresses shown in Register of Descendants.

Accordingly the table of record of family Bibles of married sons, daughters, and grandsons and granddaughters of the central couple shown in each of the preceding sections of this work is here omitted.

Source: William Curry Harlee, Kinfolks: A Genealogical and Biographical Record, 3 vols. (New Orleans: Searcy & Pfaff, 1935-37), 3: 2850-2863.

Last updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2004

All original material Copyright ©2003 Tom Robertson. All rights reserved including those of electronic transmission and reproduction of the material in any format.

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