Dr. Nicholas D. Labadie Family Papers
Manuscript Collection: MC007
Physician, businessman, and San Jacinto veteran, Nicholas Descomps Labadie was born on December 5, 1802, in Assumption Parish, Windsor, Ontario to Antoine Louis Labadie and Charlotte Barthe Labadie. At age 21, he began to study for the priesthood in Missouri. After rejecting his vocation, Labadie studied medicine under Dr. Samuel Merry and eventually moved to Louisiana. In 1831 Labadie visited San Felipe and decided to settle in Anahuac where Col. John Davis Bradburn employed him as the post surgeon. In 1832 he participated in the rebellion at Anahuac against Bradburn. Between 1833 and 1838 Labadie and his family lived on a plantation on Lake Charlotte north of Wallisville in Chambers County.
Labadie marched with the Liberty Militia to join Sam Houston's army on March 11, 1836. At the Groce family's Bernardo Plantation, Houston appointed him surgeon of the first regiment of regulars on April 6. On April 21 Labadie fought under Sidney Sherman and tended the wounded at the Battle of San Jacinto. Returning home in May 1836, Labadie found his family and his property devastated with one child dead and his home and cattle destroyed. Extremely ill for over a week, Labadie eventually recovered his health, but lost his hearing. In 1838, Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of War, ordered Labadie to Galveston where he built the first frame house, constructed Labadie's Wharf, established a shipping company, ran a drug store, and practiced medicine. An observant Catholic, he helped to build St. Mary's, the first Catholic church in Galveston. Labadie wrote of his experiences at both Anahuac and San Jacinto in the 1859 edition of the Texas Almanac. This reminiscence caused a libel suit to be brought against him by John Forbes which was finally settled in 1867.
Labadie married three times: Mary Norment who died November 5, 1839 leaving three surviving children - Sarah, Charlotte, and Mary Cecelia; Agnes Rivira who died 1843 leaving one son - Joseph; and Julia Seymour who survived him with no issue. Nicholas D. Labadie died in Galveston in 1867. Labadie's daughter Sarah married S. B.Wallis in 1854, their daughter is Sarah R. Murphy.
Family correspondence, printed materials, creative works and photographs document the lives of the Dr. Nicholas D. Labadie family. The papers are arranged in three groups. The Family Papers contain the papers of Nicholas D. Labadie and his immediate family from 1831 to 1873 (Bulk: 1840-1867). The correspondence from Labadie, Mary Cecelia Labadie Tucker, Charlotte Labadie Barstow, and Jane Seymour Labadie detail family life in Galveston from its earliest days through the Civil War and Reconstruction and discuss medical practices, yellow fever epidemics, and fires. Photographs (16) of Labadie, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and the Labadie cemetery plot record the family images from ca. 1845 to 1930.
The Tucker Papers contain research conducted into the life of Nicholas D. Labadie over a period of 50 years from 1892-1942 (Bulk: 1936-1942) by Philip C. Tucker III, Labadie's grandson. Of particular interest is a short biography of Labadie commissioned by the family and written by S. M. Barger in 1894. Correspondence in 1936 between Tucker and relatives Victor Labadie and Anna L. Tucker, concerns Louis W. Kemp's biography of Labadie written for The Heroes of San Jacinto. A pamphlet written by Jesse A. Ziegler, When Texas Was Young, includes "A Surgeon's Story," an article about Dr. N. D. Labadie at the Battle of San Jacinto.
The Sarah Labadie Wallis Papers document the life of Dr. Labadie's daughter Sarah from the years 1854 to 1868. The papers include a letter and envelope written in 1868 from Sarah Wallis to Cecilia M. Tucher, and a wedding invitation of Sarah Labadie and Mr. S. B. Wallis, who were married in March of 1854, along with the white embossed envelope containing the invitation. Also included is a 1936 newspaper clipping reflecting on the anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto, featuring a picture of Dr. Labadie.
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Open for research by appointment.
Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
[Identification of Item], Dr. Nicholas D. Labadie Family Papers, MC007, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.
Philip C. Tucker III, 1942; M. C. Barstow, 1946; Anna L. Tucker, 1949-1951; Sarah Murphy, 1946.
Processed by Sarah Canby Jackson, 2001; Lisa M. Lomas, 2011.