A Guide to the John Milton Swisher Items, 1879, 1881
John Milton Swisher (1819-1891) was born in Tennessee to Elizabeth (Boyd) and James Gibson Swisher. The family moved to Texas in 1833. Swisher, accompanied by a dozen or so others, left for San Antonio to assist William B. Travis at the Alamo. They intercepted Sam Houston’s army in Gonzales and formed into Captain William W. Hill’s Company H of Colonel Edward Burleson’s First Regiment, Texas Volunteers. Swisher was discharged in May after serving in the battle of San Jacinto. He worked for a time as a clerk in his father’s store in Washington County and then served as recording clerk of the treasury department from 1836 until his promotion to chief clerk in 1840. Swisher had a short stint as first lieutenant in the Republic of Texas Marine Corps in 1841 before he became chief clerk of the auditor’s office at Washington-on-the-Brazos. He also worked as a clerk for both the Ninth Congress of the Republic of Texas and the Convention of 1845. Once more he briefly joined the military, as colonel of the first regiment of Thomas Green’s brigade of Texas militia and served in the Mexican War. The war ended before he could reach the front, however.
Swisher became auditor of public accounts in 1848 and a banker in Austin in 1852. In 1860 Sam Houston appointed him paymaster of the Texas Rangers, but he was dismissed due to unionist sympathies. He served as a purchasing agent for Confederate forces in Matamoros during the Civil War and then ran a banking house in Galveston, 1865-1868. In 1868 he returned to Austin and served as president of a company working towards construction of a street railway system until 1870. After donating his reminiscences to the University of Texas at Austin, Swisher died in 1891.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Swisher, John Milton," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsw20.html (accessed July 29, 2010).
The John Milton Swisher Items, 1879, 1881, are comprised of reminiscences by Swisher of his early life, his participation in the Battle of San Jacinto and his return home to Washington County, as well as his recollections of some noteworthy Texans of the day. Additionally, the collection includes a broadside, entitled "Important to Texas Veterans," relating to land certificates for veterans, September 5, 1881.
The collection is open for research.
John Milton Swisher Items, 1879, 1881, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Subsequent revisions were made by Victoria Bean, October 1973.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers