A Guide to the James Walker Fannin, Jr., Papers, 1835-1856, 1932-1933 (bulk 1836)
Texas revolutionary James Walker Fannin, Jr. (1804-1836), was an illegitimate son born to Dr. Isham Fannin (b. 1778) in Morgan County, Georgia. Raised by his maternal grandfather, James W. Walker, on a plantation near Marion, Fannin entered West Point military academy in 1819. His time at West Point proved short-lived, however, and in 1821 he resigned after dueling with a fellow cadet. Fannin returned to Georgia and married Minerva Fort (b. ca. 1811), with whom he had two daughters. A merchant by profession, Fannin moved his family to Velasco, Texas, in 1834. He also engaged in the slave trade and owned a plantation.
On August 20, 1835, the Committee of Public Safety and Correspondence, a congregation of Texans seeking independence from Mexico, appointed Fannin to use his influence to acquire financial aid from sympathizers in Georgia and at West Point. Shortly after, he joined the volunteer army and became captain of the Brazos Guards. Fannin participated in the battles of Gonzalez and Concepción and was discharged from the army on November 22. Upon his advice to create a larger regular army, the General Council established an auxiliary volunteer corps, with Fannin as colonel. On February 12, 1836, Fannin marched with his regiment to Goliad. Sam Houston ordered him to withdraw on March 14, but Fannin delayed retreating until March 19. Having unsuccessfully engaged the Mexican army during the battle of Coleto, Fannin and his men were subsequently captured. Antonio López de Santa Anna had the men, including Fannin, killed on March 27, during the Goliad Massacre.
Diamond, Beryl I. "James Walker Fannin Jr. (1804-1836)."The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Accessed November 30, 2010. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-846.
Hartmann, Clinton P. "Fannin, James Walker, Jr."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed November 30, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffa02.
Consisting of Photostats, photocopies, and a bound volume of typed carbon copies of correspondence, the James Walker Fannin, Jr., Papers, 1835-1856, 1932-1933 (bulk 1836), chronicle Fannin’s career as a Texas revolutionary army officer. Photostats and photocopies of correspondence written in Spanish, outline the terms of surrender at Goliad, and are signed by both José de Urrea and Fannin (1836). The bound volume contains letters in English that Fannin exchanged with Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, and James Bowie, among others (1835-1836). In addition, the collection includes letters to Samuel E. Asbury, Texas historian, which concern Fannin (1932-1933).
This collection is open for research use.
James Walker Fannin, Jr., Papers, 1835-1856, 1932-1933 (bulk 1836), Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Deborah Bloys, May 1994.
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