A Guide to the William Sanders Oury Narrative, 1930
The oldest of nine children of Augustus Oury, William Sanders Oury (1817-1887) was born in Abingdon, Virginia. In 1833, he moved to Texas, after his family settled in Missouri. During the Texas Revolution, Oury rode to San Antonio with William Barret Travis and served in the Alamo garrison, leaving on a courier mission just before the battle of the Alamo began. He was also a courier for Sam Houston and fought in the battle of San Jacinto. In 1840, Oury joined the Texas Rangers in their battles against Comanche Indians at Plum Creek and Bandera Pass. A member of the 1842 Mier expedition, he survived an execution lottery by Mexican captors and returned to Texas to fight in the Mexican War, serving as an interpreter for General Zachary Taylor. Oury married Inez Garcìa of Durango, Mexico, in 1849, and the couple headed to California in pursuit of gold soon afterward. In 1856, the family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where Oury became a cattle rancher and was elected sheriff several times. Oury was also a leader in the April 1871 Camp Grant Massacre of Apache Indians.
Groneman, Bill. “Oury, William Sanders.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed February 17, 2011.
A biographical narrative comprises the William Sanders Oury Narrative, 1930, describing Oury’s life as a soldier and rancher. The narrative, transcribed by Oury’s grandson, Colonel William O. Smith of Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, discusses Oury’s military service serving at the Alamo garrison during the Texas Revolution, fighting Apaches with John C. Hays’s Texas Rangers, working with the U. S. Army’s Camel Corps, and participating in the Mier Expedition. The account additionally addresses Oury’s work as a rancher and community leader in Arizona, his participation in the Camp Grant Indian massacre, and a duel with Edward Flournoy.
This collection is open for research use.
William Sanders Oury Narrative, 1930, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
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.
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