A Guide to the Martha Virginia Webster Strickland Simmons Narrative, 1912
Martha Virginia Webster (1836-1927) was the daughter of Captain John Webster, a Virginia lawyer, businessman, and plantation owner who brought his family to Texas in 1836. As the family traveled with several others to West Texas in 1839, they came upon a large force of Comanche Indians on Brushy Creek in Williamson County, who killed all of the men of the party. The four-year-old Webster was captured, along with her mother and older brother, and taken back to live at the Comanches’ camp. Months later, Webster’s mother escaped with her daughter, arriving in San Antonio in March 1840. Her brother was eventually ransomed after two years of captivity. At 17, Webster married a man named Strickland. The couple lived in Burnet County before moving to Lampasas and then Gillespie County, where Strickland died. Three years later, Martha married Charles Simmons, with whom she moved to Oregon and then Fernly, California.
Comprised of a typed historical sketch, the Martha Virginia Webster Strickland Simmons Narrative, 1912, concerns Simmons’ life from 1835 to 1846 as a survivor of the Webster Massacre. The narrative describes the fight between the settlers and Comanches, the conditions of captivity for the surviving Webster family, and her escape to San Antonio with her mother. Additionally, the sketch includes a brief biography of John Webster and details of Simmons’ later life.
This collection is open for research use.
Martha Virginia Webster Strickland Simmons Narrative, 1912, 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.
Detailed Description of the Papers