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Bryant, Benjamin Franklin  ( 1800 Mar 15  -  1857 Mar 4 )

The Kemp Sketch (What is this?) | Download the original typescript

BRYANT, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN -- Born in Wilkes County, Georgia, March 15, 1800. When he was a child his parents moved to Macon County, Georgia. From there on September 4, 1834 Captain Bryant with his wife and child and a nephew, Hardy Price, left for Texas, crossing the Sabine at Gaines' Ferry on November 10th. They settled on Palo Gacho Creek two miles east of Milam in the present county of Shelby and about fifteen miles east of San Augustine.

In March 1836, Captain Bryant recruited a company of volunteers of which he was elected Captain. His company joined the maim army at Bernardo, one of the homes of Jared E. Groce, one of the wealthiest planters in all Texas, March 29, 1836. General Sam Houston at his Headquarters Camp west of the Brazos on April 3 wrote to Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of War "...Eighty Redlanders have arrived and are on the opposite bank." The others besides Captain Bryant's company were men recruited by Major L. Smith, and commanded at San Jacinto by Captain A. H. Wyly. An account of Captain Bryant's march to join the army will be found in the sketch of Hardy W. B. Price, member of his company.

In Service Record No. 7054 it is certified that Captain Bryant served in the army from March 29 to April 29, 1836. He was issued Donation Certificate No. 314 for 640 acres of land, June 9, 1836 for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. Altho Captain Bryant retired from the army at the expiration of his term of enlistment, April 29, 1836, his life was practically spent in the protection of the frontier from the attacks of Indians and Mexicans. He moved to Milam County where he built a fort, known as Bryant's Station on Little River, in which he and his family lived. This soon became the Headquarters for Indian fighters who always selected Major Bryant as their leader.

On March 16, 1839, he commanded the party of 52 men who engaged the band of Indians under Jose Maria near the home of George Morgan, at the falls of the Brazos near where the city of Marlin now stands. After the Texans had had 13 of their number killed and 5 others wounded, Major Bryant being one of the latter, they were forced to retreat in disorder. These same Indians had attacked the Morgan house on January first and had killed and scalped George Morgan and wife and Adeline Marlin. They had also attacked the home of John Marlin on January 10th but were forced to retreat after seven of them, and no Texans, had been killed. They had now returned for revenge which they succeeded in getting. In after years Major Bryant and Jose Maria became good friends.

In 1845 Captain Bryant built a home near the fort where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. Captain Bryant died March 4, 1857. He was twice married but the name of his first wife has not been ascertained. His second wife, Roxinna Price, was born March 8, 1802 and died November 10, 1871. The remains of Captain and Mrs. Bryant were removed by the State of Texas to the State Cemetery at Austin in 1931.

Children of Captain Benjamin F. Bryant and Roxinna Price Bryant were Jesse, Francis, Jane Elizabeth, Barney, Layfayette, Amanda, Lou, Eliza, Susan, Rebecca and Sam Houston Bryant.

Executive Department Washington, March 28, 1843.

To Maj. Benj. Bryant, Indian Agent, etc.

Sir, Your letters were handed to me by the Lipans and Toncahuas. I will send you forms of returns as soon as they can be prepared. It will be of some importance to have a complete census of those tribes.

I hope the commissioners will succeed in making a desirable treaty at the Waco village. If they do I am anxious that you should cultivate sentiments of friendship on the part of those Indians towards the other tribes. I am desirous of removing every cause of excitement to the Indians on our frontier. The future prosperity of Texas only requires peace to ensure its protection.

I send you a copy of a letter which I had forwarded to you by Yonsey, a Toncahua. I am afraid he did not deliver the original. Until the country has more ability to bestow favors than at present, I am anxious that the Indians should not resort here. To those who have come contrary to my wishes, I have made small presents. I have written to them a letter to Gen. Flaco. I hope it will be interpreted to him with care. I send him four plugs of tobacco; to his wife I send eleven shawls, the mother of young Flaco who was slain. Of his murder I know nothing "only it is said that Mexicans from the Rio Grande killed him." Maj. Hays has never written to me on the subject. When I get news particulars of his death, I will write to you and you can inform his father of the facts. If the Lipans and Toncahuas will go out to take satisfaction for his death tell them by no means to harm women and children. The warrior scorns to hurt a woman or child and only fights with men. I will never shake hands with a red brother that had stained his hands with the blood of women, or children. He is a "squaw" and a coward himself.

I will direct the Indians that are here to communicate to their tribes not to come to this place except upon important business that cannot be done by the Agent and I will tell them so to speak to their people. And that they are to listen to your talks and walk in the path which you point out to them. When I wish to see them here I will write to you; and you can communicate to them my desires.

You will permit no persons to trade with the Indians nor to go amongst them without leave from you; and should you give leave to any, you will report the same to the government by the first opportunity.

I have the honor to be Your obt. Servt. Sam Houston.

The above is a true copy of an autograph letter from President Sam Houston to Maj. Benj. Bryant now is possession of Jeff T. Kemp, County Judge of Milam County, Texas, which was given him by the late Sam Houston Blankenship, a grandson of Maj. Benj. Bryant.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.


Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Captain
  • Company: Second Regiment Texas Volunteers

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1800 Mar 15
  • Birthplace: Georgia, Wilkes County
  • Origin: Georgia
  • Came to Texas: 1834 Nov 10
  • Date of Death: 1857 Mar 4
  • Burial Place: Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas
  • Donation Certificate: 314
  • Wife: 1. unknown; 2. Roxana Price
  • Children: Jesse Bryant; Francis Bryant; Jane Elizabeth Bryant McKay; Barney Bryant; Lafayette Bryant; Amanda Bryant Bryant Fetterely; Lou Bryant Early Mires; Eliza Bryant Blankenship; Susan Bryant Blankenship; Rebecca Bryant Peters; Sam Houston Bryant
  • Family at San Jacinto: Nephew Hardy William Brown Price at Harrisburg.


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