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Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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BAYLOR, JOHN WALKER -- Listed on page 17 of the San Jacinto rolls as Doct. Baylor, a member of Captain William H. Patton's Columbia Company. He was a member of Captain Philip Dimitt's Company at the capture of Goliad, October 9, 1835 and on December 20th of that year he signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence. He was honorably discharged from the army January 11, 1836. He re-enlisted in Captain Albert C. Horton's Company, Fannin's command, March 1, 1836. He accompanied men under Captain Horton in advance of the main army which they were unable to rejoin, having been cut off by the Mexicans. Mr. Baylor then joined the main army under General Houston, and participated in the battle of San Jacinto. On June 2, 1835 as a member Captain Isaac W. Burton's Horse Marines he participated in the capture of the Mexican boats, Watchman, Fanny Butler and Comanche. Bounty Certificate No. 2956 for 320 acres of land was issued in Mr. Baylor's name for his services in the army from October 5, 1835, to January 11, 1836; Donation Certificate No. 1102 for 640 acres was issued in his name, due him for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto; Headright Certificate No. 6 for one-third of a league of land, the amount due a single man as the headright for having arrived in Texas prior to March 2, 1836; and Bounty Certificate No. 9690 for 640 acres of land for having died while serving in the army of Texas. Mr. Baylor died at Cahaba, Alabama, September 3, 1836 at the home of relatives, while on a furlough from the army. George Baylor, a brother of John W. stated in a sketch that he wrote that his brother died in Mobile and not Cahaba.

John W. Baylor, subject of this sketch, was born at Woodlawn on Stones Creek near Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, eldest child of Dr. John Walker and Sophia Marie (Weidner). His father was a son of Captain Walker Baylor, of the Third Continental Dragoons, better known as Baylor's Dragoons, who moved to Kentucky in 1783 when Dr. John W. Baylor, Sr. Was on year old, and settle at a place he named Woodlawn. The grandmother of the subject of this sketch, Jane Bledsoe, was a daughter of Rev. Joseph Bledsoe, a pioneer Baptist minister and a sister of the celebrated Judge Jesse Bledsoe, a former United States Senator from Kentucky who died at Nacogdoches, Texas, June 25, 1836, while collecting historical data.

The brothers and sister of John W. Baylor, San Jacinto soldier, were Henry Weidner Baylor, for whom Baylor County, Texas was named; Sophia E., who married James L. Dawson; Mrs. Mary Jane Malby; Mrs. Fanny Belger; General John Robert Baylor, who died in Uvalde County, Texas February 6, 1894; George Wythe Baylor; and Charles W. Baylor.

Judge Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, for whom Baylor College now Baylor University, was named was a brother of Dr. John W. Baylor, and therefore, an uncle of the subject of this sketch. Judge Baylor secured the land due his nephew for his serviced in the army and then gave it to his nephew's brothers and sisters.

John W. Baylor, San Jacinto soldier, was known to his family and friends at home as Walker. In the Texas army he was called Doct. Due to the fact that he had studied medicine. The following information regarding him was written in about 1913 by his brother Colonel George Baylor for Mr. O. W. Baylor, Frankfort, Kentucky who sent it to the compiler in a letter dated October 18, 1938:
"Walker Baylor, the eldest of the trio (John R., Walker and Henry Weidner Baylor), was a cadet at West Point during the administration of Andrew Jackson. Unluckily, he got into a quarrel with another cadet, named Freeman, and then concluded to settle it by duel with naked bayonets. Walker, proving quicker at the art of fencing, punching more holes in Cadet Freeman, than army regulations allowed, and was dismissed. His father, Dr. John W. Baylor, was an intimate friend of President Jackson, and when the matter came to his attention he restored Walker and remarked that he did believe that fighting wasn't any drawback to a soldier. Instead of returning to the academy a resuming his studies, as he should have done, Walker merely went back and showed his restoration order to the Commandant, and then left for his home in Natchez, Mississippi. His mother and sisters welcomed him with open arms, but his father felt hurt and was only pacified by promises of good behavior in the future. Walker then began the study of medicine, but before long there came a cry from a few patriots in far-off Texas, for help in their struggle for liberty, and he was soon on Texas soil. He joined (Albert C.) Horton's Company of Videttes and was with that company when Fannin's men were surrounded at Goliad and he fled with the men to cut their way back to the main command.

"Walker afterwards joined Patton's' company and was at the fight at San Jacinto and his name will be found on the rolls as "Dock" Baylor, a nickname given him because he had studied medicine. He gave good service as a surgeon, but having been at West Point he was more useful as a drill-master for his company and put them in good fighting trim for the battle that won for Texas her independence. Letters from him at that time, give an account of the battle, which he said was more of a surprise and massacre, than it was a fight, and he wrote that the sight of the dead Mexicans and small of blood was terrible.

Shortly after the battle of San Jacinto, he embarked on a ship for Mobile, Alabama, and went to visit his uncles, Judge Walker Keith Baylor and Robert E. B. Baylor. The former was killed by Judge Jones Rivers, and the latter was one of the founders of the University which bears the family name. While there, Walker was taken sick, the result of having received a very slight wound in the thigh at San Jacinto, which he never even reported. The wound became inflamed and fever set in and he soon passed away."

In the Mary Austin Holly letters at the University of Texas is a letter from Mrs. Holly written in the latter part of the year 1836 to her daughter. Mrs. Holly was at that time visiting in Cahaba Alabama and wrote concerning the death of Dr. Baylor. She wrote that he was in Captain Dimmitt's Company and was at the first battle of the revolution, at Goliad. She said that he later went into the Alamo with Captain Dimitt, but was sent out by Travis with a message.

Additional information concerning Mr. John W. Baylor is found in the Memorial and Petitions, Archives, Texas State Library. The following affidavit was signed by Colonel Joseph L. Bennett:

"I do hereby Certify that I was acquainted Doctor J. W. Baylor of the state of Alabama was with him in the army of Texas in the fall of 1835 at the Battle of Conception allso new him in the spring of 1836 still in the armey of Texas was in the Battle of San Jacinto on the 21st of April after the Battle I heared him say that if he could git a furlow he would go to Alabama for the purpose of gitting money and Clothing for he said his Cloathes was worn our and his money spent.

The above is a true statement of facts relitive to the service of Doct Baylor."

Dr. R. E. B. Baylor signed the following affidavit January 2, 1840:

'I learnt the following facts from the late Dr. J. W. Baylor on his death bed he stated that he entered the army of the Republic of Texas from the commencement of the Revolution, and remained in it until his death, which took place sometime after the Battle of San Jacinto their may have been short inte(r)vals during the war that he was not attached to the Army--He was at the taking of Goliad and was at Bexar during the time Genl. Cos had possession of that place. I do not think he was at the Storming of Bexar with Milam--He was at the Battle of Conception--at the Battle of San Jacinto, and in several other minor battle with the Mexicans, some of the above facts will appear by a reference to the different Departments, the others are within the knowledge of the officers of Govt. and members of Congress--

Dr. Baylors constitution was entirely broken down in the service of his adopted country how he performed hi duty as a soldier I leave to others to say--

I refer for further information on this subject to President Lamar, Genl. Huston, Col. Benett--Mr. Jack and others -- I now leave this matter to the justice and magnamimity of Congress to grant such relief as they think proper."

BAYLOR, JOHN WALKER - President Lamar on February 5, 1840 signed the following Act of Congress:

"Section 1st--Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, in Congress assembled. That the Secretary of War be required to issue to R. E. B. Baylor heir of Doctor J. W. Baylor deceased a certificate for 640 acres of land as a donation for participating in the battle of San Jacinto and a certificate for 640 acres of land allowed to those who died in the service of the country.

"Section 2nd--Be it further enacted. That the commissioner of the General Land Office be required to grant to the said R. E. B. Baylor heir of Doctor J. W. Baylor deceased a certificate of one third of a league of land, being the headright of Doctor J. W. Baylor deceased, any law to the contrary notwithstanding."

Dr. R. E. B. Baylor on March 5, 1846 "for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar.... and for the further consideration of the natural love and affection I have for the heirs of J. W. Baylor, deceased, "deeded the property to the following persons: Henry W. Baylor, Sophia E. Dawson, Mary Jane Malby, Fanny Belger, John R. Baylor, George Baylor, and Charles W. Baylor.

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
  • Wounded in Battle: Yes, in thigh
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. David Murphree

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Doctor, Dock
  • Date of Birth: 1813?
  • Birthplace: Woodlawn, Bourbon County, Kentucky
  • Origin: Arkansas
  • Came to Texas: 1835
  • Date of Death: 1836 Sept 3
  • Other Battles: Goliad, Concepcion
  • Bounty Certificate: 2956, 9690
  • Donation Certificate: 1102
  • Profession: Doctor