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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MOTTLEY, DR. JUNIUS WILLIAM -- Born in Virginia April 9, 1812 and moved to Greensburg, Kentucky where in 1832 he read medicine at the office of Charles Hay, M.D. who had graduated from Transylvania University in 1829. Charles Hay was the father of the statesman and writer, John Hay, who assistant private secretary to President Lincoln when Lincoln was assassinated. Mottley matriculated as a first year student in the medical college of Transylvania University in the fall of 1833. He again matriculated in the fall of 1834 giving Greensburg as his place of residence and Dr. Hay as his preceptor but his name does not appear in the list of those who graduated March 18, 1835. There were 259 matriculates in the medical department that year and eighty-three graduates.

Dr. Mottley probably left school to come to Texas. He arrived in 1835 with volunteers to fight for the independence of Texas. In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 1, preserved in the Archives of the Texas State Library, Austin, the following information concerning Dr. Mottley is found: He was appointed surgeon of the Post of Goliad January 24, 1836 by General Houston and served faithfully in that capacity until the meeting of the Constitutional Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos, March 1st to which he had been elected a delegate from the municipality of Goliad. He furnished the post of Goliad with surgical instruments worth at least one hundred and twenty-five dollars.

Soldiers of the Army of Texas were entitled to vote for delegates to the convention regardless of how long they had resided in Texas and Dr. Mottley was elected by the army vote. He was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The fact that he was in the army of Texas while a member of the army is verified by his heirs on June 5, 1838 receiving Bounty Certificate No. 3704 for 1920 acres of land for his services from March 1 to April 21, 1836. He had, of course, entered the army prior to March 1st but this was not stated in the certificate. This was perhaps thought unnecessary since his heirs received the maximum amount of land a soldier was entitled to receive. The heirs were issued Donation Certificate No. 259 for 640 acres of land May 30, 1838 due Dr. Mottley for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. That Dr. Mottley was single is proven by the amount of Headright land his heirs received. Headright Certificate No. 355 for one-third of league was issued to them February 22, 1838. Single men who had arrived in Texas prior to March 2, 1836 were entitled to receive one third of a league of land as a Headright regardless of whether or not they had served in the army. In the certificate it is stated that he came to Texas before March 2, 1836.

Dr. Mottley was aide-de-camp to Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of War, at San Jacinto, and was mortally wounded in the engagement. He died on the night of April 21st and was buried on the battlefield, as were eight of the nine of his comrades who were killed or mortally wounded. The other who was mortally wounded was placed on board a boat and taken to Galveston Island for medical treatment and died there. On the joint monument erected in 1881 on San Jacinto battlefield at the grave of Benjamin Rice Brigham it is stated that the eight others who were killed or mortally wounded were buried nearby, but that is a mistake.

On January 1, 1838, William G. Cooke was appointed administrator of the estate of Dr. Mottley by the Probate Court of Harris County. His heirs evidently could not be located, for on December 4, 1849, Dr. Mottley's Donation Certificate was sold at auction on the court house steps in Houston to the highest bidder by sheriff David Russell to satisfy an "execution issued from the office of the clerk of the county court of Harris County on the eighth day of November 1849 commanding the sheriff of said county to levy the sum of $90.75 on the goods, chattels, lands and tenements of William Mottley, deceased." The warrant was purchased for $15.00 by W.R. Baker (Book G, page 32, Deed Records of Travis County.)

Motley County, Texas, misspelled, was named in honor of Dr. Junius William Mottley.

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: Yes
  • Wounded in Battle: Mortally wounded on battlefield; died that day.
  • Company: Medical staff; aide de camp to T. J. Rusk

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Motley
  • Date of Birth: 1812 Apr 9
  • Birthplace: Virginia
  • Origin: Kentucky
  • Came to Texas: 1835
  • Date of Death: 1836 Apr 21
  • Burial Place: San Jacinto Battlefield, Harris County, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 3704
  • Donation Certificate: 259
  • Profession: Doctor
  • Wife: none