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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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PHELPS, Dr. JAMES A.--Born in Mississippi. He came to Texas, in 1822 as one or the "Old Three Hundred" of Austin's Colonists and on August 16, 1824 received title to a league of land situated in what is now Brazoria County. The records of the General Land Office do not show that he received a headright from the Republic. His home was known as "Orozimbo", and at it Santa Anna was kept a prisoner from August 1 to November 26, 1836.

Dr. Phelps' name was omitted from the official San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836. He was issued Donation Certificate No. 679 for 640 acres of land December 13, 1838 for being the hospital surgeon in the army at San Jacinto, 1836. He received Bounty Certificate No. 5046 for 320 acres of land December, 13, 1838 for having served in the army from March, 22 to May 21, 1836.

Dr. Phelps was Charter member of Holland Masonic Lodge No. 36 in Brazoria, which was granted dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana December 27, 1835. The Lodge is Now Holland Lodge No. 1, Houston.

Dr. Phelps was married to Rosetta Adeline Yerby. Dr. Phelps died in 1847, and is buried beneath an oak tree that grew just in back of his home. This building was destroyed in a storm in 1932. No information is known on Mrs. Phelps.

Dr. and Mrs. Phelps had three children; Orlando C. and Virgil H. Phelps; and a daughter whose name is unknown to the compiler.

Orlando C. Phelps was born in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, January 27, 1822 and died in Houston, Texas, August 27, 1897. He was married to Mary Dudley Eubank. A daughter of this union, Minnie, was married to Judge Ernest H. Vasmer, Houston.

Virgil H. Phelps was born in Mississippi. He was a member of the Somervell and Mier Expeditions in 1842 but having been detailed to guard the camp on the Texas side of the River, was not captured. He also participated in the Vasquez Campaign in 1842. He died in West Columbia in 1891 while a member of the Texas Veterans Association.

The daughter of Dr. Phelps was married to a Mr. Phelps, a cotton factor of New Orleans. A son of this union, Pike L. Phelps, lived at, one time in Temple, Texas.

"Dr. J.A.E. Phelps - No. 7235, 30 Apr 1838

Doct Phelps was appointed by me as H. Surgeon {sic}, on the 1st of Apr 1836, and as such, acted under me until the 5th of May following.

(signed) Sam Houston"

"Columbia L
5th Dec 1836

Came to Texas in 1822 with Mrs. Jane Wilkins, his mother-in-law, and Mrs. Wilkins two daughters. Postmaster at Orange 1836-1843"

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
  • Company: Assistant Surgeon, Second Regiment Texas Volunteers

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: James Aeneas
  • Date of Birth: 1794? 1800?
  • Birthplace: Mississippi? Connecticut?
  • Came to Texas: 1822
  • Date of Death: 1847
  • Burial Place: Barzoria County, Texas
  • Comments: Old Three Hundred; Santa Anna imprisoned at his home Aug-Nov 1836;
  • Bounty Certificate: 5046
  • Donation Certificate: 679
  • Profession: Doctor
  • Wife: Rosetta Adeline Yerby
  • Children: Orlando C. Phelps; Virgil H. Phelps; a daughter