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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RECTOR, ELBRIDGE GERRY -- Born in Sevier County, Tennessee February 19, 1816. In Headright Certificate No. 205 issued to him in 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Fort Bend County, it is stated that he came to Texas in December, 1835. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 253 for 640 acres of land April 16, 1847 for having served in the army from March 1 to September 1, 1836. He was a member of Captain William H. Patton's Columbia Company and on February 17, 1840 was issued Donation Certificate No. 1022 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. On page 232 of the army rolls in the General Land Office, there is an affidavit signed June 21, 1856 by Colonel Jesse Benton, Jr. in which he stated that Mr. Rector was wounded in an arm in the battle.

Mr. Rector was married to Amanda M. McFarlane. Mr. Rector died October 19, 1902 while an honorary of the Texas Veterans Association. Mrs. Rector, born in Warren County, Tennessee in April 1831, died in December, 1927. Mr. and Mrs. Rector are buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Merced, California.

Children of Mr. and Mrs. Rector were William Fielding, Thomas Blackstone, Elbridge Nelson, Mary Elizabeth and Dollie Rector. Their grandchildren are William and Thomas Rector of Merced, California.

In a letter to Mr. J. B. Graves, Cameron, Texas, dated at Merced, California, January 2, 1902, Mr. Rector gave a brief sketch of his life:

"Your friendly letter came duly to hand about one month ago, please excuse me in not answering at once. I at that time was unwell is my excuse for not answering at its reception."

"I was on the vessel that was wrecked at the mouth of the Brazos River, the precise date of which I can not remember, that was early in April 1835. I remember your mother's family being on board the same vessel, and I shall never forget the terrible storm that we encountered on the Gulf of Mexico, between New Orleans and the mouth of the Brazos River, I presume that you have heard your mother relate. On board the same vessel was Mr. Nibling whom I remember well. What wonderful changes since that date I have passed through. I have passed through many scenes of pleasure and many hardships as well. I will give you short line of my wanderings. I was in Brazoria County at the breaking out of the war with Mexico. On the reception of the news that Santa Ana had entered San Antonio, I with others started in that direction. This news we received through the Travis letter, who was at the Alamo. I was on the Guadalupe River at Gonzales when General Sam Houston arrived; He the same day sent out a small squad of men to learn the fate of the Alamo. In a short time they returned bringing the sad news of the fall of the place. There were forty-two women at Gonzales waiting to hear the news who had husbands in the Alamo. Language can not describe the heart rending scene which still lives vividly in my brain. I was in the battle of San Jacinto and was wounded in the arm and side, the wound in the side is hurting me at this writing.

I joined Capt. Ben McColloch's company of scouts in the war between the United States and Mexico; was out only three months. On the second of May I left Texas for California by the Southern route. After some hardships landed in Mariposa County then in all its mining glory. I did not succeed as did many in mining, so I left the mines in 1853, and tried my hand at farming on a small scale. In 1855 Merced County was formed. I was then elected County Clerk, holding that position seven years. I was then elected Sheriff of the county. After this I farmed a short time, then tried raising Angora goats until 1877 when I sold out and returned to Texas settling in San Saba County. After five years in Texas we returned to Merced County where we still reside. I was elected after my return County Treasurer, which office I held for three years. I was married in 1880. We have five children, three boys and two girls. One son is a journalist, the other a farmer and the third is the Superior Judge of this county. My daughters are both teaching school. On the 19th of next February, I will to 86 years of age. I may never see Texas again, but I am interested in everything that affects the welfare of the people of that grand state. I thank you for your kind wishes and the clippings sent me. I sincerely trust and pray that your years may be lengthened into old age, and that health and prosperity may be your reward."

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 arm and side
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. David Murphree

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Elbridge
  • Date of Birth: 1816 Feb 19
  • Birthplace: Tennessee, Sevier County
  • Came to Texas: 1835 Dec
  • Date of Death: 1902 Oct 19
  • Burial Place: Masonic Cemetery, Merced, California
  • Comments: May have fought in U.S.-Mexican War.
  • Bounty Certificate: 253
  • Donation Certificate: 1022
  • Wife: Amanda M. McFarlane
  • Children: William Fielding Rector; Thomas Blackstone Rector; Elbridge Nelson Rector; Mary Elizabeth Rector; Dollie Rector
  • Family at San Jacinto: Cousins Claiborne and Pendleton Rector fought at San Jacinto.