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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SMITH, MAXLIN -- The compiler is responsible for the name of Maxlin Smith being omitted from the bronze plaque in the San Jacinto memorial monument on which is inscribed the names of the Texans who participated in the battle of San Jacinto. He is now {March 28, 1941) convinced that the name should be added to the list.

Maxlin Smith was a Negro slave belonging to Major Benjamin Fort Smith. His name is not shown on the San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836 but having proven that he participated in the battle he was on June 7, 1875 granted a Veterans Pension by the State of Texas of $250 per year. At San Jacinto he was a member of Captain William H. Patton's company.

Maxlin Smith was born in Kentucky in about 1809 and although he claimed to have arrived in Texas in 1832 he, as a matter of fact, arrived in 1833 with his owner. He could not read or write and went by the name of "Mack" Smith. He was living in Travis county June 7, 1875.

Major Benjamin Fort Smith died in Grimes County, July 10, 1841. His will is recorded in Vol. 1, pages 35, 36, 37 of the Probate Minutes of Grimes County. In the will, signed June 20, 1839, he expressed a desire that due to the faithful services of his Negro man "Maxlin" he be freed if the laws of the Republic would allow that it be done.

The following was copied from the Pension Records in the Archives of the Texas State Library, Austin:

(Endorsed) No. 1092 Pension Claim of Mack Smith

Travis County Filed December. 30 1870 by ___________ Disposition made of Approved January 23, 1875 Amount of Pension, $250.00 66 years of age Native of Ky. Emigrated in 1832 In Army of Republic in 1836. In Battle of San Jacinto Certificate issued June 7th, 1875 Recvd Certificate DeCordova Withers & Co

State of Texas
Guadalupe County
I, Pendleton Rector, do solemnly swear that I am personally acquainted sic) with Old Mack Smith Colored (who formerly belonged to Ben Fort Smith) and who is now a resident of Travis County and State aforesaid, and that Mack Smith Colored was present and participated on the Side of Texas as a Volunteer in the Battle of San Jacinto on the 21st day of April A. D. 1836, and that Mack Smith is about 60 years or more of Age and that I believes him witness my hand this the 13th day of March A. D. 1875.

Pendleton Rector
State of Texas

Guadalupe County
Before me the undersigned Authority personally appeared Pendleton Rector to me well known, who in my presence signed the foregoing instrument of writing and declared he did so for the purposes (sic) and Considerations therein set forth and expressed. To Certify which & hereunto sign my name and affix the impress of my official Seal this the 13th day of March A. D. 1875.

0. H. Gregg
Notary Public
Guadalupe County

Office of James P. McKinney
Austin, Texas 1875
State of Texas
County of Travis
Mack Smith (colored) upon oath, state that I was present at the Battle of San Jacinto on the 21st day of April A. D. 1836, that I was with Capt. Patton's company and took part with the Texas forces in said Battle. I am now Sixty Six years of age and reside in Austin Travis County Texas & make affidavit for the purpose of procuring a pension from the State of Texas. I will add that during the whole of the war with Mexico I was engaged with the frees of Texas & did my duty as a soldier faithfully & to the best of my ability--I came to Texas in 1832 & was out in all the war in 1835 & 1836 I was born in State of Kentucky.

Witness W. J. Hotchkiss
Mack Smith

Sworn to before this the 23rd day of Jan. 1875

Steph. H. Darden Comptroller
Office of James P. McKinney Austin, Texas, 1875

State of Texas
County of Travis
Personally appeared before me the undersigned authority Capt. Jesse Billingsley to me well known who upon oath says that he knows of his own knowledge that Mack Smith a free man of color whom he has seen in Austin today was in or with the Army of Texas in the Spring Campaign in the year 1836 as a soldier, that he was with and served with Capt. Patton's Company and that he always understood and verily believes (sic) that said Mack Smith was present and participated in the Battle of San Jacinto.

Jesse Billingsley

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24th day of August 1874
Jas R. Johnson
Notary Public Travis Co.

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: Private
  • Company: Capt. David Murphree

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Mack
  • Date of Birth: 1809
  • Birthplace: Kentucky
  • Came to Texas: 1833
  • Comments: Black; slave owned by Benjamin Fort Smith; freed in 1841 per the will of B. F. Smith. Could not read or write.