The Kemp Sketch
DOUGLASS, FREEMAN W. - Born in Georgia. In Headright Certificate No. 308 issued to him February 6, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Brazoria County Board it is simply stated that he arrived in Texas prior to March 2, 1836. In 1836 he was a member of Captain Peyton R. Splane’s Company. On September 7, 1838 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 4265 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 5 to June 5, 1836. On May 12, 1856 he received Donation Certificate No. 192 for 640 acres of land for having been detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg, April 21, 1836. (Duplicate # 18 May 12, 1846.)
Mr. Douglass was Second Lieutenant of Company E. Captain Charles K. Reece, on the Mier Expedition in 1842. He was released from Castle Perote September 16, 1844 and took passage on the Creole to New Orleans.
Mr. Douglass was a member of the Texas Veterans Association and was living in, or near, Columbus, Colorado County in 1874. He died in Brazoria County and is buried on Oyster Creek near Angleton.
After the death of Mr. Douglass his widow was married to a Mr. Whatley. Mrs. Jordan McNeill, a daughter of Mrs. Whatley resides near Brazoria, Brazoria County. Another daughter, Mrs. Fannie Graves also lives in Brazoria County.
DOUGLASS, FREEMAN WALKER – Born December 21, 1822 near Augusta, Georgia, a son of Samuel C. and Phoebe Douglass. He came to Texas and though only 13 years old at the time of the Battle of San Jacinto, he is named among those detailed to take care of the sick and watch the baggage at Harrisburg while the Battle of San Jacinto was being fought.
He also went on the Mier Expedition when he was almost 20 years old. He was taken prisoner and was kept for nearly two years in Perote Prison in Mexico. He was released and I think went by boat from Vera Cruz to New Orleans and from there to Texas. He, with the others, suffered untold hardships from hunger and illness and cold during this imprisonment and were terribly unhappy over the killing of the men who drew black beans. Freeman Douglass, of course, had drawn a white one. There is a picture of him chained to someone and the guard. I do not know, but the picture we have looks as if it were copied from a tin-type picture.
At the age of 34 on May 14, 1857, he was married to Miss Julia Caroline Thompson by Rev. W. G. Foote, at Richmond, Texas in the home of Col. O. H. Peters. Her father was dead and her step-mother was a sister of Col. Peters.
Freeman and Julia Douglass had a son born in Richmond at the hotel where they were living. This, their only child, lived only a little more than a year. He was born May 18, 1858 and died July 28, 1859.
Julia Douglass’ sister had died and left a child and they reared this child, Fannie Foote, who married Dr. Joseph Graves and lived in Brazoria for many years.
The Douglass family lived at the Oyster Creek settlement in Brazoria County, between Brazoria and what is now Angleton. And Freeman Douglass is buried near there.
He had one brother and two sisters; one married Mr. Calder, and the other, Mr. Schley. In a letter to him while he was in Perote Prison his father mentions these other members of the family.
The Land Office has records of land granted Freeman Douglass.
(Note: Member Morton (Masonic) Lodge No. 72)
Freeman W. Douglass was a member of Captain Charles Keller Reese’s Company in the Mier Expedition. It was formed in Brazoria County. I have written an article about this company’s part in the Expedition-wrote it last year but a little too late to get it published.
J. G. O.
These dates are from the Thompson Bible in my possession.
I believe Freeman Douglass owed a store in the Oyster Creek settlement – but I am not sure.
DOUGLASS, FREEMAN W. – Following is a copy of a letter written by Samuel C. Douglass to his son, Freeman W. Douglass who had been a prisoner in Mexico. Unknown to his father he had been released before the letter was written. The original is in posession of Mrs. L. J. McNeill, Brazoria.
23d. Septr. 1844
My dear Son:
Yours from Castle Perote bearing date 27th. July. I had written you two letters one dated 24th. July one dated 25th. July. I came down to this place since the return of William Moore and wrote you in August to none of which you answered. I gave you an account of the route William Moore travelled, that was to return about a hundred miles back towards Mexico to some town where he met an American who advised him to take the road to Tampe Country which he did and found Americans who assisted him and sent him to Orleans --. If you can make your escape as you may believe with safety that ought to be your route. He lay by the first two days in the mountains and travelled in the night. All our efforts to get you liberated have been unsuccessful.. Genl. Lamar is now in Georgia. We have written to him to write to some of the leading men in U. S. A. to intercede for you. We have no reply from him as yet -- You must use your own judgement in making your escape, and for God’s sake be sure you can come in safety before you undertake it. The election for president between Burleson and Jones is over and we of Glory and Conquest Party as the Burleson friends are termed I am afraid will be defeated and Jones will be elected. If so the Mexicans can come with impunity, for I call the Jones and Houston Party submission men, though I believe when Jones is fairly seated in the chair he will come out in strong opposition to annexation and then we shall agree. Tender my respects to all your brave comrade particularly to friend Gibson, Ryon, Lyon, and Genl. Fisher. Wm. H. Jack, Patrick Jack, and Capt. Haskins have died of the yellow fever – McMaster married Miss Russell and all have joined the church. Our friends are all well. William Calder and your Sister, their dear children and your Brother all send their affectionate love to you. I have today received a letter from Genl. Sechley and your Sister who have a son and daughter and all send their love to you they speak strongly of coming to Texas. It is the first letter I ever received fromSchley.
Your old horse Buck is in fine order and never used. My Son we all pray day and night for your health and that God will return you safe to us once more. I trust it will please his will to do so at some shorttime -- I leave your escape entirely to yourself you must judge for yourself, your knowledge on that subject is better than ours. Be cautious -- May that God who gave you guard and protect you and give you wisdom and guide you in all your undertakings till all meet is sincere prayer of your Father.
Samuel C. Douglass
Do my Son write an answer to this yourself agreeable to this date.
Wm. Calder will write today. I shall oppose annexation till all prisoners are released.
Freeman W. Douglass
Care of F. M. Dimon U. S. A. Consul Vera Crutz.
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.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Private
- Company: Capt. Peyton R. Splane
- Date of Birth: 1822 Dec 21
- Birthplace: Georgia, Augusta
- Burial Place: Oyster Creek, Brazoria Co., Texas
- Comments: Mier Expedition
- Bounty Certificate: 4265
- Donation Certificate: 192
- Wife: Julia Caroline Thompson
- Children: infant son