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Milam County, Texas

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George Campbell Childress

SOURCE: Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832-1845, Austin, TX: Book Exchange, 1941. Sesquicentennial Re-print Edition, San Augustine, TX: S. Malone Printer, Sons of the Republic of Texas, 1986, p. 65-66

George Campbell Childress, author of the Texas Declaration of Independence was born at Nashville, Tennessee, January 8, 1804. He was admitted in 1828, to the Davidson County bar, a capable young attorney among a group of illustrious contemporaries. In September 1834, he became on of the editors of The Nashville Banner and Nashville Advertiser, continuing in this field until November 1835. This gave him a splendid opportunity to call attention to and enlist sympathy for Texas, to which place his uncle, Sterling C. Robertson, had taken numerous Tennesseans for colonizing purposes. Having assisted in raising funds and volunteers for the Texas army, Childress came to Texas in early January 1836, and settled in Milam, a part of Robertsonís Colony. The following March, he attended the Constitutional Convention, where he was chairman of the committee of five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, he himself being almost universally credited with the authorship of it, his legal and editorial training standing him in good stead for the task. Two days after the Convention adjourned, President Burnet appointed Childress and Robert Hamilton, Texas Diplomatic Agents to Washington, DC, to open negotiations with the U. S. Cabinet concerning recognition of the sovereignty and independence of Texas. Leaving immediately, Childress went to Washington where he remained until succeeded by James Collinsworth and P. W. Grayson, they being appointed May 26, and so more conversant with conditions following San Jacinto. Going from Washington to Nashville, Childress resumed his law practice, but for a short time only. The last of 1836, he returned to Texas, where he sold his headright grant in Milam, and moved to Houston and further resumption of his profession. He was in Nashville again in the winter and early spring of 1839-40, then back to Texas where he tried practicing law in Galveston. Business was so dull and his financial condition so pressing that he wrote to President Lamer, June 9, 1841, asking for the position of private secretary to the President until business improved. Less than four months later, October 6, 1841, the former statesman was found in his boarding house with his abdomen slashed by a bowie knife, he in a state of despair having inflicted the wounds which, a few hours later, caused his death. Childress County, created August 21, 1876, was named in his honor. - See Texas Historical Quarterly; XXII, 281-82, XXX, 289, XXXI, 23, 130; Fulmore, County Names, 105; Historical and Biographical Notes, Texas State Archives; Dixon, Men Who made Texas Free, 49; Journal of the Convention of 1836.

We must say a special thank you to Vanessa Deshazer of Menifee, CA, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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Created on 9 July 2004 and last revised on ____________