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James Wilmer & Ann Pleasants Fisher Dallam

Memoirs of Mrs. Annie P. Fisher Dallam Harris

James Wilmer Dallam and Ann Pleasants Fisher Dallam

James Wilmer Dallam was born in Baltimore, Maryland, September 24, 1818, the son of Sarah Wilmer and Francis Johnson Dallam. After graduation from Brown University in 1837, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, he studied law in the Baltimore office of Reverdy Johnson.

In 1844 Dallam went to Washington, D. C., and compiled A Digest of the Laws of Texas; Containing a Full and Complete Compilation of the Land Laws; Together with the Opinions of the Supreme Court. Originally printed in 1845, the book has been reprinted several times and has retained its importance because present-day Texas jurisdiction is based on the early laws of the Republic.

In 1845 Dallam returned to Matagorda (he first came to Matagorda in 1839), where on October 1, he married Ann Pleasants Fisher, the daughter of Samuel Rhoads and Ann Pleasants Fisher. Ann was born May 2, 1823.

Dallam founded and edited a weekly paper in Matagorda called The Colorado Herald. The first issue in July. 1846, carried the motto “Give me liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely above all liberties.” Dallam County, Texas is named for James Wilmer Dallam.

Grant #32, containing 320 acres of land, was assigned to Dallam with his claim that he arrived in Matagorda County prior to January 1, 1842.

On one of his business trips to New Orleans, he contracted yellow fever and died in New Orleans August 20, 1847. Burial services were in Christ Church, Matagorda, with interment in the cemetery at Matagorda.

James and Ann had one little girl, Annie Wilmer Dallum, born March, 1847. On July 1, 1852, Ann Fisher Dallam married John W. Harris, a prominent lawyer. Three children were born to this marriage: Rebecca Perry Harris on June 5, 1853; Rhoads Fisher Harris on June 5, 1858; and Elizabeth Boyd Harris on November 20, 1860.

Annie Wilmer Dallam married Judge Branch T. Masterson. Their children were May Masterson, who married Judge Lewis Fisher; Thomas W. Masterson; and Wilmer Dallam Masterson, who married Marilla Anthony.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, pp 57-58

Courtesy of Dallam Masterson

Colorado Gazette and Advertiser - January 9, 1841

Colorado Gazette and Advertiser - May 28, 1842


Copyright 2013 - Present by the Dallam Family
All rights reserved

Mar. 11, 2013
Jan. 14, 2014