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.
County, Volume I, pp 57-58
Copyright 2013 -
Present by the Dallam Family
Mar. 11, 2013
Mar. 11, 2013