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Colonel Sterling Clack Robertson
shows that early settlers in all of the southwest were made up of the
courageous members of eastern families who wanted new and wider
the rising empire west of the Mississippi River.
The trek westward over the trails in the early days was a long
journey, with disease, outlaw attacks, and other hardships threatening
It was no journey for the weak. Only
the brave would attempt the migration and only the strong could hope to
Such sturdy manhood and womanhood made up the early pioneers of
section of Texas.
earliest known facts concerning the town of Hearne dates back to 1830
stagecoach line operating from the present site of the City of Houston
through this section to north Texas, and for the convenience of the
of this stage line an inn was opened by an early settler by the name of
Brown. The inn was established at
Brown Springs situated in the present city limits of Hearne on the
highway and was known as Brown's Tavern.
Clack Robertson, an adventure seeking Tennessean, for whom Robertson
Texas was named, was born in Nashville, Tennessee October 2, 1785. He received a liberal education and was reared
occupation of planting. During the
War of 1812 he served as a Major and was honorably discharged in 1814.
After his military duty in the War of 1812 he engaged in
Giles County, Tennessee.
enterprising and adventurous and being possessed of large means, in the
1823 he formed a company in Nashville to explore the wild province of
He penetrated as far as the Brazos River and formed a permanent
the mouth of Little River. All the party
returned to Tennessee, however, except
Robertson. He visited the
settlements that had been made and while there, conceived the idea of
colony in Texas. Filled with
enthusiasm over this plan, he went back to his home in Tennessee and
contract that had been made by the Mexican government with Robert
the settlement of 800 families. The
colonial grant embraced a tract of land, and by the terms of the
Robertson was given six years in which to introduce the 800 families. He was to receive forty leagues and forty
labors of land for
1829, at his own expense, Robertson introduced 100 families, who were
by the military in consequence of false representations made to the
in regard to Robertson and his colonists. The
matter was finally adjusted and in the spring of 1834 the colony was
and in the summer of the same year he laid out the town of Sarahville
(Marlin, Texas). A land office was
opened about October 1, 1834 and the settlements were rapidly made.
Colony located in the upper Brazos country, north of the Old San
suffered reverses; Indians raided his settlements, the Mexican law of
forced suspension of his contract and legal controversy caused delay.
1834, Robertson established Old Nashville, the capital of his colony,
west bank of the Brazos River, near the mouth of Little River.
Here he erected a blockhouse, maintained his office for
colonial business, and incoming colonist rested and sought information
making final locations. Today only
a few old gravestones mark the site of the old capital.
wife died in Tennessee at the birth of a son, August 25, 1820. The child was given his father's name and was
reared by his
grandmother, Mrs. Elijah Robertson. In
1832, Robertson placed his son, Elijah, in a San Antonio Catholic
During the year of 18'05 Elijah S. C. Robertson participated in
not-unusual Indian forays, later serving as a regular soldier in his
company during the Texas Revolution.
the summer of 1835, Sterling C. Robertson visited Tennessee,
Louisiana and Kentucky, making known the inducements to emigration.
He had been authorized by the Mexican government to offer to
were heads of families one league and one labor of land, one-fourth of
to single men, and to foreigners marrying native Americans, one league
quarter of land. Of the 600
families he introduced into Texas, fully one half of them were financed
Robertson's own personal expense.
Sterling C. Robertson was a delegate to the General Convention of Texas
and was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
He also was one of the signers of the Constitution of the
Texas. He commanded a military
company in the spring of 1836 and received therefor a donation of 640
land, having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto with General Sam
He was a member of the First Senate of the Congress of the
would require a volume to recount in detail all of the experiences, the
adventures, trials and escapes through which Sterling Clack Robertson
from the time of his coming to the Texas frontier.
He was a gentleman of rare culture and was esteemed, not only
nobility of his nature, but for his commanding intellectuality and
devotion to his country and the cause of constitutional freedom.
He was a leader among the band of heroes and statesmen who laid
foundation of Texas today.
Colonel Sterling Clack Robertson died in Robertson County, Texas on
1842 at the age of 57 years and is buried in the State Cemetery at
Used with permission of Norman Lowell McCarver, Jr. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format by other organizations or individuals. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material must obtain the written consent of McCarver family relatives.
Page Modified: 26 January 2015
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