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Texas | Features | People

Ten things you should know about

GEORGE CAMPBELL CHILDRESS
(1804-1841)

Author of the Texas Declaration of Independence
and namesake of Childress County

by John Troesser
George Campbell Childress statue
The dramatic 1936 statue of Childress by Raoul Josset stands next to it’s granite background monolith at Washington on the Brazos State Park.
TE photo, November 2002
More People | Texas Statues
  1. Born on January 8, 1804, at Nashville, Tennessee his sister Sarah married James K. Polk. Polk was later President of the United States during the Mexican War.
  2. A nephew of Sterling C. Robertson, Childress first saw Texas in 1834 while his uncle was establishing Robertson’s colony along the Brazos River.
  3. Before moving to Texas permanently, Childress raised money and recruited volunteers in Tennessee for the Texas army.
  4. Childress and Sterling Robertson were elected representatives for the Milam Municipality.
  5. Childress’ first wife died shortly after giving birth to the couple’s son.
  6. At the Convention of 1836, Childress was named chairman of a committee to write a Texas Declaration of Independence and he is generally acknowledged as the author.
  7. Childress and Robert Hamilton were sent to Washington D. C. as ambassadors from Texas - seeking official recognition for the Republic.
  8. Childress married Rebecca Stuart Read Jennings in December 1836 and their union produced two daughters.
  9. Childress attempted to open a law practice in Galveston and Houston but failed.
  10. Childress then attempted suicide (by Bowie knife) in Galveston – this time his efforts were successful (October 6, 1841).
Lagniappe:
  1. On August 21, 1876, Childress County was named in his honor.
  2. The statue (above) was cast for the Texas Centennial in 1936 by French-born Naturalized Sculptor Raoul Jossett.
  3. Childress’ grave is in Galveston’s City Cemetery.
  4. Childress was one of three “founding fathers” to die by suicide – the other two were Anson Jones (who died by a self-inflicted gunshot), and Thomas Rusk who committed suicide in Nacogdoches.
© John Troesser
Editor's Note: Our thanks to Bill Liles who corrected an error that TE made in confusing Thomas Rusk's demise with that of James Collingsworth.

Mr. Liles correction:
I discovered [Texas Escapes] just last week and have found it to be quite informative and rich in content. I did notice an error, however, in [your article] on 10 Things You Should Know About George Campbell Childress: Thomas Rusk did not die by throwing himself overboard in Galveston. He committed suicide in his own home in Nacogdoches; being despondent over his wife's death and over a tumor at the base of his neck. The gentleman that threw himself (or fell overboard) into Galveston Bay was 1838 Republic of Texas presidential candidate (and sitting Chief Justice) James Collinsworth. - Bill Liles, February 01, 2009

Related Topics: Childress, Texas | Texas | People
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