Description[Perote Prison]. Robert Addison Gillespie Document Signed "R. A. Gillespie." One page, 7.75" x 6.25", Fayette County, Republic of Texas, October 17, 1842, regarding Perote prisoners captured at the Dawson Massacre. This Republic of Texas probate court document from the October term reads in part:
"The petition of William H. Miller having this day been filed praying for letters of Curatorship on the Estate of William Coultrein and David Patterson now prisoners of war. Notice is therefore given to all persons interested to come forward and show cause if any they have . . . why the prayer of said petitioner shall not be granted."
In 1842, over fifty Texans from around Fayette County responded to Adrian Woll's invasion of the Republic of Texas. On September 18, 1842, Mexican soldiers caught up to them and killed thirty-six, capturing the others. Likely among those captured were William Coultrein (or Coultrin) and David Patterson. They were incarcerated at Perote Prison, a twenty-six acre stone stronghold located in Vera Cruz, Mexico. Perote prisoner R. A. Barclay, in a letter home in June 1843, mentions the health of "Coultrin." Another prisoner, Norman Woods, mentions fellow prisoner David W. Patterson, as well as William Miller, who is filing this petition, in two letters written from the prison in July 1843.
One year after signing this document, Robert Gillespie (1815-1846) enlisted as a Texas Ranger under Jack Hays. One of only fourteen Rangers against nearly 200 Comanche warriors, he was wounded at the Battle of Walker's Creek in 1844. (Samuel Walker was also wounded.) Later, during the Mexican War, he served as captain of Company "I," First Regiment, Texas Mounted Rifles, again under Jack Hays. He died on September 23, 1846, from wounds received the previous day at the Battle of Monterrey. This document's paper is age-toned with a few small holes near the edges. Ink has faded slightly.
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