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Surveyor shoots lawyer in Austin colony feud

September
02
1830

On this day in 1830, Seth Ingram, a surveyor and merchant, shot and killed John G. Holtham in San Felipe de Austin, the center of Stephen F. Austin's colony. Ira Ingram, Seth's brother and business partner, had quarreled with Holtham, a lawyer of unsavory reputation, over the latter's drunken intrusion into Ira's yard. Holtham demanded an apology for being expelled from the premises. When Ira ignored him, he circulated handbills defaming Ira as a "coward, a rogue, and a man without honor." Seth Ingram confronted Holtham as he was posting one such notice in the streets of San Felipe and ordered him to remove it. When Holtham refused, pistols were drawn, and Ingram killed Holtham. Ingram was arrested along with another business partner, Hosea H. League, who had been a bystander during the incident, and both were confined almost incommunicado for sixteen months, chained to the walls of the half-completed meetinghouse of the San Felipe ayuntamiento. They were eventually acquitted and released.

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