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GROVER, GEORGE WASHINGTON

GROVER, GEORGE WASHINGTON (1819–1901). George Washington Grover, Texan Santa Fe expedition participant and Galveston merchant and civic leader, was born at Sacketts Harbor, New York, on November 9, 1819, the son of Nathan and Frances (Warren) Grover. In 1824 he moved with his father to Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1839 to Texas. On August 12, 1840, he served under Mathew Caldwell at the battle of Plum Creek. At Austin on June 1, 1841, he volunteered for the Texan Santa Fe expedition. Largely through the treachery of the artillery company commander, Capt. William P. Lewis, Grover and his companions were captured near San Miguel, New Mexico, and marched to Mexico City. While in captivity there, with the assistance of John Talk and perhaps others of his fellow prisoners, he edited a manuscript newspaper, The True Blue, under the pen name Simon Pure. In addition, on January 1, 1842, he wrote a memoir, "Minutes of Adventure from June, 1841," which is one of the principal primary-source documents of the failed expedition. After his release from captivity he returned to the family home, somewhere "below Austin." He subsequently joined the California gold rush and worked for a time as a placer miner. Having little success in the mines, however, he returned to Texas and established a mercantile house in Galveston. He was an alderman in 1861 and served for a time as mayor pro tem. On February 24, 1870, a great fire in Galveston destroyed Grover's grocery and provision store. An active Mason, Grover was elected grand secretary of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas for 1874 and 1875, and as an Odd Fellow he served as Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment. He died in Galveston on December 21, 1901, and was survived by his wife and four children. The manuscript of his "Minutes of Adventure" is preserved in the Rosenberg Library, Galveston.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Donaly E. Brice, The Great Comanche Raid (Austin: Eakin Press, 1987). H. Bailey Carroll, ed., "George W. Grover's `Minutes of Adventure from June 1841,' An Account of the Texas Santa Fe Expedition," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 9 (1936). Clarksville Northern Standard, August 20, 1842. Dallas Herald, March 5, 1870, February 14, 1874. Galveston News, December 22, 1901.

Thomas W. Cutrer

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas W. Cutrer, "GROVER, GEORGE WASHINGTON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgr78), accessed September 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.