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MERCER, ELIJAH G.

MERCER, ELIJAH G. (1819–1856). Elijah G. Mercer, San Jacinto soldier and Indian fighter, was born in Mississippi on March 20, 1819, the son of Ann (Thompson) and Eli Mercer. The family moved to Texas in November 1829 and settled on the Colorado River in what is now Wharton County, at a place known as Mercer's Crossing or Mercer's Ferry; it would later be called Egypt. On February 29, 1836, both Elijah and his father joined Capt. Thomas Rabb's company of "citizen soldiers" and marched to Gonzales. In the reorganization of the army, Rabb's men became Company F, First Regiment of Texas Volunteers. Elijah Mercer was elected second corporal. At the battle of San Jacinto the company was commanded by the Mercers' neighbor, Capt. William J. E. Heard. After San Jacinto, Company F was one of the groups that remained with the army and followed the Mexicans as they retreated across Texas. On May 13, 1836, as the Texas army camped near Egypt, Elijah Mercer was discharged. In October 1840 Elijah Mercer, along with his neighbors, captains Heard and Rabb, participated in Col. John H. Moore's expedition against the Comanche Indians on the upper Colorado River. On February 1, 1842, Elijah Mercer married Jemima Amelia Heard, youngest sister of Captain Heard. They had five children, and since both Elijah and Jemina had come from educated families, the education of their children was a prime concern to them. The first public school districts in Wharton County were established in 1854, and elections for trustees were held in each district; Elijah Mercer was the presiding officer for the election held at Egypt. He died at Egypt on March 11, 1856. He was survived by his wife and children. As was his father, he was buried at Egypt, probably in the family cemetery, the location of which is unknown.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969). Annie Lee Williams, A History of Wharton County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1964).

Barbara L. Young

Citation

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

Barbara L. Young, "MERCER, ELIJAH G.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fme25), accessed November 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.