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MILLER, JAMES H. C.

MILLER, JAMES H. C. (?–?). James H. C. Miller, early settler, Indian fighter, and physician, established himself in Green DeWitt's colony between 1831 and 1835 and took up residence in Gonzales. During the early 1830s he led a band of militiamen against local Indians who had attacked traders on Sandy Creek. Miller discovered the trail of the Indians and followed it across the Guadalupe, up the San Marcos, and finally into a cedar brake on the Blanco River. There he and his men found the encamped raiders and attacked them, killing about nine. When the Texas colonists split into war and peace parties, Miller joined the peace party. After William B. Travis captured the Mexican garrison at Anahuac, Miller wrote to John W. Smith at Bexar, on July 25, 1835, stating that the Mexican military would do well to arrest the chief agitators and restore order.

Miller was probably sincere in his determination to be a good Mexican citizen and likely wished no harm to his fellow Texans, but as feeling against Antonio López de Santa Anna's Centralist regime mounted, opposition developed against Miller as well. Contemporary critics and early Texas historians attributed to Miller the "loathsome attributes of a Tory and a traitor" and branded him a "creature," a "disgrace to our race." In the face of such vituperation, Miller ran a letter of explanation on October 3, 1835, in the Texas Republicanqv, in which he pledged his loyalty to Texas. The timing of the letter's publication could not have been worse. The day before, hostilities had begun at the battle of Gonzales; Texans were no longer in the mood to accept any viewpoint that smacked of conciliation with the Mexicans. The public excoriation of Miller continued, and he left Texas, most likely before the end of 1835.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Eugene C. Barker, "James H. C. Miller and Edward Gritten," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 13 (October 1909). John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973).

Stephen L. Hardin

Citation

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

Stephen L. Hardin, "MILLER, JAMES H. C.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmi17), accessed July 29, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.