Alley, Rawson (ca. 1793–ca. 1833)

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 20, 2019

Rawson Alley, pioneer settler and public official, the oldest son of Thomas Alley and his first wife, was born about 1793. He migrated in 1821 from Missouri to Texas, where, over the next three years, he was joined by his half-brothers John C., Abraham, Thomas V., and William Alley. In 1823 he joined a party, including Stephen F. Austin, the Baron de Bastrop, and several slaves, in surveying 170 acres on the Colorado River intended as the site of the headquarters of the Austin colony and capital of Colorado Municipality. Although the capital was instead established at San Felipe de Austin, settlement begun on the original site soon grew into the town of Columbus. As one of the Austin colony's Old Three Hundred Alley received title to a league and a half of land on both banks of the Colorado River, five miles below Columbus in what is now Colorado County. The 1823 census of the Colorado District describes him as a carpenter and joiner, and census reports of 1825 and 1826 list him as a surveyor and a single man twenty-five to forty years of age. An election of militia officials was held at his home in March 1825, and in 1826 he was a captain of militia in command of an attack against Waco and Tawakoni Indians. He was a member of the first electoral assembly held at San Felipe de Austin in 1828 and that year was elected síndico procurador. In August 1830 he was appointed to collect subscriptions for a fund to supply an army to be organized against a possible invasion, and in November of that year he announced as a candidate for sheriff. He was again síndico in February 1832, and in June, as a member of the ayuntamiento, he signed the call for the Convention of 1832. He died in 1833 before October 7 when William B. Travis examined his will and wrote the petition for the admission of his heirs, Abraham and William Alley and Cynthia Alley Daniels.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986). William Barret Travis, Diary, ed. Robert E. Davis (Waco: Texian Press, 1966).

Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Anonymous, “Alley, Rawson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 20, 2019

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