Ayers, Lewis T. (1798–1866)

By: Hobart Huson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 17, 2018

Lewis T. Ayers, pioneer settler and soldier, son of Silas and Mary (Bryan) Ayers, was born at Morris Plains, New Jersey, on October 6, 1798. In 1834 he and his brother, who went by the name David Ayres, set out with their families for Texas. Lewis Ayers became a member of the McMullen-McGloin colony, where he received his grant on July 25, 1835. He married Rebecca Osborn in 1824. They had seven children. Ayers openly espoused the Texan side of the conflict with Antonio López de Santa Anna. He was elected to represent San Patricio in the Consultation but arrived in San Felipe after it had adjourned. On December 1 he was elected to the General Council, in which he assisted Col. James Power and others in preparing an address to the Mexican people. He resigned on December 12 to become collector of customs at Lavaca.

On March 9, 1836, Ayers accepted appointment as assistant quartermaster of James W. Fannin, Jr.'s regiment. He went with Col. William Ward and the Georgia Battalion to extricate Amon B. King from Refugio, accompanied King in his foray against the ranchos below the mission on March 14, and was in King's fight with the Mexican rear guard. Ayers was captured on March 15 and was one of thirty-three prisoners led out to be shot. He was saved by the intervention of Col. J. J. Holsinger, who halted the execution so that German prisoners might be reprieved. Ayers was set free supposedly because he gave a Masonic sign that was recognized by the Mexican general. Ayers himself claimed his wife aided in his release. He obtained a passport from Juan Davis Bradburn and went to New Orleans by way of Matamoros. In 1837 he moved to Mobile, Alabama, where he died on October 11, 1866. See also GOLIAD CAMPAIGN OF 1836.

Charles H. Ayers, "Lewis Ayers," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 9 (April 1906). William H. Oberste, Texas Irish Empresarios and Their Colonies (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1953; 2d ed. 1973).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Hobart Huson, “Ayers, Lewis T.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/ayers-lewis-t.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 17, 2018