John Gordon Chalmers, editor and political figure in the Republic of Texas, was born in Halifax County, Virginia, on August 25, 1803, the son of James Ronald and Sarah Lanier (Williams) Chalmers. After graduation from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, he received his medical education at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where his uncle, Rev. Thomas Chalmers, was a leading theologian. On his return from Scotland, he served for several years in the Virginia legislature. In 1827 he married Mary Wade Henderson of Milton, North Carolina; they had seven children. Chalmers moved his family to Texas in 1840 and settled first in La Grange and then in Austin. He held office for a time as secretary of the treasury for the Republic of Texas under President Mirabeau B. Lamar and later chaired the committee that drafted the resolution approving the annexation of Texas to the United States. Chalmers helped establish the Democratic party in Texas. In 1845 he became editor and proprietor of the Austin New Era. He also formed a partnership with Michael Cronican to publish the Austin Texas Democrat. On January 1, 1847, he became involved in a heated argument with Joshua Holden; a fight resulted and Chalmers was mortally stabbed. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.