Coleman, Robert M. (ca. 1799–1837)

By: L. W. Kemp

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Robert M. Coleman, Indian fighter, soldier at the battle of San Jacinto and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Kentucky about 1799. He moved to Texas in 1831 and settled in what is now Bastrop County. In the summer of 1835 he commanded one of four volunteer companies organized to attack the Tawakoni Indians at Tehuacana Spring in what is now Limestone County. From September 28 to December 16, 1835, he commanded the Mina (Bastrop) Volunteers. His company was stationed near San Antonio in the siege of Bexar from December 5 to 10, 1835, but did not enter the town. Evidence suggests that he was elected as a delegate to the Consultation but may not have attended. Coleman was one of the four representatives from Mina to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he signed the Declaration of Independence. After the convention he joined the Texas army and was aide-de-camp to Gen. Sam Houston from April 1 to July 15, 1836, a period that included the battle of San Jacinto. After his discharge from the army, Coleman raised a regiment of rangers, of which he was colonel until at least November 30, 1836. For distributing a pamphlet in 1837 criticizing Houston's action at San Jacinto, Coleman was discharged from the army. He drowned about July 1, 1837, while bathing in the Brazos River at Velasco. He was survived by his wife and six children. The wife and oldest son were killed by Indians near Webberville in 1839. Coleman County, established in 1858, was named for him. A monument to him was set up in Freeport in 1931.

Sam Houston Dixon, Men Who Made Texas Free (Houston: Texas Historical Publishing, 1924). Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Military
  • Soldiers
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas
  • Texas Revolution

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

L. W. Kemp, “Coleman, Robert M.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994