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Cummings, David P. (1809–1836)

Bill Groneman Biography Entry

David P. Cummings, surveyor and Alamo defender, son of David and Elizabeth (Cathers) Cummings, was born at Lewistown, Pennsylvania, in 1809. His father was an officer in the War of 1812 and served in the Pennsylvania legislature. David P. Cummings graduated from Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania in 1835. He traveled to Texas by sea from New Orleans and arrived in mid-December of 1835. He walked to San Felipe with the intention of joining a ranger unit for action against Indians. Once there he sold his best rifle for thirty dollars, met Sam Houston, and presented him with a letter of introduction from his father. Houston advised him to obtain a horse and proceed to Goliad, where he would later meet him. Cummings traveled to Gonzales and then San Antonio, where he joined the garrison in late January or early February 1836. He left San Antonio sometime after February 14 to survey lands titled to him on Cibolo Creek and returned to San Antonio and the Alamo with the relief force from Gonzales. He entered the Alamo with this group on March 1. Cummings died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders (Austin: Eakin, 1990). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Walter Lord, A Time to Stand (New York: Harper, 1961; 2d ed., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1978). Phil Rosenthal and Bill Groneman, Roll Call at the Alamo (Fort Collins, Colorado: Old Army, 1985).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Bill Groneman, “Cummings, David P.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 25, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/cummings-david-p.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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