Eberly, Angelina Belle Peyton (1798–1860)

By: C. Richard King

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 25, 2017

Angelina Belle Peyton Eberly, innkeeper and Archives War cannoneer, was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, on July 2, 1798, the daughter of John and Margaret (Hamilton) Peyton. She married her first cousin, Jonathan C. Peyton, on July 2, 1818, and the couple left Tennessee for New Orleans. They boarded the Good Intent in June 1822 bound for Matagorda Bay. After living in Hawkins Camp and in Jesse Burnam's settlement, they located in San Felipe de Austin in 1825. With several slaves they operated an inn and tavern. The couple had three children. Jonathan died in June 1834, but Angelina continued to operate the hotel until the town was destroyed to prevent its falling into Mexican hands.

She was in Columbia after the Texas Revolution, and late in 1836 she met and married Jacob Eberly, a widower. They lived briefly in Bastrop and in 1839 settled in Austin, where she ran the Eberly House. On October 18, 1839, she served dinner to President Mirabeau B. Lamar and his cabinet; President Sam Houston chose to live in her house rather than occupy the president's home. Jacob Eberly died in 1841.

In December 1842 Thomas I. Smith and Eli Chandler were ordered to return the public documents from Austin to Washington-on-the-Brazos. Mrs. Eberly, realizing that the symbols of federal government were being removed from the city, fired a six-pound gun that city officials kept loaded with grapeshot in case of Indian attack. Austinites, aroused by the cannon, became involved in what is known as the Archives War. Ultimately, the archives were returned to Austin permanently.

In April 1846 Angelina leased Edward Clegg's Tavern House in Lavaca (later Port Lavaca). By 1851 she was running a hotel in Indianola. She died in Indianola on August 15, 1860, and was buried in a cemetery outside the community. Peyton Bell Lytle, her grandson, was named sole heir to her estate, appraised at $50,000.

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Austin American-Statesman, July 11, 1937. Mary Austin Holley Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Louis Wiltz Kemp, "Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 36 (January 1933). C. Richard King, The Lady Cannoneer (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1981). The Peytons of Virginia (Stafford, Virginia: Peytons of Virginia Society, 1976).

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  • Founders and Pioneers
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Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas

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

C. Richard King, “Eberly, Angelina Belle Peyton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/eberly-angelina-belle-peyton.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 25, 2017

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