Edwards, Haden Harrison (1812–1865)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: March 15, 2016

Haden H. Edwards, soldier, merchant, and legislator, was one of the thirteen children of Susanna (Beall) and Haden Edwards, leader of the Fredonian Rebellion. He was born in Winchester, Virginia, in 1812 and traveled to Nacogdoches, Texas, with his father in 1825. By 1832 he had made three overland trips from Nacogdoches to Matamoros on stock-trading ventures, driving thousands of mules and cattle.

At the outbreak of the Texas Revolution he was elected captain of a company of volunteers that served at the siege of Bexar in December 1835. After the revolution he fought in several Indian campaigns and attained the rank of brigadier general. In January 1844 President Sam Houston sent Edwards on a trading mission among the Indians of the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. At the start of the Mexican War Edwards enlisted as a private in Capt. William F. Sparks's Company E of Col. George T. Wood's Second Regiment, Texas Mounted Rifles, but left the service with a disability discharge on August 31, 1846.

Edwards was a founder and the first president of the Sabine Pass and East Texas Railway. Work on this railroad began in 1858 and was terminated by the outbreak of the Civil War. The rails are said to have been taken up and used in the fortification of Sabine Pass. Edwards represented the Nacogdoches district in the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, 1836–37, and in the First (1846) and Eighth (1859–61) legislatures of the state of Texas. He was also a member of the Secession Convention in 1861. Edwards was married on October 22, 1843, to Sarah Forbes of Nacogdoches. The couple had eight children; their oldest was Peyton Forbes Edwards, a prominent politician known as the "Red Rooster of Nacogdoches." After the Civil War Edwards journeyed to Cincinnati to seek renewed funding for his railroad project and died there in August 1865.

Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Charles D. Spurlin, comp., Texas Veterans in the Mexican War: Muster Rolls of Texas Military Units (Victoria, Texas, 1984). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).


  • First Legislature (1846)
  • House

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Edwards, Haden Harrison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 17, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/edwards-haden-harrison.

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March 15, 2016