Frazer, Hugh McDonald (unknown–1836)

By: Hobart Huson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 8, 2020

Hugh McDonald Frazer, captain of the Refugio Militia and scout to James W. Fannin, Jr., was a native of Nova Scotia. He immigrated to Texas as a member of the McMullen-McGloin colony, but like others at San Patricio he was unable to agree with the empresarios and in 1835 moved to the Refugio colony, where he went into the cattle-raising and trading business. He was elected a delegate from Refugio Municipality to the Consultation, but apparently he never took his seat, for he was with Capt. Ira J. Westover on October 9, 1835, in the capture of Goliad. As a member of the Lipantitlán expedition he incurred the ire of Capt. Philip Dimmitt over unauthorized sale of government tobacco and was kept under arrest. Dimmitt finally came to the conclusion that Frazer was "principally guilty of being in bad company" and released him.

On February 2, 1836, Frazer, elected captain of the Refugio Militia, recruited a company of some thirty or thirty-five men, which operated as an auxiliary of Fannin's regiment at Goliad, scouting and guarding supply trains. Although Fannin had been warned of José de Urrea's approach, he did not desire to abandon Goliad until he had some word regarding the fate of Amon King and William Ward and their men, whom he had detached to Refugio. Frazer volunteered to ride to Refugio to secure information. He gave Fannin a true account of the defeat and annihilation of King's and Ward's forces and with the Refugio Militia accompanied Fannin on the retreat and took part in the battle of Coleto. Frazer distinguished himself for his bravery, and although he was painfully wounded, he remained on the battlefield to attend the needs of other Texans.

Most of the reliable accounts state that Frazer was massacred with Fannin's men at Goliad on March 27, 1836 (see GOLIAD MASSACRE). There was, however, a Hugh Frazier who served as a private at the battle of San Jacinto and who has been identified with Capt. Hugh M. Frazer. The Nova Scotia heirs of Frazer thought that Frazer was among the Goliad victims.

William Campbell Binkley, ed., Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution, 1835–1836 (2 vols., New York: Appleton-Century, 1936). Harbert Davenport, Notes from an Unfinished Study of Fannin and His Men (MS, Harbert Davenport Collection, Texas State Library, Austin; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). John J. Linn, Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas (New York: Sadlier, 1883; 2d ed., Austin: Steck, 1935; rpt., Austin: State House, 1986). Kathryn Stoner O'Connor, The Presidio La Bahía del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, 1721 to 1846 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1966). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Time Periods:

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

Hobart Huson, “Frazer, Hugh McDonald,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 8, 2020