The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Handy, Robert Eden (unknown–1838)

Thomas W. Cutrer Biography Entry

Robert Eden Handy, businessman and soldier, was born in Pennsylvania and in 1834 moved to Texas, where he settled in San Augustine. In 1837 he moved to Brazoria and established a real estate partnership with William Lusk. They became joint founders of Richmond, Texas. During the Texas Revolution Handy served briefly on Sam Houston's staff and, with Henry W. Karnes and Erastus "Deaf" Smith, was sent to investigate the condition of the Alamo. This party was the first to meet Susanna Dickinson and receive word of the loss of the fortress and its garrison. As a private in Capt. Robert J. Calder's Company K of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Texas Volunteers, Handy fought at the battle of San Jacinto. He and Smith had planned a business partnership, but Smith died in November 1837. When Handy died at Richmond on October 1, 1838, Mirabeau B. Lamar "mourned the loss of his best friend."

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). 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).

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, “Handy, Robert Eden,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.