Lewis, Mark B. (unknown–1843)

By: James Hays McLendon

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: April 25, 2017

Mark B. Lewis (often confused with Martin B. Lewis), captain and government official, moved to Texas on April 9, 1836, as a member of a volunteer cavalry company under John A. Quitman. He joined William Strickland's company on April 12, 1836, later served under William Van Norman, and was with a group headed by Erastus (Deaf) Smith and John Coffee Hays when they raided Laredo in March 1837. Lewis was honorably discharged from the Texas army on August 1, 1837. In April and May 1838 he was chief clerk of the commission on public lands. From June 1838 to January 1839 he served as chief clerk in the comptroller's bureau of the treasury department, and in November and December 1839 he was clerk of the Senate. In 1838–39 he was also a second lieutenant of the Milam Guards, a company of Houston volunteers. In 1840 he was acting captain of the First Infantry Regiment. With his company of about 180 volunteer rangers, he chased Indians in the San Saba region during April and May 1841. Lewis was a prominent speaker at a meeting held in Austin in April 1842 to generate enthusiasm for a war against Mexico, and in November 1842 he raised a company of volunteers in Travis County to join the pursuit of Gen. Adrián Woll. He also commanded the company that forced Thomas I. Smith to return the archives to Austin in the Archives War on December 31, 1842.

In a shooting quarrel between Lewis and John Nolan on the streets of Austin late in July 1843, Nolan was killed. When some of his friends tried to assassinate Lewis, Alex Peyton interfered and was fatally shot. Lewis tried to escape the sheriff's custody and, while entering a house for protection, was fatally shot by Louis P. Cooke and George Barrett.

Audited Military Claims, Republic of Texas, Texas State Archives, Austin. Civil Service Claims, Republic of Texas (Texas State Archives, Austin). Frank Brown, Annals of Travis County and the City of Austin (MS, Frank Brown Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). Comptroller's Military Service Records, Texas State Archives, Austin. James H. McLendon, "John A. Quitman in the Texas Revolution," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 52 (October 1948). Telegraph and Texas Register, August 9, 1843. James E. Winston, "Mississippi and the Independence of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (July 1917).

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

James Hays McLendon, “Lewis, Mark B.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/lewis-mark-b.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 25, 2017