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Lindsey, Benjamin, Sr. (1779–1838)

McXie Whitton Martin Biography Entry

Benjamin Lindsey (Lindsay), Sr., colonist and alcalde of the Ayish Bayou District, was born in Tennessee in 1779, the son of Isaac and Betsy Lindsey. Around 1810 he married twenty-one-year-old Mary Amy Earl (Earle) in Raleigh, North Carolina. About a year later they moved to Louisiana, where most of their ten known children were born. In 1824 Lindsey, his parents, and their families emigrated to Texas, settling first in the southwestern part of what is now Sabine County. Lindsey is listed as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, as he asked to settle in Austin's colony and on August 19, 1824, was granted one league of land in what are now Matagorda and Brazoria counties. He either never settled on the grant or lived there only a short while, as his grant was canceled and the land granted instead to James F. Perry. By 1826 he was in the Ayish Bayou District, settling around the southern headwaters of the Ironosa, in a community referred to as the Tennessee Colony, about six miles northwest of what is now the town of San Augustine. On February 21, 1835, he was granted a league in what is now Sabine County. In 1838 a Benjamin Lindsey who had moved to Texas in 1824 applied to the land commissioner to confirm title to a third of a league; however, this may have been Lindsey's son, Benjamin Franklin Lindsey, Jr. The senior Lindsey became the sixth and ninth alcalde of the Ayish Bayou District, elected in 1829 and again in 1832. With the growing tensions between Texas settlers and the Mexican authorities, militia forces were organized in each East Texas district, and treasurers were appointed. Lindsey was named treasurer of the Ayish District. The dissension culminated with the battle of Nacogdoches in August 1832. Lindsey fought with the Redlanders from the Ayish under Col. James W. Bullock. When the old Ayish Bayou District became the Municipality of San Augustine, March 6, 1834, Benjamin Lindsey was elected as the "Sole and Constitutional Alcalde" of San Augustine. Benjamin Lindsey, Sr., died in San Augustine County between April 5 and April 30, 1838. His son Thomas had preceded him in death in March of that year. His wife died in 1846. The location of their graves is not known.

Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). George L. Crocket, Two Centuries in East Texas (Dallas: Southwest, 1932; facsimile reprod. 1962). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas (Austin, 1963-). Virginia H. Taylor, The Spanish Archives of the General Land Office of Texas (Austin: Lone Star, 1955). Gifford E. White, 1830 Citizens of Texas (Austin: Eakin, 1983).

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

McXie Whitton Martin, “Lindsey, Benjamin, Sr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: