Mann, Pamelia Dickinson (unknown–1840)

By: Karen Moore

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 11, 2017

Pamelia Mann, businesswoman of the Republic of Texas, was a hotel proprietor who accumulated substantial property, wealth, and social standing despite a good deal of notoriety. She was married successively to a man named Hunt, to Samuel W. Allen, to Marshall Mann, and to Tandy Brown. She had two sons, Flournoy (Nimrod) Hunt and Samuel Ezekiel W. Allen. Mrs. Mann immigrated to Texas in 1834 and settled near San Felipe. She temporarily ran an inn at Washington-on-the-Brazos during the Convention of 1836. One popular story about her life concerns the Runaway Scrape. At Groce's Plantation her yoke of oxen was impressed for use by the Texas army on the agreement that they be used for retreat to Nacogdoches. When the Texas troops changed their destination to Harrisburg, Mrs. Mann, who was no Texas patriot, supposedly caught up with the army and forcibly reclaimed her animals. After the battle of San Jacinto the Mann family lived briefly in the Lynchburg area, where Mrs. Mann made free use of captured Mexicans as a labor source. The family then moved to the vicinity of Harrisburg and by early 1837 had settled in the new town of Houston, where they established the Mansion House Hotel on the northeast corner of Congress and Milam streets. The hotel frequently housed congressmen, government clerks, and army officers, but also was the site of much boomtown rowdiness.

Between 1836 and 1840 Mrs. Mann became involved in numerous legal cases both as plaintiff and as defendant. She was indicted for a variety of crimes, ranging from larceny and assault to fornication. In 1839 she was convicted of forgery, a conviction that carried a mandatory death penalty, but upon the recommendation of the jury she was awarded executive clemency by President Mirabeau B. Lamar. In spite of her notoriety, she was accepted in the community. The attendants at Nimrod's wedding to Mary Henry, held at the Mansion House, included President Sam Houston as best man, with Ashbel Smith and Alexander W. Ewing assisting. Pamelia Mann died on November 4, 1840, of yellow fever. Having tripled her net worth since arriving in Houston, she left an estate of more than $40,000.

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H. M. Henderson, "A Critical Analysis of the San Jacinto Campaign," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 59 (January 1956). William Ransom Hogan, "Pamelia Mann: Texas Frontierswoman," Southwest Review 20 (Summer 1935). Andrew Forest Muir, "In Defense of Mrs. Mann," in Mexican Border Ballads and Other Lore, ed. Mody Boatright, Publications of the Texas Folklore Society 21 (Austin, 1946).

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Outlaws, Criminals, Prostitutes, Gamblers, and Rebels
  • Women
  • Business
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Karen Moore, “Mann, Pamelia Dickinson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

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May 11, 2017

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