Robbins, Nathaniel (unknown–ca. 1837)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Nathaniel Robbins, soldier and Indian agent, came to Texas from Arkansas in 1819 and received a labor of land that is now part of Montgomery County, but settled first at Pecan Point in what is now Red River County. On February 20, 1827, he and Dr. Lewis R. Dayton protested to the Mexican government because United States authorities were taxing the inhabitants of Pecan Point. On September 15, 1834, Robbins applied for a league of land at the mouth of Bedias Creek on the Trinity River in Benjamin R. Milam's colony, where he settled his wife, Lucy, and their six children. Near their home the Old San Antonio Road crossed the Trinity, and Robbins's Ferry became a focal point for traffic across North Texas. The present Madison County community of Randolph is located on the site of the Robbins homestead.

In 1835 Robbins attended the Consultation at San Felipe de Austin. During the Texas Revolution he served as a private in Capt. Thomas J. Rusk's company at the siege of Bexar and participated in the Grass Fight. With the honorary rank of colonel, Robbins was commissioned by Gen. Sam Houston to "seize all arms and guns, and such weapons of war as may be useful to the army" and to "arrest all deserters from the army." On August 8, 1836, Robbins received Houston's appointment as collector of public property, and on September 10 he enlisted as a private in Capt. Elisha Clapp's company at Mustang Prairie. Robbins was discharged on December 10. He was said to have had great influence among the Indians of the region, and on November 8, 1836, he received Houston's appointment and the Senate's confirmation as commissioner to the Indians. He died sometime between December 1836 and April 1837.

John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Journal of the Proceedings of the General Council of the Republic of Texas (Houston National Intelligencer, 1839). Gifford E. White, 1830 Citizens of Texas (Austin: Eakin, 1983). 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).
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Indian Agents
  • Politics and Government
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas
  • Texas Revolution

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Robbins, Nathaniel,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: