Williams, Ezekiel (unknown–1844)

By: Peter Goddard

Type: Biography

Published: December 19, 2017

Updated: February 24, 2021

Ezekiel Williams was an important figure in the Texas Revolution. He arrived in DeWitt’s Colony from the United States in January 1829 and that same year joined Capt. Abner Kuykendall on an expedition against the American Indians. On May 1, 1831, Green DeWitt signed a land grant to Williams, a single male, for one-fourth league of land (just more than 1,100 acres). In November 1832 Williams served as the first alcalde of the ayuntamiento of Gonzales. The proceedings of the ayuntamiento of Gonzales record that on August 12, 1833, Williams and B. D. McClure were appointed to review and appraise the lots of Gonzales. On April 21, 1834, Williams became judge for DeWitt’s Colony.

Ezekiel Williams was one of the Old Eighteen who refused to surrender the Gonzales “Come and Take It” cannon back to the Mexicans. When Francisco de Castañeda and his men arrived on the west bank of the Guadalupe River on September 29, 1835, high water and the eighteen militiamen in Gonzales prevented Castañeda and his men from crossing the river and recovering the cannon. Castañeda became aware that reinforcements were arriving on the other side of the river, so he moved his men seven miles north of Gonzales and set up camp on land owned by Williams. The ensuing battle occurred on Williams’s land and precipitated the Texas Revolution.

Williams was appointed a captain in the Texas Revolutionary Army at the Consultation at San Felipe in November 1835. After the formation of the Republic of Texas, Williams and other important men from Gonzales, including James Tumlinson Sr., Francis Berry, Robert Smith, James Tumlinson Jr., and John Tumlinson, unanimously voted for Sam Houston for president and Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar for vice-president. On September 5, 1836, Williams also attested that some of the men from Gonzales were in favor of the Republic of Texas being “attached to the United States of the north.” Unfortunately, Williams did not live long enough to see the annexation of Texas. He died on December 13, 1844, in Gonzales. He was never married.

John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Proceedings of The Gonzales Ayuntamiento 1833, 1834, 1835 & 1836 and Gonzales Town Council 1836–1846, Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas, DeWitt Colony Government-Index (http://www.sonsofdewittcolony.org/gonminutes.htm), accessed January 7, 2018. “Williams.” DeWitt Colony Biographies, Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas (http://www.sonsofdewittcolony.org/dewittbios3.htm#williams), accessed February 16, 2018.

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas

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

Peter Goddard, “Williams, Ezekiel,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/williams-ezekiel.

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December 19, 2017
February 24, 2021