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Wing, Martin Carroll (unknown–1843)

Thomas W. Cutrer Biography Entry

Martin Carrol Wing, journalist and soldier, was born in Vermont, where he received training as a printer. He later moved to New York, where in the winter of 1835–36 he joined Maj. Edwin Morehouse's battalion bound for service in the Texas Revolution. This battalion enlisted a number of printers including Charles DeMorse and Algernon P. Thompson. The expedition sailed on the brig Matawomkeag but was captured by the English brig of war Serpent off the Florida coast and, on suspicion of piracy, was taken to the Bahamas. After two months of investigations the troops were freed to continue to New Orleans and ultimately to Texas. The battalion landed at Matagorda and marched toward Sam Houston's army. On April 21 they were close enough to hear the guns of the battle of San Jacinto, but did not arrive on the field until the day after. Wing remained in the army until it was disbanded in May 1837. He then moved to Travis County, where he went to work with George William Bonnell, editor and part owner of the Austin Texas Sentinel. In 1840 Wing, John Henry Brown, and Joseph Addison Clark published Bonnell's book, Topographical Description of Texas. Late in 1840, after Bonnell had turned control of the Sentinel over to Jacob W. Cruger, Wing joined Cruger as a new partner. The sale of the Sentinel to Greenberry Horras Harrison was announced in the November 11, 1841, issue. In January 1842 Wing and Charles DeMorse published a prospectus for the Clarksville Northern Standard, but the first issue of that paper did not appear until August 20, 1842, when DeMorse was listed as the sole publisher and editor. Wing joined the Somervell expedition, a punitive operation against Mexico, which left San Antonio in November 1842. When Brig. Gen. Alexander Somervell ordered the expedition to disband, a portion of the army, including Wing, refused to return to Texas. With the reorganization of this group on the Rio Grande, Wing became a private in Capt. William M. Eastland's Company B of Col. William S. Fisher's army. Wing thus took part in the subsequent Mier expedition and was captured at the battle of Mier. Following the abortive escape attempt at Salado, Mexico, Wing and his comrades were forced to take part in the black bean lottery (see BLACK BEAN EPISODE). Wing was the last to draw and drew the last of the fatal beans. Ironically, fellow printer James Decatur Cocke had drawn the first. Wing was executed on March 25, 1843. In 1847 Walter Paye Lane recovered the bones of the prisoners executed at Salado. On September 18, 1848, the remains were reinterred on Monument Hill in La Grange.

Thomas J. Green, Journal of the Texian Expedition Against Mier (New York: Harper, 1845; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Joseph Milton Nance, ed., Mier Expedition Diary: A Texas Prisoner's Account by Joseph D. McCutchan (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978). Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters

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.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Wing, Martin Carroll,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.