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DAMON, SAMUEL

DAMON, SAMUEL (1808–1882). Samuel Damon, pioneer and participant in the Texas Revolution, was born in North Reading, Massachusetts, on May 7, 1808, the son of Daniel and Sally (Eaton) Damon. In 1831 he left his carpentry work in Massachusetts to settle in Texas. When his ship arrived at the mouth of the Brazos, he was told that Mexican officials would not allow any more Americans to enter Texas. Damon swam ashore undetected, made his way inland, and eventually found shelter in the home of Abraham Darst, one of Stephen F. Austin's colonists. After working for Darst for several months helping him construct his home, Damon traveled to San Felipe and obtained permission from Mexican authorities to operate a freight line between Columbia and San Antonio. On September 18, 1834, he married Darst's eldest daughter, Lorena; the Damons had four sons and two daughters. Between 1834 and 1836 Damon built a home on a small rise known as Damon's Mound on a part of Darst's land. In the fall of 1835 he was assigned the duty of transporting military supplies to the Texas forces commanded by Edward Burleson near San Antonio de Béxar. After delivering the supplies, Damon took part in the siege of Bexar and the capture of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos. As a soldier at the battle of San Jacinto he guarded the wagons, baggage, and wounded soldiers near Harrisburg. After Texas independence Damon supplied lumber and brick for construction in Galveston and the surrounding region. He operated a brick kiln and in 1840 built a sawmill. In the spring of 1842 he served as a private in the army sent to repel the Mexican invasion led by Gen. Rafael Vásquez and in the fall of the same year served as a captain of a company from Fort Bend against Adrián Woll.

In 1850 when construction began on the first Texas railroad, from Houston to Wharton, Damon received the contract to supply cedar ties. In order to buy additional equipment he mortgaged 5,000 acres of land to a New York bank. He also purchased $3,000 in railroad stock. The rail line was completed as far as Columbia when the Civil War began, but it was never finished, and Damon lost all he had mortgaged. In 1860 the Brazoria County census listed him as a planter with landholdings valued at $15,500 and a personal estate of $15,150. He died at Damon's Mound (now in Damon) in Brazoria County on October 3, 1882, and is buried in the Damon Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Brazoria County Federation of Women's Clubs, History of Brazoria County (1940). Nanetta Key Burkholder, The 1860 Census of Brazoria County (Brazosport, Texas: Brazosport Genealogical Society, 1978). James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932).

John W. Damon II

Citation

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

John W. Damon II, "DAMON, SAMUEL," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fda95), accessed April 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.