DESPALLIER, BLAZ PHILIPE I
DESPALLIER, BLAZ PHILIPE I (1809–ca. 1839?). Blaz Philipe I Despallier was born in Santísima Trinidad de Salcedo, Texas, in 1809. He was the second son of Capt. Bernardo Martin Despallier (of French descent) and Maria Candida Grande (Spanish, native of Nacogdoches). He was one of the brothers of Alamo hero Charles Despallier. Their father raised his sons in an atmosphere of hate towards the Spanish colonial government. The Despallier brothers were involved in the Texas Revolution.
Blaz Philipe married Marie Carmelite Chabus (born about 1803) in 1829. She was the widow of Luke S. Hazelton and the mother of four children.
Despallier published a Louisiana newspaper called the Frontier Reporter and Natchitoches & Claiborne Advertiser, a bilingual English/French weekly publication with the alternate French title Écho des Frontières. In the July 9, 1834, edition, the editor clearly made a statement:
The acquisition of the beautiful and fertile territory in question [Texas] would be one of great importance. We have always regarded its ultimate possession by the United States as a matter of certainty; but, being well aware that our sister Republic would cling to it with a tenacity proportionate to our desire of extending our sway over that portion of its territory, we suspected not that she would part with it so readily.…Texas, half of its population natives of the United States, must, in time, be severed from its parent State, and become incorporated with our own country.
Despallier left Natchitoches and arrived in San Antonio de Béxar on November 26, 1835, the day of the Grass Fight. It is not known whether he took part in that fight. He participated in the siege of Bexar and was listed as a soldier on the muster roll of John York's men led by Capt. Thomas H. Breece, but he was called captain or was addressed in that way, according to some who fought with him. After the fall of Béxar, Blaz became a scout for William B. Travis but fell ill, was honorably discharged, and returned home to Rapides Parish.
Despallier published another periodical, the Red River Gazette, out of Natchitoches in 1837. He received both bounty and donation land grants for his military service in Texas, but he soon sold the lands, apparently to Justin Castanie. Despallier’s wife died in 1837. His name is found on the muster roll of Capt. Hiram B. Stephens, Nacogdoches Mounted Rangers, where he was listed as a private on August 4, 1838. The exact date of Despallier’s death is not known, but he may have died of cholera or typhoid about 1839.
Blaz Philipe I Despallier is not to be confused with his nephew (Blaz Philipe II Despallier, born in 1842), son of his brother Victor Madison Despallier. This nephew later became the sole heir of his uncle Charles Despallier.
Rasmus Dahlqvist, From Martin to Despallier: The Story of a French Colonial Family (North Charleston, South Carolina: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Rasmus Dahlqvist, "Despallier, Blaz Philipe I," accessed September 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fdeai.
Uploaded on February 11, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.