Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon

ZAVALA, EMILY WEST DE

Emily West de Zavala
Emily West de Zavala, circa 1860. Courtesy of Texas A&M University. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

ZAVALA, EMILY WEST DE (1809–1882). Emily West de Zavala, wife of the first vice president of the Republic of Texas, was born on September 9, 1809, in New York state, possibly in Albany or Brooklyn. She married Lorenzo de Zavala in New York City on November 12, 1831, at the Church of the Transfiguration. They eventually had a daughter and two sons. In early 1833 Emily left New York to join her husband in Toluca, Mexico, where they remained until he was named Mexican minister to France in October 1833. The couple left Paris for New York by 1835, however, because Zavala had disassociated himself from Antonio López de Santa Anna's increasingly dictatorial course. Emily de Zavala arrived at Morgan's Point, Texas, in December 1835. Zavala had bought a home on a labor of land north of Buffalo Bayou, called Zavala Point, the previous summer. Emily's citified ways reportedly were not popular in the neighborhood. When Santa Anna's troops approached in April 1836, the Zavalas fled down the San Jacinto River to the home of William Scottqv, where a number of families awaited a steamer to take them to safety on Galveston Island. Before the boat arrived Mrs. Zavala attempted to return to her home for a chest of silverware, but she met others fleeing the Mexican troops and retreated to Galveston. The Zavalas returned to their home in June to find that the buildings had been used for a hospital. Zavala's health declined, and he died in November. Emily returned to New York City in 1837 and soon married a German immigrant, Henry M. Fock (or Folk). The couple returned to Zavala Point in early 1839; they had two children. Emily became a widow again in September 1849, and on March 5, 1851, she married a sawmill owner, E. D. Hand. After his death around 1860, she remained at her house on Buffalo Bayou until it burned about 1866. By 1870 she moved to Galveston, where her eldest son, Augustine Zavala, lived. She sold the land at Zavala Point to her second son, Richard, to keep the family cemetery in the family. Emily de Zavala died on June 15, 1882, in Houston and was buried at Zavala Point.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Margaret Swett Henson, Lorenzo de Zavala (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1996). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973).

Margaret Swett Henson

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Margaret Swett Henson, "Zavala, Emily West De," accessed October 01, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fza08.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on April 11, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.