Did you know that the same man who wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence is also the father of our Lone Star?
It's true. And you've probably never heard of him...which is a shame.
George C. Childress was from Nashville. A lawyer and a newspaper editor. He came to Texas to join his uncle, Sterling Robertson, who was founding Robertson's Colony.
Col. George Childress
He had only been in Texas a few months when he was chosen as a delegate to the Convention of 1836. At Washington-on-the-Brazos he was picked to head the committee to draft a declaration of independence, but nearly everyone agrees that he wrote it.
In fact, it was probably already written and in his vest pocket, since the document was presented to the convention and passed the following day. The Texas Declaration of Independence can't have been the result of an all-nighter.
Ten days later, Childress offered a resolution providing that, "A single star of five points be adopted as the peculiar emblem of this republic."
That passed too.
The next few years where not kind to Mr. Childress. He tried to establish a private law practice, first at Houston, and then at Galveston, but there was not enough business to support him.
Early in 1841 he wrote to President Lamar seeking a position as private secretary to write all his personal correspondence. In that letter he states, "I write mechanically, with dispatch, and have been somewhat in the practice of composition."
Later that year, despondent because he could not bring his wife to Galveston from Nashville, he sank a Bowie knife into his gut...six times.
Dr. Ashbel Smith, a close friend, rushed to his side and asked him why he had done it. Childress responded, "It is the effect of an over sensitive mind."
The father of the Lone Star was dead three hours later. He was 37.
The "over sensitive mind" of George Childress left us a treasure in the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Senator Dorsey B. Hardeman said it best:
"If Texans, be they native born or adopted sons and daughters, should know anything, surely it should be this declaration - its fearlessness, its determination, its simple, direct and courageous language and its scholarly beauty."
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