Ammon Underwood1

b. 13 February 1810, d. 17 November 1887
Ammon Underwood|b. 13 Feb 1810\nd. 17 Nov 1887|p72.htm|Asa Underwood|b. 30 Aug 1754\nd. 3 Oct 1834|p135.htm|Mercy Durant|b. 1770\nd. 10 Oct 1850|p136.htm|||||||Jacob Durant|b. c 1747\nd. 30 Mar 1821|p384.htm|Mercy Farrar|b. 17 Jun 1747\nd. b 20 Sep 1810|p385.htm|

Grandfather of Louise Underwood.
2nd great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Underwood and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Louise Underwood
Click to view thumbnails
Ammon Underwood
     Ammon Underwood Click to view image was born on 13 February 1810 in Dracut, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.2,3,4 He was the son of Asa Underwood and Mercy Durant. He married Rachel Jane Carson, daughter of William Clark Carson and Catherine Jane Patterson, on 7 January 1839 in the Underwood home, Marion, Brazoria County, Republic of Texas,5 (now East Columbia, Texas).5 Click to view image He died on 17 November 1887 in East Columbia at age 77.4,3,6,7 His estate was probated on 8 February 1888 in Brazoria County.6,8
     Ammon, the son of a Revolutionary War veteran, grew up on his father's farm in Dracut. In 1834, "for no other reason except to gratify a wild and rambling notion,"9 he left his family and friends in Massachusetts and headed for Texas, then the state of Coahuila and Texas in the Republic of Mexico. From the moment he left home until early in 1838, Ammon kept a journal Click to view image where he recorded his thoughts and observations of the "beautifull, but, wild and uncultivated country" that would be his home for more than half a century. There on the west bank of the Brazos River, living under four flags and seven governments in times of peace and properity as well as war and uncertainty, Ammon Underwood secured his place in history as a prominent businessman, plantation owner, Texas revolutionary soldier, and Texas legislator.


     Ammon left Dracut, on 30 January 1834, his "notion" perhaps encouraged by liberal land grant policies in Texas, but more likely by the thought of merchandising opportunities in the growing Anglo colony of Stephen F. Austin. His younger brother Lendol accompanied him as far as Boston where he met friends and fellow travelers, Thomas and Robert Cochrane (Cochran). On February 11th, he departed Boston "on board the fine new ship Hobart," bound for New Orleans. The Hobart sailed down the East Coast, through the crystal clear waters of the Great Bahama Bank near the Berry Islands, around the tip of Florida, coming within sight of Cuba, and into the Gulf of Mexico. They made land only once during the trip, at the island of Abaco in the Bahamas. It was a rough voyage at times, and Ammon was frequently seasick. It was the first time in his life he had lost sight of land.

     The Hobart arrived in New Orleans on 16 March 1834, and Ammon remained there several weeks. During that time, Robert Cochran talked Ammon into going in with him on some tinware and groceries that they planned to sell in Texas. They arranged to ship the goods on board the schooner Empress and Ammon "took passage for Bell's landing Texas" on the same craft. The Empress sailed on 8 April 1834.10


     As the population of Coahuila and Texas grew, it became necessary to create political divisions within the state. These divisions were called departments and municipalities, and each had its own capital and political chief. As of March 1834, all of Austin's Colony fell within the newly created Department of the Brazos. The capital was San Felipe. Ammon Underwood was most associated with the Municipality of Columbia, the capital of which was Columbia, now West Columbia. However, this was a change that coincided with Ammon's arrival in Texas; the capital was moved by popular vote from the town of Brazoria, Municipality of Brazoria, to Columbia in April 1834, and the municipality was renamed. When counties were created from the Mexican municipalities by the First Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1836, Columbia Municipality became Brazoria County, its current name.

     Ammon arrived at Velasco on 18 April 1834 and subsequently traveled by "peroague, a kind of boat dug out of a large logue," up the Brazos River to Bell's Landing,11 now East Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas. In the following months, in an effort to find suitable partners and a location for a business of his own, he visited many Texas communities, worked in a hotel at San Felipe, clerked in the Thomas Cochran store there, worked for W. J. Eaton in his "Gaming and Drinking establishment" in Columbia, and kept books for several business firms.12 However, Ammon was not soon impressed with Texas or its people, suffered from bouts of homesickness, and considered returning home to Massachusetts more than once:
Having ever been habbituated to much society from my early childhood and that of strict religion and morality I cannot possibly feel sattisfied to be surrounded by such society as is found all most univarsally in this new beautifull, but, wild and uncultivated country.13
     His arrogance was probably the result of having little in common with a majority of the other colonists, most of whom had migrated from the southern United States. Making him feel even more isolated was the lack of correspondence from family and friends back in Massachusetts. After yet another disappointment of not receiving letters from home, he wrote:
My kindred have ceased to care for me-my former friends forGotten me: here I am a sojourner in a distant a forreign land.14
     An early and bitter experience of being swindled by Robert Cochran (who later died at the Alamo) forced Ammon to consider his options. Cochran sold the goods that were jointly purchased in New Orleans out from under him. Ammon was forced to settle for whatever Cochran saw fit to give him, which amounted to a small amount of cash, notes taken in Cochran's name, and his draft for fifty dollars on a merchant in New Orleans.15 The only way to collect on the draft was to go to New Orleans. Ammon left Columbia on 26 October 1834, and arrived in Brazoria the same day. There he bought passage on the schooner Dart and proceded down the Brazos to Velasco. The Dart left Velasco November 11th bound for New Orleans, but was in trouble from the outset. All on board were forced to pump and bail water throughout the night and late into the next night before they were finally able to wreck her on the beach. Ammon returned to Velasco, and on the 17th boarded another schooner that made an uneventful trip, arriving in New Orleans 23 November 1834.16 The merchant refused the draft and Ammon had only a twenty dollar note in his pocket that he soon determined was counterfeit.
I was therefore in a strange city without friends, acquaintances or money, without ocupation in rather a feeble state of health and more than two thousand miles distant from any of my friends to whom I could apply for assistance in my needfull situation.15
He sold his watch at half its value to cover necessities.
To return to Texas then provided I could possibly get there without money was my best plan, and to collect the small sum due me there and then either go into business, in that country, or return to happy N. England.15
Having made his decision, Ammon left New Orleans December 3rd on the Helen Mae bound for Brazoria and Bell's Landing.15 The Helen Mae missed the Brazos and wrecked near the mouth of the San Bernard River in the early morning hours of 8 December 1834. The passengers all got off safely, but suffered greatly from being wet and very cold.17

     Still homesick and with his future in Texas uncertain, he wrote on 13 February 1835:
Though the country is unhealthy and though the society is by no means desirable yet the prospects which offer for speculation is some inducement to remain.18
     On 27 March 1835, he wrote:
I have sometimes half a mind to secure some land in this country and then return to the United States. Land, even in this sickly country must, notwithstanding the unhealthiness of the climate, soon, on account of the fertility of the Soil become very valuable.18
Exactly two weeks later, on 10 April 1835, as recorded in Austin's Register of Families, he applied for one-quarter of league Number 2 north of Yegua [a principal tributary of the Brazos River] and east of Davidson's Creek in what is today Burleson County. He appears in the Register as a single 25 year old farmer and grazer from Massachusetts who arrived in the colony in April 1834.19

     Ammon's future was further complicated by the growing tensions between the Anglo colonists and Mexico. In June, he wrote:
The polittical State of this country is in such an unsettled condition that I am at an entire loss what to do. I cannot feel myself justified in trying to induce my friends to emigrate to this country under the present state of affairs.13
A rumor that General Santa Anna was leading thousands of soldiers into Texas in order to drive the Anglos from their homes and out of Texas caused much excitement in the colony.20

     There existed at that time two factions with opposing views called the "War Party" and "Peace Party." They are hard to define because they weren't recognized political parties that labeled themselves by those terms, but instead described the opposition with them. The "parties" represented factions within the Anglo-American population of Texas that helped to sway public opinion in favor of, or against armed conflict with the rest of Mexico in the crucial time between 1832 and 1835. Branch T. Archer, Moseley Baker, James Bowie, Andrew Briscoe, Francis (Frank) W. Johnson, Robert Mills, Henry Smith, William Barret Travis, Edwin Waller, Robert M. Williamson, William H. Jack, Patrick C. Jack, and the brothers John A. and William H. Wharton were all "members" of the War Party. The following persons advocated quiet and calm, or protested against the actions of the more radical colonists: Stephen F. Austin, Don Carlos Barrett, Josiah H. Bell, David G. Burnet, Thomas J. Chambers, Edward Gritten, J. H. C. Miller, and John A. Williams. The Peace Party, probably representing more Texans throughout the period, loudly criticized the War Party's agitation. The term "tory" was sometimes used to describe them, but Peace Party members joined the Revolution.

     At a mass meeting at Columbia on August 15, 1835, citizens demanded a convention to secure "peace if it is to be obtained on constitutional terms, and to prepare for war–if war be inevitable."21 Ammon believed that the convention movement, at Columbia at least, was a stratagem of the War Party, "conducted with much intreague and deception knowing that a majority of the people were opposed to that measure for many pertinent reasons."9 Just five weeks later, the majority had either changed their opinion on the subject of armed conflict with Mexico or accepted it as inevitable.
September 22 [1835] — The war cry is raised. The soard is gerded on, the war horse prepared and ready to be mounted. Much unanimity of feeling prevails at present. The volunteer list was opened in this place (Columbia) yesterday and nearly all the young folks have subscribed as volunteers to meet Gen. Cos who is reported to have arrived at Copano Click to view image with four hundred armed troops22
The change of heart was most likely the result of Stephen F. Austin's sanction of the unofficial calls for a convention, or consultation, in a speech he made in Brazoria on September 8th. Austin had just returned to Texas at the end of August from Mexico City where he had been held in prison for the previous 28 months on suspicion of trying to incite insurrection in Texas. Although Austin had been an advocate of governmental reforms rather than revolution, his speech confirmed that a peaceful resolution was no longer possible.

     The Revolution began on 2 October 1835 when Texans repulsed a detachment of Mexican cavalry at the Battle of Gonzales. Ammon left Columbia on 4 October for San Felipe. On 10 October, he and several others left there for Army Headquarters in Gonzales. Upon reaching Gonzales, they learned that the Army was marching on San Antonio. The group caught up with them on the 16th. On the 25th, Hall's company to which Ammon belonged and two others were ambushed by Mexicans who had just made an unsuccessful attack on Mission Espada. The skirmish lasted about an hour, but there were no casualties among the Texans.23

     The Battle of Concepción, Click to view image the opening engagement in the siege of Bexar , followed on the 28th. The battle was fought and won by Colonel Fannin's division. Ammon was with the main army that Austin brought up an hour after the battle. They camped on the field until 2 November, at which time Ammon's company "under Capt Swisher Click to view image and 2 other companys ammounting to 110 men under command [of] Col Burlison proceeded and took up our position at the old mill Click to view image within about 500 yds of town[.]" They went into camp on the east side of the river, near the present south entrance of Brackenridge Park. In some accounts, Ammon is said to have participated in the "Battle of Old Mill," but in his journal he only reported that they were subjected to canonading, and on the 3rd, an attack was made on the town by three divisions without effect.

     On 4 November, Ammon went on furlough along with several others. He returned to San Felipe and clerked for James Cochran until Christmas day, 1835, when he left for Columbia. While in Columbia, he posted the books for W.J. Eaton and attended a ball at the spacious Columbia hotel built by Josiah Bell Click to view image in 1832 and managed by Fitchett and Gill Click to view image.24 Whether he planned to rejoin the Army at Bexar is not known because, unfortunately, several pages are missing from his journal. Before he left to join the Army in the first place, he wrote that he had not made adequate preparations for a long campaign.22 Perhaps he left San Antonio during this period of inactivity to better prepare. Leaving on furlough would seem to indicate that he was expected back, but he never returned to San Antonio. The probable reason was that Ammon was appointed head of the post commissary at Columbia.25 Captain Jack Hall Click to view image in whose company he served, furnished supplies to the Army during the Revolution which possibly accounts for Ammon's appointment as military store keeper.

     On 25 January 1836, Ammon Underwood recieved title to the quarter-league (1,107 acres) of land he had applied for on 10 April 1835. It was obtained through Stephen F. Austin and Samuel May Williams empresario contract with the Mexican State of Coahuila and Texas. A quarter-league was the amount generally allocated to single men under the provisions of the 1825 Colonization Law of said state that governed the issuance of this title. The land covered by this title is located on Davidson's Creek in what is today Burleson County, but because the title was obtained after 13 November 1835, the date set by the Consultation of Texas for the closing of all Mexican land offices operating in Texas, this title was determined to be null and void and he did not receive land by virtue of this title. This document is in Spanish and bears Ammon's signature.26


     The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2nd by members of the Convention of 1836 and an ad interim government was formed for the newly created Republic of Texas. Meanwhile, the Alamo in San Antonio was under seige, and after a thirteen day standoff, Texans under Colonel William Barret Travis were overwhelmed by the Mexican army in the Battle of the Alamo on 6 March 1836. Three weeks later, on 27 March 1836, James Fannin and nearly 400 Texans were executed by the Mexicans at the Goliad Massacre, under order of Santa Anna. Only a handful escaped. As the news of these events reached Columbia, Ammon recorded the details in his journal.

     A man who had been taken prisoner at La Bahia (Goliad) brought information on 11 April 1836 that 1,500 of the enemy were crossing the Colorado. Ammon recorded that "In one word the whole country are in a state of great distress."27 He left Marion on the 13th, crossed the river (Brazos) and spent the night in a deserted house. The next day, he joined two other men who were heading east in the mass exodus now known as the "Runaway Scrape." At Bailey's Prairie, they were told that they couldn't cross the country eastward without falling into the hands of the Mexicans who were already in Harrisburg. Nevertheless, they decided to chance it. On the night of the 14th, they camped on Chocolate Bayou, and on the 15th reached Lynch's Ferry on the San Jacinto River where they camped without crossing. The following day, they proceeded to Cedar Bayou and camped. They reached the Trinity ferry (probably the Atascosito crossing a few miles north of Liberty) on the 17th and found large numbers of people waiting to cross. During the wait, news arrived that the Mexican cavalry had arrived at Lynch's Ferry only 25 miles away and were trying to cross. This caused a panic, and women and children were hurried across without their baggage or provisions. Ammon's group crossed in the evening, went about five miles and camped. Upon reaching the ferry on the Neches April 18, they found it difficult to cross and went about twelve miles farther down to McKinney's Bluff (the first name for Port Neches) where a large number of people "were crossing round on to an Island in the Sabine lake"[.] It is unclear exactly what they did at that point, but on the 21st, they "proceeded to the ferry whare we remained till the evening of the 22d when we received the inteligence of the splendid victory obtained on the 21st by the American arms over Santa Anna and his army..."27

     At San Jacinto, Texas independence was won in one of the most decisive battles in history. As the news spread, people began returning to their homes. Ammon was anxious to get back as quickly as possible for fear that whatever goods and merchandise the Mexicans had left would be plundered by the Americans.
We arrived at Columbia Landing (Marion) after having traveled through a depopulated country [for] 150 miles in a half starved manner[.] on the 2d May I was the first person except one belonging to the landing who got back and found everything in the most glorious confusion[.] On the 11th [the] Steamer Yellowstone arrived with a large number of women and children[.] On the 12th arrived the Laura bringing W C White & Col Knight . I had got things prety well righted.28
     In August, Santa Anna was being held at Orozimbo Plantation about twelve miles from Columbia. On the 17th, the officers and crew of the schooner Passaic, which had arrived at Bell's Landing a few days before, were arrested as prisoners of war. There was evidence that they had been sent by the Mexican government in a plot to rescue the Mexican general. Ammon wrote in his journal, "...the principal of the expidition was arrested by Maj W H Patton and Mr. John Scags and myself were placed as guard over him commanded to see that he moved not nor destroyed any papers." The "principal of the expidition" was Bartolome Pages who had brought with him a bottle of opium to drug the guards watching over the celebrated prisoner.29

     The First Congress met at Columbia 3 October 1836, giving the tiny town the distinction of First Capital of the Republic of Texas. On the 22nd, Sam Houston was inaugerated President, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Vice President, and Stephen F. Austin, Secretary of State. Houston, the first President elected by the people, replaced David G. Burnet, the ad interim president. During the 81 days that Congress met in Columbia, the government was organized and counties were created from the former Mexican municipalities.

     On 4 November 1836, Ammon was visiting in Washington-on-the-Brazos and talking to a Mr. Winburn about "forming a connection in business to Establish a wholesale and retail Grocery and provision Store[.]" It was apparently just talk, because on the 19th he "made arrangements to Enter into copartnership with Capt Andrew Moore of Sch[ooner] Julius Cezar and Mr James Cochrane to establish a wholesale and retail Grocery and provision business in the town of Marion." Ammon made a list of articles for Captain Moore to purchase in New Orleans and set about fulfilling his agreement to have a store built on a lot in Marion that he had purchased from John R. Jones.

     While Captain Moore was in New Orleans, Ammon received other offers to go into business. Those that he considered the most important came from Captain J. Cole and David H. Milburn. Captain Cole offered a full partnership and didn't require that Ammon contribute any money. Milburn, on the other hand, wanted him to put in the lot and the store that he was having built. Ammon wrote that "both required that I should take entire charge of the business as neither of the above Gentlemen were themselves merchants." He told them that he was honor-bound to an earlier agreement, but when Captain Moore returned without any merchandise, Ammon considered the deal broken. He then proposed to Cole and Milburn that they form a partnership of the three, and it was agreed upon. The arrangements were finalized December 24, 1836. Cole chose to remain a silent partner, thus the firm of Milburn and Underwood was established. In the beginning, he ran the business alone, a condition he found confining. He had hoped to find time to visit his family and old friends in Massachusetts, but building a new business left little time.30 For fifty years Ammon continued in the mercantile business in Marion/Columbia, Brazoria County, where his firm owned a large two-story brick building with its own warehouse and wharves and loading docks on the water's edge.

     Meanwhile, on 20 December 1836, the Congress of the Republic of Texas had passed an act providing for the creation of Brazoria County as one of twenty-three original counties of Texas. Long before it became a county, however, the area was home to many fine plantations. Cotton was the predominate crop, but sugar production gained importance. The labor-intensive plantations, particularly those involving sugar production, were dependent upon a slave work force and Brazoria County numbered second among Texas' slave-owning counties. Farmers in Brazoria and adjacent counties of Matagorda, Ft. Bend and Wharton developed the largest cotton and sugar plantations in antebellum Texas and became known collectively as the "Texas Sugar Bowl." These agricultural endeavors formed the basis of a strong economy and in all of Texas, only those counties approached the planter-dominated economy and lifestyle typically associated with the "Old South."

     In locating his firm in Marion, the most important shipping point in Stephen F. Austin's first colony, Ammon had made a wise decision. Called Bell's Landing by the colonists for its founder, Josiah Hughes Bell, it was located on the Brazos River between the Gulf and the settlement at Richmond. For all practical purposes, Marion was the head of navigation on the river and area plantations cut paths to the landing to ship their crops and gather supplies and information. Noah Smithwick Click to view image wrote that "Bell's Landing was the depot for all the supplies for the settlements above" [on the Brazos River].

     Two miles west on the prairie was the town of Columbia, also founded by Bell, that became important in colonial affairs and served as the first capital of the Republic of Texas. Kate Underwood wrote of those days in an article published by the Velasco Courier in 1909, and reprinted in booklet form for the 1936 Texas Centennial celebration:
[West] Columbia then was in colonial days a town of importance, the business and social center of a prosperous slave-holding people, living many of them, on large plantations, and leading, though subject to the limitations of a pioneer existence, the aristocratical and patriarchal life of the Old South. Prosperity attended the little town and community hospitality was a religion, and the social side of life was cultivated and enjoyed with grace and stateliness of a bygone age.
     By 1842, the names Marion and Bell's Landing had been dropped, and for many years, the name Columbia was alternately used for both towns, usually, but not always, according to the relative fortunes of the communities at a given time. Almost immediately after the capital moved to Houston, Columbia dwindled to a small village, but the river landing town of Marion prospered. The river community then took on the name Columbia which it held for much of the 19th century. The former Columbia became more commonly known as West Columbia, its present name, when referred to at all. Some residents and writers, however, continued to refer to the river town as Marion or Bell's Landing and others refused to relegate the former capital of the Republic to a mere "suburb" by using the designation "West" Columbia. After oil was discovered near West Columbia in 1918, many merchants abandoned the river site and flocked to the boomtown. As West Columbia took on more importance, the riverport town gradually became known as East Columbia to differentiate it from its more prosperous neighbor. On November 16, 1927, postal officials formally recognized the town previously known as Marion, Bell's Landing and Columbia, as "East Columbia," by which it is presently known. Because historic documents, letters, maps, newspaper articles, etc. were not consistent in their nomenclature, considerable confusion arises when researching the area.

     Ammon bought more Marion town lots in 1837. On 11 March, he bought lot 79 from Josiah H. Bell for $100,31 and on 18 April, he and his partner, David H. Milburn, bought Lot 9 from Bell for $100.32

     When the government was organized in 1836, the Republic had only $55.68 in the treasury. Land was the only resource Texas had, and it was used to reward soldiers, to promote settlement and to finance the operation of the government. To encourage the established settlers to remain in Texas during a time of instability, the Constitution of 1836 established a first class headright act. Every head of a household, male or female, living in Texas on 2 March 1836, would receive a league and a labor of land (4,605.1 acres), while single men at least 17 years old would be given a third of a league (1,476 acres). The act excluded Indians, Blacks, anyone who had left Texas to avoid military service, and anyone who had already received the same amount of land from Mexico. Those who had received a smaller amount from Mexico were entitled to the difference. Grantees were not required to live on the land, as they had been under Mexico. Eventually there were four classes of headrights, and boards of land commissioners were set up in each county to determine eligibility and issue certificates. A certificate was not for a specific tract of land. It was up to the individual who owned the certificate to locate and have surveyed land in the public domain. The owner of a certificate could also transfer it to someone else, and consequently, the name on the certificate is often not the same as on the patent. Original Texas land titles that transferred land from the public domain to private ownership are archived at the Texas General Land Office Click to view image in Austin.

     On 1 February 1838, Ammon Underwood was issued Unconditional Certificate #247 by the Brazoria County Board of Land Commissioners. The amount granted was an augmentation of 369 acres, or the difference in the amount granted him by the Mexican government in 1835 (that was later voided) and the amount issued per first class headright to single men who arrived in Texas before 2 March 1836. On 8 April 1844, this certificate was transfered by "Ammon Underwood of Columbia, Texas" to Thomas Webb Whitemarsh.33 A survey was made 28 February 1876 by virtue of Certificate #247 on 369 acres in the current county of Comanche (Abstract #977). A patent on this land was issued to H.D. Pendergast on 23 September 1878 (Patent Number 512, Volume 22). Ammon obviously learned that his Mexican title was no good after he applied for this headright, because he applied for and was issued Unconditional Certificate #725 on 27 September 1838 for one-quarter league,34 the same as the amount lost when the Mexican title was declared null and void. On 16 February 1846, a survey was made by virtue of Certificate #725 on 1107 acres in the current county of Burleson (Abstract #241). A patent on this land was issued to Ammon Underwood on 1 August 1846 (Patent Number 73, Volume 3). It is probable that the Mexican title and headright title were to the same land.

     On 15 October 1838, Ammon Underwood and David H. Milburn paid $2,000 to Thomas W. Nibbs for lots 27 and 31 in block 10, East Columbia, and the buildings and improvements made by Nibbs on the said lots. (It is interesting that Marion is called "East Columbia" on this deed which was recorded 18 March 1839). Thomas Nibbs was a lawyer from Alabama who, in 1835, on lots he bought from Josiah H. Bell, had built a simple two room, one story hand-hewn log frame structure as his homestead. He met with little success as a lawyer, and decided to sell his Marion property and move to Fort Bend County. However, he had failed to have the title to the lots recorded, and in the meantime had lost the title, so he gave the court power of attorney and asked that all legal means be taken to give a "good and sufficient" title to the purchasers.35 It is curious that the log frame structure which was enlarged and became home to the Underwood family for more than 120 years, was purchased jointly by Ammon and David Milburn. More research is needed to see if an explanation can be found.

     Underwood and Milburn acquired two more lots in Marion through judgements in their favor on 22 October 1838 against Shine and Grayson, one for eighty-five dollars, another for seventy-one dollars, and the third for sixty-three dollars and fifty-five cents besides witness and cost while executing. Lot numbers 38 and 42 in Block 10 were auctioned off by law at the courthouse to satisfy the judgement. Underwood and Milburn were high bidders.36

     In 1838, Ammon entered into a business partnership with Mrs. Catherine Carson, widow of William, who was or had been running a boardinghouse in Columbia. Seeing a need, they financed enlargement and improvement of the two room house bought from Thomas Nibbs, looking to open a boardinghouse to serve the thriving community of Marion. When Ammon married Catherine's daughter Rachel, the boardinghouse became their permanent residence. It is unclear to the writer if it was open to boarders before the marriage because there was a period of less than three months from the time of the original purchase until that event. One verse of a poem Click to view image Ammon wrote to Rachel for their 25th wedding anniversary reads:
On the swift wings of time there swiftly has sped
Twenty-five years since the day we were wed,
In this very same house, in this very same room
You stood as a bride and I a bridegroom.
This establishes that the improvements were completed and the Underwood home Click to view image was ready for occupancy by the first week of January 1839. Catherine lived with the young couple, and in 1842 she married Gail Borden Sr., the father of Gail Borden Jr. Click to view image who invented the canned milk process. Gail Sr. moved in, and they all lived together in the Underwood home. Contrary to some accounts, the home still served as a boardinghouse.

     With marriage came the opportunity for Ammon to improve his headright. Unconditional Certificate #21 was issued to him by the Brazoria County Board of Land Commissioners on 18 October 1839. The amount granted was 2/3 league (2,952.2 acres) and 1 labor (177.1 acres).37 His first class headright then amounted to one league and one labor, the total he was eligible to receive as a head of household who was living in Texas before 2 March 1836. A survey was made on 29 January 1849 by virtue of Certificate #21 on 3129.36 acres in the current county of Uvalde (Abstract #506). On 25 July 1849, a patent on this land was issued to Ammon Underwood (Patent Number 590, Volume 7).

     A problem arose with the deed to the property bought from Thomas Nibbs in 1838 when it was discovered that lots 27 and 31 as recorded on the deed were actually lots 35 and 39. In January 1840, Milburn and Underwood successfully petitioned the Brazoria County Probate Court to force the executors of Josiah H. Bell's estate to make a quit claim to the lots and issue a good title to the property.38

     Sam Houston nominated Ammon Underwood to be justice of the peace in Brazoria County on 15 January 1842, but withdrew the nomination three days later.25

     Rachel Underwood's brother, John P. Carson of Fort Bend County, sold to Ammon Underwood for $2,100 on 31 March 1844,
. . .my entire interest as co heir in a League of land granted by the government of Mexico to William C Carson Click to view image situated west of the San Bernard River in the county of Matagorda also my entire interest as Coheir in a fourth of a league of land granted to William Hensley by the aforesaid Government of Mexico and conveyed by said Hensley to the aforesaid William C Carson lying and situated on the east side of the San Bernard River in the county of Fort Bend; and also my entire stock of cattle say three hundred head more or less. marked with a [cusp?] off the right ear and Branded W; also my entire stock of Horses Mules Mares & colts branded as above say twenty five head more or less. and also all stock of the above named kinds in any other marks or brands owned by me together with the natural increase also my waggon and team farming utensils and furniture.39
Apparently, he used as collateral most everything he owned to borrow the above sum. The deed was to be voided if Carson paid Underwood $2,100 on or before 1 January 1845. Regarding the land mentioned in the deed, the Carson league was in Austin's first colony. In December 1830 William C. Carson and James Hensley Click to view image made an equal exchange of one-quarter section of their respective grants. On 4 November 1845, John attested to his signature and the same deed was again notarized.40 Whether he ever repaid the loan is not known, but if not, Ammon didn't foreclose because several years later John still had an interest in the property.

     Due to the threat of renewed hostility with Mexico, The Planter announced the organization of the Columbia Minute Men on 23 August 1844. The Planter was a weekly paper that covered Brazoria County's agricultural interests, and later devoted much space to steamboat traffic on the lower and middle Brazos River. Men were to sign up at the newspaper office or the Smith and Adriance store. Ammon and his brothers-in-law, John P. Carson and William J. Carson, were among those who volunteered.41 The following year at the August meeting, Ammon became a member of the Association of Columbia for the Preservation of Temperance.42

     The Underwood family prospered during the Republic era, but Ammon was a strong supporter of statehood. Between 1841-1845, he wrote a number of letters to Dr. Anson Jones, last President of the Republic of Texas and a close personal friend who in the Fall of 1841 took lodgings for himself and his family at Ammon's home. In the letters, he states his position and urges his friend to work toward that end. Ammon also expresses a desire to see Dr. Jones back in Columbia practicing medicine. Dr. Jones published five of Ammon's letters Click to view image in his book relating to the history and annexation of the Republic of Texas.43,44


     On 29 December 1845, U.S. President James K. Polk signed the Texas Admissions Act and Texas became the 28th state. At the ceremony setting up the government of Texas as a state in the Union on 19 February 1846, Dr. Anson Jones declared, "The Republic of Texas is no more." He turned the government over to James Pickney Henderson, the first governor of the State of Texas, and retired to his plantation near Washington-on-the-Brazos.

     On 16 February 1846, a survey was made by virtue of Certificate #725 (issued to Ammon Underwood on 27 September 1838) on 1107 acres in the current county of Burleson (Abstract #241). On 1 August 1846, a patent on the Burleson County land was issued to Ammon Underwood (Patent Number 73, Volume 3).34

     On 20 May 1847, Gail Borden, Catharine J. Borden, John P. Carson and William J. Carson, all of Brazoria County, Texas, sold to Ammon Underwood for $2,214, "one third of a certain undivided half league of land say siven hundred and thirty eight acres more or less, out of league number twenty one granted to William C Carson as a colonist of Texas, situated between the river Bernard and Bay Prairie."45

     On 29 January 1849, a survey was made by virtue of Certificate #21 (issued to Ammon Underwood on 18 October 1839) on 3129.36 acres in the current county of Uvalde (Abstract #506). On 25 July 1849, a patent on the Uvalde County land was issued to Ammon Underwood (Patent Number 590, Volume 7).37

     In addition to his other business interests, Ammon was a cotton factor and owned two working plantations. In 1850, he owned 12 slaves, and in 1860, 34. However, he always lived in town. He was the Columbia Postmaster between 22 May 1846 and 14 March 1855,46 with little doubt that the post office was located in his store as was common in those days. He was an incorporator for the Columbia, Wharton and Austin Railroad in 1854, and for the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad in 1856. He was also the local correspondent for the Galveston News. By the time of the War Between the States he had amassed considerable wealth and property.25

     Ammon and Rachel J. Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1850 Federal Census of Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 2 November 1850. Their children Joseph P. and Laura J. were listed as living with them, as were Rachel's mother and stepfather, Catharine J. and Gail Borden, and her niece Sarah J. Carson.47 Click to view image

     A. and Rachel Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1860 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 3 July 1860. Their children Joseph P., Laura J., Ella H. and Lendel were listed as living with them, as were Rachel's niece Sarah J. Carson, her mother C.J. Borden with her husband Gale Borden, Gail's daughter-in-law Luvica Borden and grandson Joseph Borden.48 Click to view image

     Beginning in 1854, several laws were passed regarding railroad scrip. The exact provisions varied, but generally an amount of land was offered for each mile of rail constructed. Certificates were issued for 35,777,038 acres. The grantee (person or company who was originally awarded the land certificate) or the assignee (person who owned the certificate) would locate available land from the public domain. Using the certificate, a grantee (or assignee) could have the desired land surveyed. The field notes, a written description of the survey, were sent to the Texas General Land Office and filed. After fulfilling any conditions of the grant, such as making improvements, and paying any required fees, the company or individual could then apply for a patent (the original title from the government) from the Texas General Land Office.

     Five land scrip (railroad scrip) certificates, each for 640 acres, that were issued to the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad Company (HT & BRR) by the Texas General Land Office on 8 March 1859, were transfered to Ammon Underwood on 5 January 1861. The certificate numbers were 10/341, 10/342, 10/343,49 10/344, and one other, the number of which has not been located.50 He received patents on land in Brazoria County by virtue of these certificates in 1872 (see patent numbers 322 and 323) and 1874 (see patent numbers 498, 500, and 501).


     In a February 1861 election, Texans voted to secede from the Union, and on March 2, Texas Independence Day, it became official. Texas was the seventh state to secede and the last to secede before the firing at Fort Sumter signaled the start of the War for Southern Independence. The only Brazoria County votes against secession were cast by the two sons of Josiah H. Bell. The following month, on 26 April, in Columbia, Ammon made and executed six promissory notes made payable to J.H. Phelps and Co. of New Orleans. The amount of the notes exceeded $20,000 and all were due in 1862, but in different months. The notes were secured by 2,237 acres in several tracts of land in Brazoria County, including "the plantation known as the San Bernardo, having ... Two Hundred and Seventy Five acres in cultivation, with cedar frame dwelling house, Cabins, gin house, Stables and o - which said mortgage deed is of record in Book K pages 199 and 200 of Brazoria County records."51 Without knowing what the loans were for, it is impossible to say why he went so deeply in debt at such a turbulent time. Unless other circumstances forced the decision, it seems obvious that he was optimistic about the future of the Confederacy.

     At the beginning of the war, Southern leaders believed they could use cotton to finance the war and pressure England into providing aid to the Confederacy. In response, a key part of the Union military strategy was to blockade the entire southern coast in order to strangle the Confederacy. The objective was to stop cotton exports. As a consequence, the Texas coast became vulnerable to Union attacks.

     When Union forces captured Galveston on 4 Oct 1862, they confiscated all of the cotton that was warehoused there, including that which belonged to Ammon. To make matters worse, confiscation of private property, or "impressment," was authorized by the Confederate government on their own behalf to finance the needs of the army. Not only were planters forced to give up a portion, sometimes a major portion, of their crops to the government, they had to sell at prices set by the government. (In Texas specifically, ½ of all cotton had to be sold to the government.) But it usually did not matter what the prices were. All the farmers got in exchange were promissory notes or cotton bonds, usually unredeemable, or inflated paper currency that was nearly as worthless. No group was harder hit than the cotton planters who were called upon to sacrifice personal needs and wants to underwrite the war.

     Meanwhile, Brazoria County citizens, many of whom had sons away in the army, were supporting the Confederate cause in any way they could. On Washington's Birthday in 1863, the women of Columbia put on a tableau and concert to raise funds for the Confederate wounded. Ammon wrote the script, which was all in verse, and served as both narrator and master of ceremonies. As a "fair lady" appeared on stage to represent each Confederate state, Ammon described its contribution to the Southern cause.52

     In a 3 July 1864 letter to his son Joe who was in Louisiana with the Confederate Army, Ammon wrote, ". . .I have paid the government all the confiscated debt they would take of me amounting to $30,000." He was discussing payment of confiscated cotton to the Confederate Army. In the same letter he told Joe that blockade running had ended. He had few goods on hand and anticipated having to discontinue business until after the war.53 However, it was in cotton that Ammon lost a fortune. A footnote to his journal published in the Southwest Historical Quarterly says that "his heavy investments in 'King Cotton' were so bound up in the fortunes of the Confederacy, that when the cause was lost he was approximately one-half million dollars poorer."3

     At the end of the War, President Andrew Johnson’s proclamation of 29 May 1865 provided for a general amnesty with some exceptions. Former Confederates not covered by the general amnesty were required to request a pardon and amnesty. These requests were evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

     Ammon was not covered under the General Amnesty because he was one of the "voluntary participants in the rebellion who had property valued at more than $20,000." Ammon signed the Amnesty Oath on 2 August 1865 at Columbia. He is described on the Oath as a 55 year old merchant, 5'8" tall, with gray hair and eyes, and a fair complexion.

     Ammon's petition for pardon and amnesty is dated 9 August 1865, and A.J. Hamilton, Provisional Governor of Texas, recommended that the pardon be granted. He was pardoned 8 December 1865.54 Click to view image


     Before the War for Southern Independence, Texas had been one of the most prosperous states in the nation, and at its conclusion, became one of the poorest. Brazoria County was particularly hard hit because its economy had been dependant on slave labor. Furthermore, falling land prices severely affected the county. The average wealth of the ten richest Brazoria County citizens declined 60%. It was not a good time to start over. Cotton farmers made little or nothing from their 1864 crop because Union Treasury agents refused to distinguish between cotton that had been pledged to the Confederate government from that which belonged to the planter. To add to the misery, the vindictive Reconstruction Act put Texas under military rule that left even entrepreneurial types like Ammon helpless to improve their situation.

     The war exacted a huge toll on Ammon. Not only had he lost a fortune, he was deeply in debt. By 1868, only one on the notes made to J.H. Phelps and Company had been paid. Ammon owed in excess of $21,000 and on 6 May 1868, he applied for bankruptcy Click to view image by petition to the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Texas in Galveston. The notes were then owned by Phelps, another New Orleans company, and two individuals. The parties involved couldn't agree on the value of the land, and on September 2, 1868, it was sold (as one parcel) to the "highest bidder for cash before the door of the United States Court House at Galveston." The aforementioned parties were the high bidders at $5,000, and they received title to land proportionate to the interest they had in the notes based on that value.55


     Reconstruction officially ended in Texas on 30 March 1870 when Texas was re-admitted to the Union.

     Ammon and Rachel Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1870 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 27 July 1870. Their children Laura, Ella and John were listed as living with them, as were their married son Joseph with his wife Louise and their daughter Kate, and Rachel's widowed mother Catherine Borden.56 Click to view image

     On 19 December 1870, Ammon Underwood applied to the State of Texas for a Republic of Texas pension Click to view image based on his service in the Texas army in the Revolution. His service was affirmed by Thomas H. Borden and William T. Austin Click to view image of Galveston County, but his application was "suspended." Though not stated, the likely reason was that he owned property worth more than $1,000, and only indigents were offered pensions.57

     The 1870's brought new economic development to the Brazoria County. On March 1, 1871, a countywide meeting was held in Columbia which resulted in an association formed "to aid and encourage emigration." Ammon was elected president.58 Although he never fully recovered from his losses, he remained a leading citizen and at his death left a sizeable estate.

     Ammon Underwood was named executor in Catherine J. Borden's will dated 9 January 1872 in Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas.59

     Ammon began accumulating more land in the early 1870s by virtue of two of the land scrip (railroad scrip) certificates transfered to him by the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad (HT & BRR) in 1861. On 11 April 1872, he received two patents from the State of Texas. By virtue of a land scrip, the number of which is not known, he received patent number 322 on 640 acres of land "about 16 miles N. 24 W. from the town of Brazoria," and by virtue of Land Scrip No. 10/344, he received patent number 323 on 640 acres in Brazoria County known as "Survey No. 3, West of the Brazos River, about 15 miles N. 20 W. of the town of Brazoria." Ammon and Rachel Jane Underwood sold all of this land to C. Davis and W. Nash in 1882.60

     On 2 August 1872, Catharine J. Borden appointed Ammon Underwood,
. . .my agent and attorney for me and in my absence to make any and all business transactions for me, and in my place and Stead, that he, in his Judgment may deem important and necessary, and to Sign my waver as agent or attorney in all Cases hereby aproving, recognizing, acknowledging and binding myself intirely as fully and as legally as though done by myself in person, hereby binding myself my heirs Administrators and assigns firmly by these presents, to whatever my said agent and attorney may do in all matters, excepting only the Signing my waver as Security in any and every Case.61
     Ammon was a member of the Texas Veteran Association that was organized 14 May 1873.62 Click to view image The proceedings of the first annual meeting held in Houston on 21 and 22 May 1874 were published in booklet form, and includes a list of veterans who were then living. Ammon's entry is on pages 19 and 20 of the original Click to view image.63 He probably attended the meeting, but proof is lacking.

     On 8 August 1874, by virtue of Land Scrip No. 10/342 transfered to Ammon Underwood from the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad Company (HT & BRR) in 1861, he received patent no. 498 on 640 acres in Brazoria County known as "Survey No. 1 on the west side of Chocolate Bayou about 22 miles N63E from the town of Brazoria."64 On 7 September 1874, by virtue of Land Scrip No. 10/343, transfered to Ammon Underwood from the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad Company (HT & BRR) in 1861, he received patent no. 500 on 640 acres in Brazoria County known as "Survey No. 3 on Chockolate Bayou about 22 miles N 66 East from the Town of Brazoria," and by virtue of Land Scrip No. 10/341, transfered to Ammon Underwood from the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad Company (HT & BRR) in 1861, he received patent no. 501 on 640 acres in Brazoria County known as "Survey No. 9 about 29 1/2 miles N 72 E of the Town of Brazoria."65

     On 25 December 1875, perhaps as a Christmas present, Ammon and wife, Rachel Jane Underwood, conveyed by gift of deed "to our beloved Son Joseph Patterson Underwood" their home in Columbia "but reserving to our own use the buildings formerly used by us as a Smoke house and Kitchen near the river with the enclosure as now fenced off, during the longest of either of our lives."66 Information from Rachel's great-granddaughter Catherine Munson Foster to Thurmond Williamson, a long time Munson researcher and author of The Munsons of Texas, an American Saga , is that Ammon and Rachel then moved into living quarters over their store. At least one other account states that Ammon continued to live in the Columbia house until his death in 1887.

     Ammon probably attended the Agricultural Mechanical and Blood Stock Association of Texas (1870-19UU) 6th annual "Grand Texas State Fair" in Houston in 1876. Among the Underwood collection at the Brazoria County Historical Museum is his admission badge to that affair. Whether he was a member of the association is not known.

     It appears from the following document executed in Brazoria County, 10 September 1879, that Rachel played a large role in Ammon's economic recovery following the War:
Know all men by these Presents That. I. A. Underwood of Columbia State of Texas and County aforesaid_ being justly indebted to my Dear Wife Rachel Jane Underwood for the following items = to Wit = For Six Hundred dollars Collected from C. Giesecke, Six Hundred dollars Collected from Robert Faickney for Town lots sold belonging to said Rachel Jane - and Five Hundred dollars Collected for Lands of the Tennel League owned by said Rachel Jane Underwood all of which sum, the said Underwood has borrowed from said Rachel Jane Underwood, and used in Mercantile and other transactions, and also the Sum of Fifteen Hundred and Eight 89/100. Dollars assumed by you and for which you placed in pledge and hypothecated at my [?] and request _ a quarter of a league of land, owned by you in Walker County Texas, Making in all the sum of four. Thousand and Eight dollars and Eighty nine cents, and Now therefore I. the said A. Underwood_ being advanced in life and anxious to secure my said Dear Wife Rachel Jane, against loss and Want and in the just payment of the amounts aforesaid, against all claims, whether of debts or heirship or of any and Every character_ Give - grant sell and convey - to my said beloved wife Rachel_ for the considerations aforesaid, all my right interest claim and ownership in and to all and every of my entire interest, Claim and ownership of Goods_ Wares_ Merchandise_ Claims and property - real_ personal- and mixed - which I have and hold at this time in the Name of A & J.P. Underwood and by these Presents grant_ sell and convey_ all of my rights and interest as aforesaid to her own proper use behoof forever, subject only to the indebtedness. Made Contracted and entered into and owing by said firm of A. and, J.P. Underwood, and I. The Said A Underwood by these Presents bind myself, my heirs, Executors and assigns to said Rachel J. Underwood, her heirs - Executors and assigns for-ever.67
     A. and R.J. Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1880 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 3 June 1880. Their son John C. was listed as living with them, as were their widowed daughter Ella Borden with her son Milam, and several black servants. Click to view image The next household was that of David and Carry Nation.68 Click to view image

     Ammon and Rachel Jane Underwood sold to C. Davis and W. Nash on 20 September 1882,
. . .two certain Sections of land of six hundred and forty acres each situated in said State and County about 16 miles N. 24 W. from the town of Brazoria, Said Pattents are no. 322 and 323, granted originally by the State of Texas to A. Underwood, both Patents dated April 11th 1872.
Davis and Nash paid $640 down and two notes were made, the first for $320 @ 10% interest per annum due 60 days from the date of the note; the second for $320 @ 10% per annum due 12 months from the date of the note. Both were secured by a vendor's lien.60

     Unexpectedly, and not sought by Ammon, he was unanimously nominated by convention in Galveston to represent the Sixty-fourth District—Galveston and Brazoria Counties—in the Nineteenth Legislature and was elected at the polls in 1884 by 6,302 votes to his opponent's 46. He served on the Finance, Insurance, Statistics and History, and Public Buildings and Grounds committees.25,69,70 It is asserted in a biographical sketch Click to view image that "Mr. Underwood cast his first vote for Andrew Jackson and has ever since kept in line and fought for the success of the principles of the Democratic party."70

     Ammon Underwood and Rachel J. Underwood made their will on 3 December 1886 in Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas. The survivor was named sole heir and executor with J.P. Underwood, W.H. Diggs and J.C. Underwood, assistant executors. Upon the death of the second party, the estate was to be divided equally among their four children, Joseph Patterson Underwood, Laura Jane Underwood Diggs, Ella Harriet Underwood Borden and John Carson Underwood. A special provision was made
. . .in view of the long Services of J.P. Underwood and W.H. Diggs, husband of Laura Diggs, it is hereby provided that the property heretofore deeded to each of said parties shall be considered in the final division as of the Value of One thousand dollars to each, and no more, and in the final division Ella H. Borden and John C. Underwood Shall recieve one thousand dollars worth of property of the said estate after which all property and assets of said Survivor Shall be Equally distributed among our Said children Share and Share alike. . .6
     E.S. Carson and her son, James Carson, both of Wharton County, sold to Ammon Underwood of Brazoria County, Texas, on 28 February 1887, for $200,
. . .all our rights, title, interest and claim by heirship, inheritance or otherwise in and to fractional undivided parts of two tracts of land in the State of Texas, both inherited from the estate of William J. Carson, the first named being our entire interest and inheritance of a fraction of 738 acres of the William C. Carson grant in Brazoria County, comprising togather one hundred and twelve acres 1/4 acres, more or less, and the other being our fractional interest and heirship in these [?] and twenty acres of land situated partly in Kerr and partly in Kendall counties, originally granted to William J. Carson, and inherited by us respectively from his estate, our joint Share being fifty eight acres more or less undivided land, and both tracts being our joint and undivided entire inheritance in same two tracts and estimated to comprise togather one hundred and seventy acres 1/4 acres of land, more or less.71
     In his almost fifty-three consecutive years in Texas, Ammon Underwood lived in four countries—Mexico, Republic of Texas, United States, and the Confederate States of America—and under seven governments—Mexican, Provisional, Republic of Texas, United States, Confederate States of America, Military and State of Texas. He and Rachel had seven children in the space of twenty-two years, all born in the same house, but in three different countries. "He died beloved, respected, eldest citizen of Columbia," leaving an estate valued at $53,890.6 To recognize his role and contributions as an early colonizer, in 1970 the State of Texas erected an historical marker Click to view image at his grave site in the Old Columbia Cemetery. The same year, the Ammon Underwood House was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark.4 Click to view image

Children of Ammon Underwood and Rachel Jane Carson


  1. [S49] Joseph Patterson Underwood entry, Brazoria County Deaths, certificate 699, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  2. [S60] Letter from Ammon Underwood (Lawrence, Massachusetts) to Joe Underwood, 14 June 1885; Brazoria County Historical Museum (Angleton, Texas).
  3. [S61] James K. Greer, editor, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", Southwestern Historical Quarterly 32 (October 1928): 124.
  4. [S85] Texas Historical Marker, Old Columbia Cemetery, West Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas; photographed by the writer on 31 July 1997.
  5. [S2] Brazoria County Marriage Book A: 83, no. 33, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  6. [S94] Ammon Underwood, Probate file no. 1159, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  7. [S93] Brazoria County Probates, Book M: 16-17, 22, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  8. [S93] Brazoria County Probates, Book M: 16-17, 19, 22, 46.
  9. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 137.
  10. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 124-126.
  11. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 126, 127.
  12. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 126-149.
  13. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 135.
  14. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 138.
  15. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 130.
  16. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 127-130.
  17. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 131.
  18. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 133.
  19. [S64] Austin's Colony Records (Austin's Register), (MS, 1824-1836; Austin's Colony, Coahuila and Texas), 17-18, Texas General Land Office (TGLO); Austin.
  20. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 136.
  21. [S62] Herbert Gambrell, Anson Jones, The Last President of Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1947, 1948), 49.
  22. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 139.
  23. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 139-141.
  24. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 141, 142.
  25. [S45] "Underwood, Ammon," The Handbook of Texas Online, online <…>, (accessed 2003).
  26. [S65] Mexican Titles to Coahuila and Texas Empresario Grants, Box 21: Folder 1, Texas General Land Office (TGLO), Austin. Hereinafter cited as Mexican Titles.
  27. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 145.
  28. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 146.
  29. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 146, 147.
  30. [S61] James K. Greer, "Journal of Ammon Underwood, 1834-1838", 148-150.
  31. [S66] Brazoria County Deeds, Book A: 41, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  32. [S67] Brazoria County Deeds, Book C: 1, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  33. [S68] First Class Headright Certificates, MIL-1-1918: 247, Texas General Land Office (TGLO), Austin.
  34. [S69] First Class Headright Certificates, MIL-1-543: 725, Texas General Land Office (TGLO), Austin.
  35. [S70] Brazoria County Deeds, Book C: 284, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  36. [S70] Brazoria County Deeds, Book C: 284-285.
  37. [S71] First Class Headright Certificates, BEX-1-815: 21, Texas General Land Office (TGLO), Austin.
  38. [S90] Brazoria County Deeds, Book C: 23, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  39. [S72] Brazoria County Deeds, Book B: 428, 429, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  40. [S91] Brazoria County Deeds, Book B: 548-549, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  41. [S40] James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County, Texas (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975), 448.
  42. [S40] James A. Creighton, Narrative History of Brazoria County, Texas, 192.
  43. [S73] Anson Jones, compiler, Memoranda and Official Correspondence Relating to the Republic of Texas, its History and Annexation (New York: Appleton & Co., 1859; reprint Chicago: The Rio Grande Press Inc., 1966), 23, 168, 223-224, 308-309, 410-411, 442-443.
  44. [S62] Herbert Gambrell, Anson Jones, The Last President of Texas, 211.
  45. [S74] Brazoria County Deeds, Book E: 162, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  46. [S47] Postmasters and Post Offices of Brazoria County, Texas, 1846-1930, online <>.
  47. [S55] Ammon Underwood household, 1850 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, page 396, dwelling 225, family 225; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 908.
  48. [S54] A. Underwood household, 1860 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Columbia, page 19/63A, dwelling 163, family 150; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 1289.
  49. [S76] Railroad Scrip, U: 704-706, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  50. [S79] Brazoria County Deeds, Z: 89, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  51. [S77] Brazoria County Deeds, L: 326-327, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  52. [S40] James A. Creighton, Narrative History of Brazoria County, Texas, 241.
  53. [S78] Civil War, Reconstruction and Recovery in Brazoria County, Texas, Brazoria County Historical Museum, online <>.
  54. [S1167] Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917, M1003; Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons ("Amnesty Papers"), 1865-67 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives).
  55. [S77] Brazoria County Deeds, L: 326-331.
  56. [S53] Ammon Underwood household, 1870 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, town of Columbia, post office Columbia, page 186, dwelling 1674, family 1674; National Archives micropublication M593, roll 1576.
  57. [S87] John C. Barron, Nan Polk Brady, Emma Gene Seale Gentry, Barbara Langham Goudreau, Iris Higgins Zimmerman, Republic of Texas Pension Application Abstracts (Austin: Austin Genealogical Society, 1976), 333.
  58. [S40] James A. Creighton, Narrative History of Brazoria County, Texas, 290.
  59. [S97] Catherine J. Borden will (1872), Brazoria County Will Book, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  60. [S79] Brazoria County Deeds, Z: 89-90.
  61. [S80] Brazoria County Deeds (Power of Attorney), O: 481-482, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  62. [S88] Texas Veteran Association, Membership Certificate, Brazoria County Historical Museum, Angleton, Texas.
  63. [S89] The McArdle Notebooks, Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Texas Veteran Association (Houston, Texas: Telegraph Office, 1874; online <>: Texas State Library and Archives Commission Archives and Information Services Division, 2002), 19-20.
  64. [S76] Railroad Scrip, U: 704, County Clerk's Office.
  65. [S76] Railroad Scrip, U: 705, 706, County Clerk's Office.
  66. [S81] Brazoria County Deeds, P: 273-274, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  67. [S82] Brazoria County Deeds, S: 252-253, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  68. [S52] J.P. Underwood household, 1880 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 2, Columbia, enumeration district (ED) 18, sheet 5B, dwelling 42, family 42; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 1292.
  69. [S86] State of Texas, Members of the Texas Congress 1836-1845, Members of the Texas Legislature 1846-1992, Vol. 1 (n.p.:, unknown publish date), 198.
  70. [S83] E.H. Loughery, Personnel of the Texas State Government for 1885, Containing Biographical Sketches of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Heads of Departments and Members and Officers of the Nineteenth Legislature (Austin: L.E. Daniell, Texas State Library, unknown publish date), 56.
  71. [S84] Brazoria County Deeds, Z: 183-184, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  72. [S1209] Joseph Patterson Underwood, death certificate 5124 (11 Feb 1925), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.
  73. [S1204] Laura Underwood Diggs, death certificate 70479 (29 Jul 1938), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.
  74. [S1231] John C. Underwood, death certificate 82 (12 Jan 1926), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.