“Man dies as he dreams. Alone.”
This 1836 cemetery was originally located on the De Zavala estate at Zavala Point. It is about half a mile north (as the crow flies) across the Houston Ship Channel from where the Battleship Texas is docked in San Jacinto Battleground Park. Over the next 130 years a combination of natural factors (tides and erosion) and man-made disturbances (subsidence and powerful ship wakes) wreaked havoc on the property. Graves were dangerously close to falling into Buffalo Bayou. Fortunately, in the 1960s the bodies were reinterred to their present location.
In addition to relatives with the surname of De Zavala, other kinfolk interred in the plot include Wilcox (1873-1909), Duncan (see below), Higginbotham (1878-1915), Thomas (see below) and Nitsche (see below),.
De Zavala, Emily West (1809-1882) – Pioneer Woman – She was born in New York where she met and married Lorenzo De Zavala. The couple made a circuitous trip to Texas via Mexico and Paris before arriving in what was to be named Zavala Point in 1835. A year later General Santa Anna captured their home on his way to the Battle of San Jacinto. The couple narrowly escaped capture. Following the victory the De Zavalas returned to their property. Unfortunately, Lorenzo’s health declined and he died in November 1836. She remarried twice, sold her land to a son and died in Houston.
De Zavala, Manuel Lorenzo Justiniano (1788-1836) – First Vice President of the Republic of Texas – He was born in Mexico. De Zavala was a newspaper man, liberal politician and member of the Mexican Congress. His political views got him exiled in 1830. After spending time in New York he immigrated to Texas in 1835. De Zavala was a representative at the Constitution Convention of 1836. He was a key figure in drafting the Texas Constitution which led to his being elected Vice President of the Republic. De Zavala contracted pneumonia shortly after the Battle of San Jacinto and died at Zavala Point.
Duncan, Peter Jefferson (1799-1870) – Texas Hero – Born in New York he came to Texas in the early 1830s. Duncan participated in the capture of San Antonio in 1835. He served in the Republic of Texas Army in 1836 and passed away in Harris County in 1870.
Nitsche, Frederick (1794-1863) – Texas Hero – We assume he saw action at the Battle of San Jacinto.
Thomas, David (1801-1836) – Texas Hero – He came to Texas to fight for freedom. Surviving the Battle of San Jacinto, Thomas died of an accidental gunshot wound nine days later. He passed away in the nearby De Zavala home.
Other burials within the San Jacinto Battleground Park include members of the Republic of Texas Army who were killed in the battle and buried where they fell.
Blakey, Lemuel Stockton (?-1836) – Texas Hero – He gave his life to give life to the Republic of Texas.
Brigham, Benjamin Rice (?-1836) – Texas Hero – Rice was killed at the Battle of San Jacinto April 21, 1836. His tombstone reads “Dead on the Field of Honor.”
Cooper, Mathias (?-1836) – Texas Hero – He died during the Battle of San Jacinto.
Fowle, Thomas Patton (?-1836) –Texas Hero – The Texas Army killed over 600 Mexican troops and captured another 600. General Sam Houston only suffered nine casualties. Fowle was among them.
Hale, John C. (1806-1836) –Texas Hero – Hale was born in Virginia. He arrived in Texas during the War for Independence. He was killed in the Battle of San Jacinto. Hale County is named in his honor.
Jaques, Isaac L. (?-1836) – Texas Hero – He came to Texas in 1835. Jaques fought in the Battle of San Jacinto. He served in Captain Thomas H. McIntire’s Company. Jaques is believed to have died from complications of wounds four months after the victory in nearby Lynchburg.
Lamb, George A. (1814-1836) – Texas Hero – This native South Carolinian was orphaned as a boy. He was adopted by a family named Bankhead. In 1834 Lamb and one of his stepbrothers moved to Texas and established a farm. He joined Captain William Ware’s Company D under the command of General Sidney Sherman as a second lieutenant in March of 1836. Lamb was killed a month later in the Battle of San Jacinto. Lamb County is named for him.
Mottley, William Junius (1812-1836) – Texas Hero – Born in Virginia he attended a medical college before coming to Texas in 1835. Mottley was appointed chief surgeon for Goliad. He attended the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the- Brazos, signed the Declaration of Independence and served as aide-de-camp to Thomas J. Rusk. Mottley was mortally wounded at the Battle of San Jacinto. Mottley County remembers him.
Stephens, Ashley R. (?-1836) – Texas Hero – He was killed in the Battle of San Jacinto fighting for Texas’ freedom.
Thompson, John (1776-1867) – Texas Hero – He was born in England. We assume Thompson was at the Battle of San Jacinto as he is buried in the battleground site.
Trask, Olwyn J. (?-1836) – Texas Hero – He was a cavalryman who died in the battle.
Ward, Daniel Solomon (1829-1866) – Confederate Soldier – He was a private in Company A Madison’s Regiment Texas Cavalry during the War Between the States.
Wilkinson, Freeman (?-1839) – Texas Hero – He fought in the Battle of San Jacinto in Captain Thomas H. McIntire’s Company. While surviving the battle he died in nearby Lynchburg in 1839. Wilkinson’s last request was to be buried with his fallen comrades.