Voting at the Alamo

I’ve been researching how the delegates to the Convention of 1836 were chosen and found found an interesting rabbit hole.

I was particularly interested in the San Antonio de Bexar delegation, which included the only two native Tejano signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence in José Antonio Navarro and José Francisco Ruiz, as well two Anglo signers Jesse Badgett and Samuel Maverick. Those are their signatures on the declaration.

The people of San Antonio chose Navarro and Ruiz and their right to be seated at the convention was unquestioned. Badgett and Maverick on the other hand, were a different story.

They were chosen by the men stationed at the Alamo. Badgett carried a petition to the president of the convention, signed by the Alamo officers requesting they be seated as delegates from Bexar. 

Here is the certificate of their election, now in the care of the Texas State Library. They were picking two delegates, so each man was allowed to cast two votes.

As you can see from the tally at the top of the page, Maverick received 103 votes. Badgett received 100. James Butler Bonham and John M. Hays each received a single vote.

Who was the contrarian voter who refused to go along with the crowd? That guy is bound to have an interesting story.

He was Jesse H. Nash, and here’s what we know about him: He arrived in Texas some time before May of 1835 and received two labors (354 acres) of land in Zavala’s Colony, which covered most of Southeast Texas.

He took part in the Siege of Bexar, and was one of the volunteers who agreed to stay at the Alamo in November of 1835. The next we hear of him is when he casts his votes for Bonham and Hays on February 1, 1836.

Then things get misty. He leaves the Alamo some time after February 1 when he cast his votes, and before February 23 when the Mexican army arrived and the thirteen day Siege of the Alamo began.
There’s some confusion because James Nash was one of the Immortal 32 from Gonzales who answered Travis’ call to arms and gave their lives on March 6.

We know from pay records that our man Jesse served in Captain Henry Karnes’ ranging company (sometimes called Karnes’ Spy Company. They were the army’s eyes and ears on the road to San Jacinto.

We next find him with the cavalry at the Battle of San Jacinto. When Deaf Smith was thrown from his horse, Jesse road to his rescue.

So, what became of him after the war?

It broke my heart to find this from July of 1837.

After that the trail goes cold. I can’t find another thing. I’ll keep looking and let you know if something turns up.

That’s one of my favorite things about history, even after nearly two centuries, there are still new discoveries to be made.