James Butler Bonham was a close friend of William Travis
and both were natives of the Saluda, S.C., area. When Travis
went to the Texas territory and became commander of troops
at the Alamo, he had Bonham as his second in command. When
trouble began brewing in Texas, Travis had written Bonham
and urged him to come.
At the time, Bonham was a resident of Pendleton and had his
law office in town. He went, post haste.
Jefferson Rusk was a native of Pendleton; his father had been
the builder of the Old Stone Church in 1797. Rusk became a
lawyer and, with John C. Calhoun and others, invested in gold
mines in Dahlonega, Ga. Trusting his two managers, he visited
the mines one day and discovered they had skipped town with
the gold. Rusk took after them, finally finding them in Texas
, where they had gambled all the money away. By this time,
Rusk was almost penniless himself, and he stayed there where
he later became a friend of Sam Houston. He assisted Houston
throughout the campaigns with the Mexicans and became one
of two Pendleton natives who became a signer of the declaration
of independence for the Republic of Texas.
Charlestonian came to Pendleton in 1800, liked the area, and
stayed here, buying up land everywhere he could while also
becoming a major farmer and cattleman. His son, born in Pendleton,
did not want to be a farmer or cattleman, so he went to Yale
and obtained a law degree. Coming back to Pendleton, he did
not like the politics of the time so he struck out for Texas.
He settled in San Antonio, where his son became the first
white child born there. He set up his law practice while getting
into politics, and as was the custom in those days, people
would pay him with produce and sometimes a cow or a calf.
Still not wanting to be a cattleman, he let the animals roam
unbranded. People who saw an unbranded cow knew whose it was,
saying "that is a Maverick cow", meaning Samuel
Augustus Maverick of Pendleton, S.C.
Not only did the name "maverick" wind up in the
dictionary, but his signature was one on the Republic's declaration
Hamilton of Pendleton was a governor of South Carolina. When
his term ended, he left for Texas and became the first ambassador
to Europe for the new republic.
Bee moved his family to Pendleton from Goose Creek near Charleston.
While the family remained, Bee was always running off to the
new Texas republic to assist the new government every way
he could--sometimes to the distress of those in the government.
He did become the first Secretary of War and later Secretary
of the Treasury, and also held other offices in the early
days. A son, Hamilton P. Bee, had gone to Texas with him on
one trip, stayed, and became involved in the early legislature,
and became a brigadier general during the Civil War, limiting
his services to western campaigns.
Calhoun lived at Fort Hill, now the center of the Clemson
University campus, but in his day the mailing address was
Pendleton, as it was on the outskirts of the town. He was
Secretary of War when the United States went to war with Mexico,
and he was vice president of the United States when he helped
annex the Republic of Texas into the Union.
are counties in Texas named for Bee, Calhoun, Hamilton, Maverick
and Rusk, and there is an Anderson County named by people
who moved from Anderson County, S.C., of which Pendleton is
about the Texas county of Stonewall? How does it figure into
the Pendleton connection? Barnard Bee had another son, Barnard
Elliott Bee, who went to West Point from Pendleton and distinguished
himself in the U.S. Army, resigning when the Civil War began.
He became a brigadier general in the Confederate Army and
at the first battle of Manassas in an attempt to rally the
troops he saw Thomas Jonathan Jackson on horseback in the
distance. Bee yelled out "There stands Jackson like a
stone wall! Rally around the Virginians!". Bee was mortally
wounded moments later, but the name Stonewall is still with