Noah Smithwick banished from Texas as "a bad citizen"

December 7th, 1830

On this day in 1830, Noah Smithwick was banished from Texas as "a bad citizen." Smithwick, born in North Carolina in 1808, came to Texas in 1827 and eventually settled in San Felipe. When San Felipe authorities ordered a friend of his who was accused of murder chained with leg irons, Smithwick, a blacksmith by trade, provided a file and a gun so he might escape. As a result, the authorities tried Smithwick, declared him "a bad citizen," and banished him from Austin's colony and Texas, providing an escort as far as the Sabine River. Smithwick returned to Matagorda in the fall of 1835 and reached Gonzales the day after the battle of Gonzales. He served in the Texas Revolution, married, and after an unsuccessful stint as a Williamson County cattle rancher established a mill near Marble Falls. With the coming of the Civil War, the Unionist Smithwick received threats and decided to abandon Texas. He sold his property and, with a number of friends, left Burnet County for southern California in 1861. In California, Smithwick gradually lost his eyesight but dictated his memoirs to his daughter. After his death in 1899, she had the manuscript published by Karl H. P. N. Gammel as The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days.

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Noah Smithwick banished from Texas as "a bad citizen"

December 7th, 1830

On this day in 1830, Noah Smithwick was banished from Texas as "a bad citizen." Smithwick, born in North Carolina in 1808, came to Texas in 1827 and eventually settled in San Felipe. When San Felipe authorities ordered a friend of his who was accused of murder chained with leg irons, Smithwick, a blacksmith by trade, provided a file and a gun so he might escape. As a result, the authorities tried Smithwick, declared him "a bad citizen," and banished him from Austin's colony and Texas, providing an escort as far as the Sabine River. Smithwick returned to Matagorda in the fall of 1835 and reached Gonzales the day after the battle of Gonzales. He served in the Texas Revolution, married, and after an unsuccessful stint as a Williamson County cattle rancher established a mill near Marble Falls. With the coming of the Civil War, the Unionist Smithwick received threats and decided to abandon Texas. He sold his property and, with a number of friends, left Burnet County for southern California in 1861. In California, Smithwick gradually lost his eyesight but dictated his memoirs to his daughter. After his death in 1899, she had the manuscript published by Karl H. P. N. Gammel as The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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Share the Texas Day by Day

Get a Piece of Texas History in Your Inbox

With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
Get your Texas Day by Day delivered straight to your inbox: