Asa Brigham

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Asa Brigham
Born (1788-08-31)31 August 1788
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Died 3 July 1844(1844-07-03) (aged 55)
Washington, Texas
Residence Lunenburg, Massachusetts
Alexandria, Louisiana
Victoria, Texas
Austin, Texas
Nationality American
Citizenship American
Occupation tailor, merchant, Texas politician
Years active 1810–1844
Known for signer of Texas Declaration of Independence; Treasurer of Texas
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Swift Babcock (m. 1810)
Ann Johnson Mather (m. 1839).
Children John Brigham
Benjamin Brigham
Parents Lewis Brigham and Mary (Rice) Brigham

Asa Brigham (31 August 1788 – 3 July 1844) was a Texas politician, businessman and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence (1836), which declared independence from Mexico. He served as Texas Treasurer and mayor of Austin.

Biography[edit]

Asa Brigham was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts, on 31 August 1788 to Lewis Brigham and Mary Rice Brigham. Marriage banns for Brigham and Elizabeth Swift Babcock were published 9 Dec 1810 at Watertown, Massachusetts. He resided at Lunenburg, Massachusetts, from 1810 to 1816 and was employed as a tailor.[1] He immigrated in 1816 to Alexandria, Louisiana, after suffering a fire and loss of his business.[2] By the time he arrived in Texas from Louisiana in April 1830, he was married and had two sons, Samuel and Benjamin, and a married daughter, Adeliza Lewis Brigham. In December of the same year he was elected as síndico procurador in the precinct of Victoria and a year later elected comisario for the same precinct. Also in 1831, Brigham was appointed to the Brazoria district Board of Health.

At the time, there was increasing discontent in Texas with the policies of the Mexican government, particularly the ban on slavery and the disarmament/expulsion of American immigrants. On June 20, 1832, Brigham joined a number of Texan politicians in signing a convention which indicated their willingness to engage in military actions to ensure the independence of Texas. On October 6 of the same year he was elected treasurer of the Brazoria district.

After 1832 he kept a ferry at Brazoria, and, in partnership with his son-in-law, ran a mercantile business. He became a stockholder in the San Saba Colonization Company and was a receiver of stock for the Brazos and Galveston Railroad. He bought land at Hall's Bayou in Brazoria County and in the counties of Galveston and Bastrop, where he grew sugar, cotton and corn in addition to raising cattle. At this time, Brigham owned a number of slaves, but later in his life he was to sign numerous petitions against slavery.

By 1833, his wife, son-in-law and one of his daughters had died. In 1835 he was elected Brazoria alcalde and was one of the four representatives of Brazoria who attended the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in 1836, where he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Since Brigham had been influential in the founding of a Masonic Lodge in Brazoria, he served as a charter member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas in Houston on December 20, 1837. He was appointed auditor of the Republic of Texas by David G. Burnet and named Texas's first treasurer by President Sam Houston in December 1836. He was re-appointed as treasurer by Mirabeau B. Lamar in January 1839, but left the treasury in April the next year. He was charged with using state funds for private purposes during his time as treasurer but later cleared. He was re-appointed treasurer again in December 1841, and in 1842 became the fourth mayor of Austin.

He married his second wife, Ann Johnson Mather, on July 8, 1839. Brigham died July 3, 1844 in Washington, Texas, and was buried there. Texas built a monument to him there in 1936, and his remains were later moved to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park.[3]

Genealogy[edit]

Asa Brigham was a descendant of Edmund Rice, an English immigrant to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows:[4][5]

  • Asa Brigham, son of
    • Mary Rice (8 Apr 1767 – 15 Jun 1797), daughter of
    • Benjamin Rice (4 Jan 1740 – 23 Apr 1811), son of
    • Deacon Andrew Rice (18 Jan 1703 – 15 Jan 1775), son of
    • Joshua Rice (19 Apr 1661 – 23 Jun 1734), son of
    • Samuel Rice (12 Nov 1634 – 25 Feb 1684), son of

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles Hudson, History of the town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts (Boston, MA: T R Marvin & Son, 1862), p. 342.
  2. ^ Josiah H Temple, A Genealogical Register of Framingham Families including All Who Took Up Residence in Town Before AD 1860 (Framingham, MA: The Town of Framingham, 1887), p. 484.
  3. ^ "Asa Brigham Biography". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 26 Jul 2009. 
  4. ^ Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2007. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations.
  5. ^ "Edmund Rice Six-Generation Database Online". Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Inc. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 

External links[edit]