Ewen Cameron (soldier)

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Captain Ewen Cameron (1811- April 26, 1843) was an officer in the Republic of Texas army, and participated in the ill-fated Mier Expedition.

Cameron, who had migrated from Scotland to Kentucky, had come to Texas in 1836, arriving just after the Texas Revolution.

On December 26, 1842, The Mier Expedition was a failed raid on the Mexican border settlement of Ciudad Mier. Cameron and the Texans were taken prisoner and sent to a prison in Mexico. At Perote Prison, a jar containing 159 white beans and 17 black beans was presented to the Texan prisoners. Each man drew a bean from the jar. The 17 Texan prisoners who drew black beans were executed by Mexican firing squad. This is known as the Black Bean Episode.

Cameron had selected a white bean, which should have saved his life. Yet he had earned the hostility of Mexican Colonel Antonio Canales Rosillo for his role in his embarrassing defeat in the battle and escape attempts at the prison. Colonel Canales urged the Mexican dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna to have Cameron executed. On April 25, 1843 the prisoners who drew white beans were moved to Mexico City. As they neared the city, a courier arrived with orders from Santa Anna for Cameron's execution.

Cameron was shot by a Mexican firing squad at Perote Prison the next morning, April 26, 1843. Cameron refused to confess to a priest, and declined the offer of a blindfold, declaring, "For the liberty of Texas, Ewen Cameron can look death in the face." He then opened his hunting shirt and yelled at his executioners, "Fuego!" (Fire!)

Cameron and the other men executed in the Black Bean Episode were buried in Mexico. Their remains were later exhumed and re-interred atop Monument Hill, overlooking the town of La Grange in Fayette County, Texas. Their tomb is now part of the Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites. Cameron County, Texas and Cameron, Texas are named for Ewen Cameron.

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