Matthew Caldwell in Houston City (from The Borderland)

Mathew (Old Paint) Caldwell was born in Kentucky about 1798 and is said to have acquired the nickname because of white spots in his hair, beard and on his breast like a paint horse. According to Kemp in The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Caldwell is thought, like the Burkett, Zumwalts, Kents and DeWitts, to have come from Missouri. Baker in Texas Scrapbook says he came from Tennessee. Other records indicate that Caldwell and his family were part of the party who came to the colony as part of the Tennessee-Texas Land Company. Land records indicate that Caldwell arrived in the DeWitt Colony with a family of 5 on 20 Feb 1831. He received title to a sitio of land on 22 Jun 1831 southwest of current Hallettsville in Lavaca County near the Zumwalt Settlement. In Gonzales Caldwell acquired the original James Hinds residence on Water St. across from the Guadalupe River south of the Dickinson and Kimble Hat Factory. Dixon in The Men Who Made Texas states that Caldwell was born 8 Mar 1798, moved with his parents to Missouri in 1818, became a skilled Indian fighter in Missouri and was involved in trading with local Indians in the territory. Dixon further states he came to Texas from Missouri via Natchitoches by horseback in 1833 and first settled in current Sabine County where he was elected along with Stephen Blount and Martin Parmer to represent the area at the Independence Convention of 1836. Election returns in Gonzales County show Caldwell and John Fisher were elected delegates from that municipality for the convention. On 2 Mar, Caldwell along with William C. Crawford and William D. Lacy were appointed by the President to procure couriers to send expresses to the army “Believing it of vital importance that this convention know correctly the true situation of our enemy on the frontier, and also the condition of our army, they would recommend the convention to accept the services of Major Caldwell, who purposes to start this day to the frontier.”

Leave a Reply +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.