Saturday, June 11, 2016

This Week in Texas Methodist History  June 12

Homer Thrall Marries Louisa Dickson and Rev. William S. Hamilton, June 14, 1846

Homer Thrall is well known as the preeminent historian of Texas Methodism during the 19th century.  Less well known is his role as a general Texas historian.
Thrall found time to publish A History of Texas:  From the Earliest Settlements. . “ in 1876 and A Pictorial History of Texas in 1883.  

Although Thrall cited other historians such as Henderson Yoakum and Mary Austin Holley, he claims his friendship with Texian leaders as part of his credential for writing.  This is from the Preface
. . .It has been the good fortune of the writer to enjoy the personal friendship of nearly everyone who has filled the executive chair, from the organization of the government to the present time, including Governors Smith and Robinson, appointed by the Consultation in 1835; President Burnet of the government ad interim; all the presidents of the Republic prior to the annexation, and the Governors of the state since that period.    Yes, Homer Thrall was a Texas history enthusiast. 

On June 14, 1846, he officiated at a wedding involving one of the families of the Revolutionary period.  The bride was Louisa Dickson.  The groom was the Rev. William S. Hamilton. 
Dickson’s father, Abishai Mercer Dickson, joined the Alabama Red Rovers, one of the volunteer companies formed in the United States in support of the Texian cause.  He was martyred at the Goliad Massacre, March 27, 1836.  The Republic of Texas rewarded families of the deceased soldiers with land grants so Louisa’s mother, Ann, brought the young Louisa and her younger brother Richard Hogue Dickson, to Texas to claim the land that had been bought with blood.

They came to the Alabama Colony ( see post of Dec. 6, 2014 for more information on the Methodists of the Alabama Colony) where the Widow Dickson married John Sutherland, another Revolutionary hero.  

William S. Hamilton, the groom, was admitted O. T. at the Texas Annual Conference in December, 1843, and appointed to the Egypt Circuit as the junior preacher working with Homer Thrall. 
We are fortunate that several items of the Dickson family, including letters from the Rev. William Hamilton to Louisa and a collection of Louisa’s brother. Richard Hogue Dickson (1831-1931) have survived.  They are part of the DRT Library, formerly available for research at the Alamo.  The DRT collection is currently in transition to a new facility. 


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