Saturday, July 28, 2018

This Week in Texas Methodist History July 29

Francis White, of Alabama Colony, Defended in the Press, He is not a Drunkard.   July, 1857

Previous blog posts have dealt with the Alabama Colony, one of the most important Methodist groups to immigrate to Texas during the Mexican period.  The names of some of those colonists, Menefee, Sutherland, Heard, and resounded down through the decades of Texas Methodist history.  Another member of the group who came from Tuscumbia, Alabama, in 1830 was Francis Menefee White, (1811-1897), soldier, lawyer, politician. 

Frank White married into another prominent Texas family with Methodist connections in February 1835 when he and Rosanna McNutt married.   1835 also saw the first engagements of the Texas Revolution, and White was part of them.  He was commissioned a lieutenant in October of that year and participated in the siege of Bexar and the Grass Fight.  He was elected a delegate to the Consultation, but could not attend.   He left the army to care for Rosanna who was pregnant and spent the Runaway Scrape with her in the Brazos bottoms. 

After the war he became Commissioner of Jackson County, Justice of the Peace, a delegate to the 1845 Convention, and a member of the legislature.   He was especially interested in the public lands and in 1857 became Land Commissioner.
The publicity of the political office subjected him to attacks, including the charge that he was a drunkard.    He was defended by the editor of the Galveston Civilian and Gazette,

Here’s the defense

We lived neighbor to Frank White twenty years ago, and have known him intimately ever since.  So far as him being a drunkard, he never did dissipate and, for ten or twelve years past, has been the grand Shangai of the temperance society in Jackson Co., He is not a member of any church but nearly all his family and relatives are members of the Methodist denomination and he is a regular attendant upon and supporter of that body.  The idea of Frank White being a drunkard would cause the good old ladies of Jackson Co. than is experienced by a chicken in a thunderstorm. ,


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