In June 1835 Stafford killed a man named Moore and fled to the United States. On April 15, 1836, while the family was away, a detachment of Mexican soldiers led by Antonio López de Santa Anna halted at Stafford's plantation. Upon resuming their march, the soldiers burned the Stafford residence and the gin houses. In October 1836 Stafford appointed his wife his agent and attorney in Texas and gave much of his Texas property to his four grown children. In December 1838 fifty citizens of Fort Bend County petitioned Congress to permit Stafford to return home and be exempt from judicial prosecution on the grounds that Moore, the man he had killed, had been "destitute of character" and was "much addicted to brawls." Stafford, the petitioners argued, was ordinarily a peace-loving and enterprising citizen and had killed Moore only after much provocation. On December 27, 1838, the House recommended executive clemency. Stafford returned to live at Stafford's Point until his death, sometime before September 25, 1840, when Clement Dyer was appointed administrator of his estate.
NoteUnmarked. Originally this small piece of land was part of William Joseph Stafford's plantation grounds, which was known to have had a small family cemetery. The specific location of this cemetery has been lost, but in the 1960s local historians deemed this spot as the most likely area for the graveyard and several historical markers have been erected here denoting it so. The GPS coordinates given below are taken from the Texas-shaped memorial shown in the photo.
29° 36.349, -095° 35.158
William J. Stafford Cemetery