June 18, 2010

George Moffit Patrick

George Moffitt Patrick, physician and soldier, was born on September 30, 1801, in Albemarle County, Virginia. In 1803 he accompanied his parents to Fayette County, Kentucky, where he received his primary education. He subsequently earned a medical degree at Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky. He immigrated to the Harrisburg district of the Austin colony, Texas, in January 1828 and established himself as a farmer. In 1831 he was elected second alcalde of Anahuac and in 1832 was chosen regidor. Patrick was among the volunteers under the command of Capt. William B. Travis who captured the Mexican fort and garrison at Anahuac in July 1835.

He represented Liberty Municipality in the Consultation of 1835 and on November 13 signed the articles that established the provisional government of Texas. He withdrew from the Consultation due to illness in his family but served as a liaison officer between the provisional government at San Felipe and the army then besieging Bexar. On November 30, with William A. Pettus, he reported "much dissatisfaction and inquietude pervading the army" but assured the council that "if their wants are supplied-no fears can be entertained of their abandoning the siege of Bexar." On March 25, 1836, the council appointed Patrick to organize the Harrisburg County militia and instructed him to order two-thirds of the troops immediately into active duty. "At great personal expense and labor" he mustered twenty recruits into what became Capt. Moseley Baker's company of Gen. Sam Houston's army. During the Runaway Scrape Patrick's farm, Deepwater, was for a time the seat of the Texas government, and as the Mexican army approached, he accompanied President David G. Burnet and his cabinet first to Morgan's Point and then to Galveston where, for a time, he served as captain of the schooner Flash. Following the battle of San Jacinto, Houston moved his army from the battlefield onto Patrick's farm on Buffalo Bayou because, according to Robert Hancock Hunter, "the de[a]d Mexicans began [to] smell." A Texas Centennial marker was erected in 1936 at the site of the former home of Patrick in the present community of Deer Park.

In 1837 Patrick was named surveyor of Harris County. In 1840 he owned 6,166 acres in Grimes County, fifteen town lots in the Jefferson County speculative community of Sabine, and 350 acres in Montgomery County. On February 13 of that year he married Martha Scaife, a native of Maryport, England. The couple had five children. Martha died at Anderson on September 26, 1855. The Patricks' youngest child and only son, George Moffitt, Jr., was killed on June 1, 1865, at age eleven by the accidental explosion of a gunpowder magazine. Before 1860 Patrick married a woman named Augusta. Patrick had moved to Grimes County, where he owned $9,200 in real estate. By 1860 he owned $19,367 worth of real estate and $8,620 in personal property and was serving as the county's chief justice. He died at his home at Anderson on June 28, 1889. His remains and those of his wife were later removed to the State Cemetery in Austin. Patrick was an active Mason and served two terms as most worshipful grand master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. He was the first Texas Mason to serve as presiding officer of all four bodies of the York Rite of Freemasonry. He was a member of the Church of Christ and of the Sons of Temperance. Although a practicing physician, he is said never to have charged a fee for his medical services.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.919, -097° 43.649

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

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