North Carolina was the birthplace of James
Britton Bailey 1n 1779. he was a descendant of Kenneth Bailey whose
ancestor was Robert Bruce, once King of Scotland. Bailey sailed from New
Orleans to Anahuac, Texas with his second wife, Nancy and six children.
They settled on the Brazos River, then called the Brazos District, in
1821. Three years later Stephen F. Austin legalized Bailey's claim by
admitting him as one of the Old Three Hundred Grantees.
Brit Bailey was a hardy rancher and farmer.
He became a friend to the Indian and on many occasions was peacemaker for
James Bailey, Brit's youngest son, drowned
in a river as a child. Phelps Bailey, second son, was killed by unfriendly
Indians. Smith Bailey, number three son, was killed in the Battle of the
Alamo. Betsey, the oldest daughter, was captured by Indians but escaped,
unharmed, in the darkness of the night. The youngest daughter, Mary "Pollie"
married Joseph Henry Polley, another Old Three Hundred grantee.
Stephen F. Austen arranged a meeting of the
settlers on the Brazos River, in Bailey's home. Here they took an oath of
fidelity to the Constitution of 1824. It was at this meeting a group of
militia was organized. At Austin's request, Bailey was appointed
lieutenant. In 1829 the Governor Jose Maria Viesca bestowed on Bailey a
commission as captain. In 1832 Bailey took part in the Battle of Velasco.
Bailey also served in the War of 1812.
Britton Bailey was a straight shooting
pioneer who endured many hardships. In stature he was a large man, feared
and respected by the Indians and his neighbors. In December 1832 according
to his request, he was buried standing up, facing west, with his rifle at
his side, in the family graveyard on Bailey's Prarie.
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