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American History
Judge Ochiltree
contributed by Lu Hickey

Lord Ochiltree--Island of Jura, Scotland--1739

David Ochiltree came to America in 1739.  Duncan Ochiltree came to America in 1739, no further record...As I read this record, I surmise that David and Duncan are Lord Ochiltree's two sons. There is no mention of Lord Ochiltree arriving in America.

David married and had four sons, Robert who settled in New Jersey.  Malcolm Hugh no further record.  Wallace no further record although some thought he settled in Virginia.  David married and lived in North Carolina.  He had one son, Hugh who married Nancy McCraney.

Hugh Ochiltree married Nancy McCraney and they had four sons.

David lived in North Carolina.

Murdock lived in North Carolina. Military records reflect Murdock serving in the War of 1812 in Cumberland County North Carolina.

Hugh unknown.

Archibald unknown.

David Ochiltree lived in Cumberland County North Carolina and could have been involved in the Highlander movement of the Revolutionary War.  We read he has a son, William Beck Ochiltree that was born in 1811 in North Carolina and lived there till 1840 at which time he moved to Texas. William Beck had a son, Thomas Peck born in Texas.

Archibald is shown again married and having two sons, Alexander and Hugh, being in Orange, Texas.

William Beck, Col. and  congressman from Texas, moved from North Carolina in 1839.  He settled in Nacogdoches where he became an attorney and judge.  He was a prominent office holder in the Republic of Texas or Washington on the Brazos. He was instrumental in the state constitutional convention of 1845, and a member of the Texas legislature.  He moved to Marshall, Harrison County Texas in 1859.

During his early career, Ochiltree was a member of the Whig party.  In 1859, however, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a representative of the ultra-Southern wing of the Democratic party against John Reagan, whose opposition to reopening the slave trade had lost that group's support.  In November, 1860, Ochiltree was active in local meetings that demanded that state leaders not submit to the election of Abraham Lincoln, arguing that his election threatened slavery and a loss to Southern equality in the Union.  He ran as a secessionist for the state convention of February 1861 and was elected.  As one of the best-known members of the convention, Ochiltree was chosen as a delegate to the Provisional Congress.  Ochiltree was an active member, supporting measures that would be to the advantage of his state.  Including the construction of fortifications at Sabine Pass, limiting the power of the central government to remove local militia forces from their state, and settling affairs with Indians along the Texas frontier.  He also backed legislature designed to help local economy such as tax exemptions for railroads, the construction of new railroads from his territory back east, establishing ports of entry, suppression of import duties, and attempts to limit regulation restricting planters from freely marketing their cotton crops.  He announced at an early date that he had no intention of serving in the regular Congress and gave up his seat when the Provisional Congress adjourned in February 1862.

Returning to Texas, he organized the 18th Texas Infantry and was elected its colonel..Ochiltree was with the unit until 1863 when he resigned his position because of ill health and returned to Jefferson where he practiced law.

Judge Ochiltree ran for Congress on a conservative ticket in 1866 but was defeated..He died at Marshall Texas December 27, 1867.

Judge Ochiltree had seen Texas, as an independent sovereign nation, as a prosperous State of the Union, as a gallant member of the confederacy and as a conquered province, by military rule.  It is a pity that he did not live to see her rise like Thebes, from smoldering ashes clad in the robes of a new prosperity.  During a period of thirty years, his name was closely connected with the history of Texas and she will preserve it as of one of her truest and most useful citizens.  In social life, he was generous and kind, courteous and affable in his demeanor to all classes and attracted the regard of all who approached him.  He was greatly beloved by his family, esteemed by his neighbors and universally revered by his fellow constituents.

Judge William Beck Ochiltree, a true Scot, should always be remembered by the Bench and Bar and never forgotten in American History.



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