Joseph Lawrence was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina on June 15, 1800. His parents were Adam Jr. and Lois (King) Lawrence. At age 15 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and in 1835 moved to Texas as an unmarried farm hand. Early in March 1836 he joined a company of volunteers to aid the defenders of the Alamo. Unfortunately they arrived too late and went to Gonzales where they joined up with General Houston and the Texian army. At the Battle of San Jacinto he was a member of the 2nd Regiment, Texas Volunteers under Captain Henry Wax Karnes. He was in the group that chased the fleeing Mexican General Santa Anna towards Vince's Bridge. The next day Joseph spotted a Mexican with the saddle and blanket belonging to William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo that had been killed on March 6th. Joseph retrieved the items were sold in the general auction on the battlefield.
After being discharged from the army, Joseph returned to Washington
(now called Washington-on-the-Brazos). He married Mary Eleanor
McGary in 1839 and fathered 12 children. He received 640 acres
for his service at the Battle of San Jacinto. By 1848 he established
a plantation in Lavaca County. He was a charter member of the
Hallettsville Masonic Lodge in 1850. He died in 1897 and is buried
at the Andrews Chapel Cemetery. In 1962 the State of Texas dedicated
a historical marker in his honor.
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