Nicholas Trammell and the Fredonian Rebellion

The fall of 1826, 190 years ago, was not a good season for Nicholas Trammel and his family. They occupied a key crossing of the El Camino Real at the Trinity River (later known as Robbins Ferry) and their "ownership" of that tract was in question. Haden Edwards and his cohorts were creating havoc with their misuse of authority over his land grant and the "old settlers" were up in arms. Trammell's brother, Mote, was shot and killed under unknown circumstances by none other than Martin Parmer on October 13th. Then on October 20th, the local authorities in Nacogdoches had enough and chased Nicholas Trammell and his family off their land and ultimately back to Arkansas.

That incident was a flashpoint which led an assemblage of about 30 of Edwards supporters to ride into Nacogdoches on December 16, 1826 and raise the Fredonian flag. Though they issued a Fredonian Declaration of Independence and sought allies in the Cherokee, their effort quickly failed.

Nevertheless, the seeds of later revolution were sown, and Nicholas Trammell watched it over his shoulder as he retreated to his safe haven in Arkansas. 

For more about the Fredonian Rebellion, see this entry from the Texas State Historical Association, "Texas Day by Day." 


December 16th, 1826 -- Republic of Fredonia stillborn in Nacogdoches

On this day in 1826, Benjamin Edwards and about thirty men rode into Nacogdoches and declared the Republic of Fredonia, thus instituting an attempted minor revolution known as the Fredonian Rebellion. Benjamin was the brother of Haden Edwards, who had received a grant near Nacogdoches and had settled some fifty families there. Fearing that the brothers were about to lose their land, Benjamin took the desperate step of declaring independence from Mexico. In spite of an attempt to get the Cherokees to help, the revolt was easily crushed by Mexican authorities, and Edwards was forced to flee across the Sabine. In 1837 he ran for governor of Mississippi, but died during the campaign.

Related Articles