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Hon. Asa Brigham was born 31 August 1788 in Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States to Lewis Brigham (1756-1803) and Mary Rice (1767-1797) and died 3 August 1844 Washington County, Texas, United States of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Swift Babcock (1790-1833) 10 December 1810 in Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. He married Ann Johnson Mathers (c1790-) 8 July 1839 in Austin, Travis County, Texas.


Biography

Asa Brigham (31 August 1788 – 3 July 1844) was a Texas politician, businessman and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence (1836), which declared independence from Mexico. He served as Texas Treasurer and mayor of Austin.

Early Life

Asa Brigham was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts, on 31 August 1788 to Lewis Brigham and Mary Rice Brigham. He resided at Lunenburg, Massachusetts, from 1810 to 1816 and was employed as a tailor.

Business Losses in New England

He learned the tailor’s trade in Marlborough while attending District School. At the age of 21 he went to Framingham, MA and in 1812 went to Jeffrey, NH where he was a tavern keeper, but the tavern burned in 1816, leaving him in a bad financial way, and he went south to try homesteading at what is now Austin, Texas.

Migration to Texas

He immigrated in 1816 to Alexandria, Louisiana, after suffering a fire and loss of his business. By the time he arrived in Texas from Louisiana in April 1830, he was married and had two sons, Samuel and Benjamin, and a married daughter, Adeliza Lewis Brigham. In December of the same year he was elected as síndico procurador in the precinct of Victoria and a year later elected comisario for the same precinct. Also in 1831, Brigham was appointed to the Brazoria district Board of Health.

At the time, there was increasing discontent in Texas with the policies of the Mexican government, particularly the ban on slavery and the disarmament/expulsion of American immigrants. On June 20, 1832, Brigham joined a number of Texan politicians in signing a convention which indicated their willingness to engage in military actions to ensure the independence of Texas. On October 6 of the same year he was elected treasurer of the Brazoria district.


Brazoria Settlement

After 1832 he kept a ferry at Brazoria, and, in partnership with his son-in-law, ran a mercantile business. He became a stockholder in the San Saba Colonization Company and was a receiver of stock for the Brazos and Galveston Railroad. He bought land at Hall's Bayou in Brazoria County and in the counties of Galveston and Bastrop, where he grew sugar, cotton and corn in addition to raising cattle. At this time, Brigham owned a number of slaves, but later in his life he was to sign numerous petitions against slavery.

Texas Politics

By 1833, his wife, son-in-law and one of his daughters had died. In 1835 he was elected Brazoria alcalde and was one of the four representatives of Brazoria who attended the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in 1836, where he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Since Brigham had been influential in the founding of a Masonic Lodge in Brazoria, he served as a charter member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas in Houston on December 20, 1837. He was appointed auditor of the Republic of Texas by David G. Burnet and named Texas's first treasurer by President Sam Houston in December 1836. He was re-appointed as treasurer by Mirabeau B. Lamar in January 1839, but left the treasury in April the next year. He was charged with using state funds for private purposes during his time as treasurer but later cleared. He was re-appointed treasurer again in December 1841, and in 1842 became the fourth mayor of Austin.

He married his second wife, Ann Johnson Mather, on July 8, 1839. Brigham died July 3, 1844 in Washington, Texas, and was buried there. Texas built a monument to him there in 1936, and his remains were later moved to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park.

Marriage & Family

1st Marriage: Elizabeth Swift

Marriage banns for Brigham and Elizabeth Swift Babcock were published 9 Dec 1810 at Watertown, Massachusetts. By 1833, his wife, son-in-law and one of his daughters had died.

By the time he arrived in Texas from Louisiana in April 1830, he was married and had two sons, Samuel and Benjamin, and a married daughter, Adeliza Lewis Brigham.

  1. Adeliza Lewis Brigham (1811-)
  2. Samuel Brigham (1814-)
  3. Benjamin Brigham (1815-1836)


2nd Marriage: Ann Johnson

He married his second wife, Ann Johnson Mather, on July 8, 1839. Probably in or near Austin Tx where he was state treasurer.



Children



Offspring of Hon. Asa Brigham and Elizabeth Swift Babcock (1790-1833)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Adeliza Lewis Brigham (1811-)
Samuel Brigham (1814-)
Benjamin Brigham (1815-1836)










Siblings

References

 






Footnotes (including sources)

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