William Baxter Pendleton Gaines (1808 -1891)

“GAINES, WILLIAM BAXTER PENDLETON (1808 -1891).  William Baxter Pendleton Gaines, planter and legislator, was born on September 17, 1808, in Abbeville, South Carolina, son of Benjamin P. and Elizabeth (Ware) Gaines.  He taught school in Marengo County, Alabama, until 1832 when he became a merchant in Demopolis, Alabama.  He was approached to enter into a business arrangement in Texas, and on August 6, 1835, he established himself in Nacogdoches.  By October 1835 Gaines was a wealthy man.

He contributed money to the Texas Revolution and served as an officer in the volunteer force from Nacogdoches under Gen. Thomas Rusk that marched to reinforce the siege of Bexar.  Gaines acted as a commissary and quartermaster.  After the army reorganized, Gaines returned to Nacogdoches to serve as deputy paymaster general of the Texas Army.

Gaines left the army to pursue other opportunities and lived in Galveston while studying law under John B. Jones.  He was admitted to the bar in 1840.  In 1842 he moved to Brazoria County with a large number of slaves and began a cotton and sugar plantation.  By 1860 Gaines had 47 slaves working on his plantation.

In 1846 he joined the United States Army to fight the Mexican War.  He fought with distinction during the battle of Monterey and was awarded a sword for gallantry.

In 1850 Gaines married Eugenia Gratia Harris of Charlotte, North Carolina.  They had five children.  Gaines and his family were devoted Presbyterians.

Gaines, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1855 for Brazoria and Fort Bend counties.  When Texas chose to secede from the United States, Gaines strongly supported the decision, and when the Civil War broke out, he left his plantation to join the Confederate army.  Despite his age he was elected colonel of the second Regiment of the Sixteenth State Militia Brigade August 31, 1861.

After the war Gaines continued to run his plantation until 1868 when he leased his land and began to buy and sell cotton to Calvert and Galveston.  In September 1872 Gaines retired from business and moved to Austin to live with his son, William P. Gaines.  William B.P. Gaines died in 1891.”

Source:  The Handbook of Texas Online  http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/fgshk.html

Article written by Stephanie P. Niemeyer.


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William Baxter Pendleton Gaines (1808 -1891) — 1 Comment

  1. Looking for relatives that might have photographs of the Gaines plantation in Brazoria County, Texas

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