Part 3, Note 9
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Election Returns, Secretary of State Papers (RG 307), Texas State Archives,
Austin; Colorado County Deed Records, Book A, p. 23. On December 25, 1835, a man
named Tom Thatcher murdered another man said to be his cousin in Vicksburg,
Mississippi, then fled toward Louisiana. There his trail was apparently lost. It
is well within the realm of reason to suppose that he came to Texas, which would
then have afforded him some shelter from authorities in the United States, and
that, a little over a year later, he was elected district clerk of Colorado
County (see From Virginia to Texas, 1835 Diary of Col. Wm. F. Gray
(Houston: Gray, Dillaye & Co., 1909. Reprint. Houston: Fletcher Young
Publishing, 1965), pp. 57-58).
Curiously, Brotherton, who has appeared many times in the preceding chapters of this history, had connections to two governors of the State of Missouri. When he came to Texas in 1822, he carried with him a letter of introduction from the then governor of the state, Alexander McNair. After Brotherton died, in the first few months of 1839, his nephew, Joseph Washington McClurg, inherited his considerable Colorado County property. McClurg came to Texas and, on March 25, 1839, was appointed administrator of his uncle's estate by the Colorado County probate court. Later, he took a job as deputy county clerk, and, on December 2, 1840, secured a license to practice law. Apparently, he left the state shortly thereafter. The May 3, 1841 sale of most of his holdings in Columbus, some of which he had purchased only a month earlier, probably signals his departure from Texas. He continued to own two lots in Columbus and more than 500 acres on the river west of town until 1851. That year, his appointed agent, William B. Perry, sold one of the town lots and the farm. He sold the other lot the following year. By then, McClurg had been to California, where he unsuccessfully tried his hand at mining gold. He returned to Missouri, where, in Camden County, he and two partners opened a vastly successful store. His growing wealth and the Civil War led him into politics. Beginning in 1862, he served three terms in congress, and, in 1869 and 1870, he served as governor of Missouri (see Eugene Campbell Barker, ed., The Austin Papers, 3 vols. (vols. 1 and 2, Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1924, and vol. 3, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1926), vol. 1, pp. 493-494; Colorado County Probate Records, File No. 36: Robert Brotherton; Minute Book A, p. 15; Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book B, p. 300, Colorado County Commissioners Court Minutes, Book A, pp. 15, 18; Colorado County District Court Records, Minute Book A & B, p. 86; Colorado County Deed Records, Book C, p. 79, Book H, pp. 12, 13, 14, 68, 225; Floyd C. Shoemaker, ed., Missouri Day by Day (State Historical Society of Missouri, 1942), pp. 142-143. This Robert Brotherton who died in early 1839 is different from the Robert Brotherton who died on July 16, 1839. That Robert Brotherton, who came to Texas about the same time as the Colorado County Robert Brotherton died, was a traveling minister (see [Houston] Morning Star, August 9, 1839)).