Old Sorrel - Texas Governor Series  LbNA # 55901

OwnerBoots Tex    
Placed DateOct 1 2010
CountyMatagorda
LocationMatagorda, TX
Boxes1
Found ByBlue Butterfly
Last UpdateJul 21 2013

Clues

Fate has obscured the history of Albert Clinton Horton. Fire consumed the public records of his early years. No known collection of personal papers remains. No one thought to name a county for the company commander who had survived Goliad. One hundred years passed before Horton was publicly recognized in the Texas State House as a former governor. Yet, A. C. Horton was unquestionably a member of the elite that directed the fortunes of antebellum Texas. His place in Texas history is secure. His hair was chestnut with flecks of gray, prompting the nickname “Old Sorrel”. Before moving to Texas he served as a representative in the Alabama state legislature. He arrived in Texas in April 1835 and became an early and active supporter of the Texas Revolution. He traveled to Alabama to recruit volunteers; the company became known as the Mobile Grays and were outfitted at Horton's own expense. He also organized a company of cavalry volunteers in Matagorda in February 1836. Colonel Horton's company joined Col. James Walker Fannin's command in South Texas in early March. On March 19 Horton advanced with a small detachment on a scouting patrol of Coleto Creek. Turning to find the remainder of Fannin's army surrounded by hostile forces, Horton and his patrol fled, an action that saved his life but haunted his later political career. His military service ended on May 1, 1836. From 1836 to 1838 Horton, a Democrat, served as senator in the First and Second congresses of the Republic, representing Matagorda, Jackson, and Victoria counties. He campaigned unsuccessfully for the vice presidency in 1838. In January 1839 he was chosen by the Republic of Texas Congress to chair the committee to select the site of the new capital. On March 7, 1842, Horton was recruited to serve as captain under Colonel Owen, to defend against Rafael Vasquez, and his force of 500–700 Mexican soldiers, who had seized San Antonio. Horton served as a delegate to the Convention of 1845 and subsequently consented to run for lieutenant governor. Voting returns initially awarded the victory to his opponent, Nicholas Henry Darnell, but late returns from several South Texas counties were sufficient to alter the results. On May 1, 1846, Horton was declared the first lieutenant governor of the new state. When Governor James Pinkney Henderson left to assume command of Texas volunteers assembled to deal with troubles with Mexico, Horton served as governor pro tem from May 19, 1846 until Henderson returned on November 13, 1846. He was never elected to another public office, and he emerged from retirement only to attend the Democratic national convention in Charleston in 1860 and the state Secession Convention in 1861. Horton moved to his plantation on Caney Creek in what is now Wharton County, near Wharton, by 1843 and maintained a large home on a plantation in Matagorda County, near the town of Matagorda. On the eve of the Civil War he owned more than 150 slaves and was one of the wealthiest men in the state. During the war, however, he lost most of his money. He was a lifelong Baptist and an original member of the board of trustees that established Baylor University. Of the six children born during his marriage, only a son and a daughter survived him. Horton died on September 1, 1865, at Matagorda, where he is buried. His great great grandson, Albert Horton Foote, became an Academy Award winning screenwriter and a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright. See my letterbox titled “The Trip to Bountiful”.

Directions: Matagorda Cemetery is in Matagorda, Texas at the intersection of State Hwy. 60 and Austin St. E. Turn south at that intersection onto Matagorda Cemetery Road, drive to the southwest corner and park.

To the box: You will notice two Historical Markers just inside the pipe fence, which you can duck under. Read both. Governor Horton’s grave is closest to the fence. Go back to your car and turn left at the corner. Drive into the cemetery between the two brick columns and stop at the first large evergreen bush on your right. Walk around to the back of the tree and find the Gottschalk grave marker. The letterbox is in the center of that tree about a foot above the ground. Please replace it where you found it. I hate these kind of trees, but in this cemetery there are not many hiding places, so I apologize in advance.