SMITH, ERASTUS [DEAF] (1787–1837)

SMITH, ERASTUS [DEAF] (1787–1837) - SMITH...

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SMITH, ERASTUS [DEAF] (1787–1837). Erastus (Deaf) Smith was born in Duchess County, New York, on April 19, 1787, the son of Chilaib and Mary Smith. At the age of eleven or twelve he moved with his parents to Natchez, Mississippi Territory. A childhood disease caused him to lose his hearing. Smith first visited Texas in 1817 but did not remain long. He returned in 1821 and settled near San Antonio, where he married a Mexican widow, Guadalupe Ruiz Durán, in 1822. The couple had four children, three of whom, all daughters, survived to adulthood. In the fall of 1825 Smith and five other men settled on the claim of James Kerr , the surveyor for the new colony of Green DeWitt , about one mile west of the site of present Gonzales. This tiny community was the first in DeWitt's colony and one of the first American settlements west of the Colorado River. Although his loyalties were apparently divided at the outbreak of the Texas Revolution , when a Mexican sentry refused to allow him to enter San Antonio to visit his family, Smith joined Stephen F. Austin 's army, which was then besieging the town. On October 15 Charles Bellinger Stewart wrote to Austin that Smith had learned that the troops of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos
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