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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Randolph Foster & Richmond Chapter of the SRT

I want to thank Tom Green, KSJ Sons of the Republic of Texas, for sending me the article below on Randolph Foster, one of the Old 300. The Foster Family and Old Foster Community Museum hosted a dedication of an Old 300 grave medallion on Randolph Foster headstone in the Fulshear Cemetery. Click on the image below to view photos of the ceremony. (The relevant photos are #2 to #11 in the photo album.)
Randolph Foster Grave Medallion ceremony.

Tom participated in the ceremony and became interested in Randolph's story, so he did some research and wrote this short, but informative article.

History of Randolph Foster


Randolph Foster was born March 12, 1790, in the Natchez District of Spanish West Florida, later known as part of the state of Mississippi. He served with his long time Texas neighbor, Capt. Randal Jones in the War of 1812, probably in the Canoe Fight on the Alabama River. In 1821, when he heard about Moses Austin’s plan to bring 300 American families to Texas, and Randolph Foster came to Texas with his parents, John Foster and Rachel Gibson, and their other children, including his brother Isaac Foster, making the Foster family one first of the Old 300. On July 16, 1824, Randolph Foster received a 4,400 acres land grant in what is now Fort Bend and Waller counties. Randolph Foster had married Lucy Ruffin Hunter, born on 23 June 1804, in Wilkinson County, Mississippi before 1821, and before the family came to Texas. Randolph Foster was a great hunter and stories exist about his hunts with Stephen F. Austin, and during the Texas Revolution, Uncle Ran, as he was known, provided meat and other supplies to the Texian Army.

On October 11, 1835, Randolph Foster was sent by Richardson R. Royall to William Stafford’s plantation, for whom the present town of Stafford was named, to retrieve 800 pounds of lead for the use of the Texian Army. In April of 1836, when Capt. Wiley Martin’s company was sent to the Fort Bend area to prevent General Santa Anna’s Mexican Army from crossing the flooded Brazos River, Randolph Foster joined Capt. Wiley Martin’s company, which consisted of only 46 men. There were at least 1,500 in Mexican Army, and the task of preventing the crossing of the Brazos River was impossible, but the delay was enough time to allow the newly formed Republic of Texas government to leave Jane Harris’ home in Harrisburg before General Santa Anna arrived. The delay in crossing the Brazos River resulted in General Santa taking 750 of his Calvary to Thompson’s Ferry to cross the Brazos River. The leader of Mexican Calvary was Col. Juan N. Almonte, who was one of the few Mexicans who spoke English, so the other Mexican Calvary hid in the trees, while Col. Almonte impersonated a Texan and convinced the Thompson ferry operator to bring the ferry over the Brazos River, where the Mexican Calvary came out of the trees, commandeered the Thompson Ferry and crossed the Brazos River flanking Capt. Wiley Martin’s Company and forcing them to retreat. This was the event that separated General Santa Anna from the bulk of his army, and when General Sam Houston learned of the separation he turn his army south at New Kentucky and head for Harrisburg, and later to San Jacinto. While the efforts of Capt. Wiley Martin’s men at the Brazos River was considered a failure at the time, this event changed history and was the main reason the Battle of San Jacinto occurred at the battle site.

Randolph Foster helped guide and protect the women and children during the Run-Away-Scrape. He continued to live in the Fulshear area until August 18, 1878, when the 89 year old pioneer died at the home of his daughter, Mary L. Foster, who had married Thomas Blakely, the Sheriff of Fort Bend County. A local school has been named the John and Randolph Foster High School, and on May 18, 2017, the family, who are almost all members of the Old 300 Society, dedicated an Old 300 marker for his grave.

Tom Green, KSJ
2718 North Larkspur Circle
Pearland, Texas 77584
(713) 340-1965

I wanted to mention the Sons of the Republic of Texas are reviving their chapter in Richmond. It has been dormant for a few years, and they want to restart it. If you can trace your ancestry back to the Republic of Texas, you can become a member. 

They are hosting an initial meeting at Joseph's in Richmond on July 20th at 6:30. Everyone with an interest and an ancestor in Texas between 1821 & 1845 is welcome.

Of course, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas have a proud organization, too. Their Richmond chapter is very active. If you have an interest in their organization, comment on this blog and I'll send you info.