While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Hobart Huson

AYERS, LEWIS T. (1798–1866). Lewis T. Ayers, pioneer settler and soldier, son of Silas and Mary (Bryan) Ayers, was born at Morris Plains, New Jersey, on October 6, 1798. In 1834 he and his brother, who went by the name David Ayres, set out with their families for Texas. Lewis Ayers became a member of the McMullen-McGloin colony, where he received his grant on July 25, 1835. He married Rebecca Osborn in 1824. They had seven children. Ayers openly espoused the Texan side of the conflict with Antonio López de Santa Anna. He was elected to represent San Patricio in the Consultation but arrived in San Felipe after it had adjourned. On December 1 he was elected to the General Council, in which he assisted Col. James Power and others in preparing an address to the Mexican people. He resigned on December 12 to become collector of customs at Lavaca.

On March 9, 1836, Ayers accepted appointment as assistant quartermaster of James W. Fannin, Jr.'s regiment. He went with Col. William Ward and the Georgia Battalion to extricate Amon B. King from Refugio, accompanied King in his foray against the ranchos below the mission on March 14, and was in King's fight with the Mexican rear guard. Ayers was captured on March 15 and was one of thirty-three prisoners led out to be shot. He was saved by the intervention of Col. J. J. Holsinger, who halted the execution so that German prisoners might be reprieved. Ayers was set free supposedly because he gave a Masonic sign that was recognized by the Mexican general. Ayers himself claimed his wife aided in his release. He obtained a passport from Juan Davis Bradburn and went to New Orleans by way of Matamoros. In 1837 he moved to Mobile, Alabama, where he died on October 11, 1866. See also GOLIAD CAMPAIGN OF 1836.


Charles H. Ayers, "Lewis Ayers," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 9 (April 1906). William H. Oberste, Texas Irish Empresarios and Their Colonies (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1953; 2d ed. 1973).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Hobart Huson, "AYERS, LEWIS T.," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fay01.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on October 23, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...