Diana J. Kleiner

CALDWELL, JAMES PECKHAM (1793–1856). James Peckham Caldwell, Brazoria County planter and soldier, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 6, 1793, and resided for a time in Kentucky. He raised his nephew, Robert James Calder, after Calder's father died. After receiving a land grant from the Mexican government in 1824, he arrived in Texas in 1832 and established one of the first sugar mills on the Brazos River. After Henry William Munson's death in 1833, Caldwell married the widow, Ann Bynum Pearce Munson, on May 12, 1835, and continued to operate Munson's plantation, Oakland. The couple had two children. In 1852 Oakland produced 200 hogsheads of sugar, and throughout the antebellum period (see ANTEBELLUM TEXAS) Caldwell supplied sugar and hired out slaves to nearby plantations. Caldwell was wounded at the battle of Velasco. In March 1835 he was one of six men who applied to the Louisiana Grand Lodge for a dispensation to form the first Masonic lodge in Texas. Caldwell was to be one of the principal officers of the new lodge. Dispensation for the Holland Lodge was granted, and it opened in December 1835. Caldwell died of yellow fever on November 16, 1856, at Gulf Prairie, Texas, and was buried in Peach Point cemetery.

James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Abigail Curlee, "History of a Texas Slave Plantation," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 26 (October 1922). Joseph W. Hale, "Masonry in the Early Days of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 49 (January 1946).

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:

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, Diana J. Kleiner, "CALDWELL, JAMES PECKHAM," accessed August 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox