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FORBES, ROBERT MITCHELL (1809–?). Robert Mitchell Forbes, merchant and state representative, son of William and Fanny Forbes, was born in Kinsale, Westmoreland County, Virginia, on September 22, 1809. He attended the University of Virginia and traveled in 1828 to Pensacola, Florida, where he embarked upon a business career. He was elected to represent Escambia County in the Florida legislature in 1832 and served one term. Having heard of the Texas Revolution in the autumn of 1835, he set out for Texas aboard the steamer Comanche and arrived at the mouth of the Brazos River on February 18, 1836. He settled in Columbia, where he became a prominent merchant. He was elected to a seat in the House of Representatives of the Sixth Congress from Brazoria County in 1841 and served through the special, or war, session of 1842. Three years later he was elected delegate to the Convention of 1845. After the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846, Forbes transferred his business west to Port Lavaca. Although bankrupted by the Civil War, he remained there until 1873, when he moved to Cuero. In 1880 he moved to Dallas and in 1881 to Galveston. Forbes married Mary James Reed on December 20, 1848, and they became the parents of eleven children, of whom six survived to adulthood.

William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).
Charles Christopher Jackson

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Handbook of Texas Online, Charles Christopher Jackson, "Forbes, Robert Mitchell," accessed November 21, 2017,

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