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HAMILTON, ROBERT (1781–1845). Robert Hamilton, early settler and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, son of William and Euphemia (Alston) Hamilton, was born in Eastquarter, Glassford Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland, on October 17, 1781. With four of his six brothers he immigrated to the United States about 1807 and settled in Granville County, North Carolina. In 1812 the brothers started a commercial enterprise in which each one continued his own business as a managing partner but for the benefit of the concern. After some years Robert Hamilton withdrew from the business and in 1834 moved to an area on the Red River claimed by both Arkansas and Texas. According to his statement to the Red River County commissioners in 1838, he arrived in the area on December 15, 1834, a single man.

Hamilton, probably the wealthiest man to sign the Declaration of Independenceqv, was one of the five men sent by Pecan Point and vicinity or the Red River District to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Because of his financial experience, wealth, and extensive connections, Hamilton was appointed, with George C. Childress, on March 19, 1836, to go to Washington, D.C., to seek recognition of the independence of Texas and establishment of commercial relations with the United States. On December 20, 1836, President Sam Houston nominated him chief justice of Red River County, and in this post Hamilton authorized law enforcement in the area. He apparently had large landholdings in Red River County.

In October 1839 Hamilton was living in New York. He had never married. He died on July 22, 1845, in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, at the home of his nephew. Believing that Hamilton died in Red River County, the Texas Centennial Commission erected a monument to his memory in the old Rowland Cemetery, twenty-two miles from Clarksville.


Patrick Hamilton Baskervill, The Hamiltons of Burnside, North Carolina, and Their Ancestors and Descendants (Richmond, Virginia: Wm. Ellis Jones' Sons, Incorporated, 1916). Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959). Thomas Jefferson Rusk Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

L. W. Kemp


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

L. W. Kemp, "HAMILTON, ROBERT," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 24, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.