RIVERS, ROBERT JONES
RIVERS, ROBERT JONES (ca. 1806–1854). Robert Jones Rivers, attorney and jurist renowned for his oratory and jocular wit, was born in Virginia about 1806, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Edmunds) Rivers. His rhetorical brilliance was legendary, but his speeches were not recorded, and little information about him is available. One of the stories told about him concerned a campaign speech he was asked to deliver in New Orleans in 1840 for the Whig presidential candidate, William Henry Harrison. Rivers agreed to speak but asked that his name not appear on the program. He arrived at the meeting, which was pitched toward the rivermen, in the guise of a flatboatman. He launched his testimonial for Harrison from his place in the crowd and then was invited to the platform to address the audience. Rivers was living in Tennessee in the 1840s. He moved with his family to Texas, probably in the late 1840s, and settled at Rivers' Spring, near Columbus. He traveled the circuit with Phil Claiborne as an attorney and judge. In 1851, when William E. Bourland and James B. Miller were appointed to investigate land titles west of the Nueces, Rivers was named attorney to the commission. That year his real property, valued at $150,000, made him one of the wealthiest residents of Colorado County. He was married twice, first to Amanda Cheatham and later to Susan Cheatham, who was listed as his wife in the 1850 census. He died in the Ake Hotel in Georgetown on December 14, 1854, and was buried in the Georgetown cemetery. Rivers was the great-grandfather of the explorer Richard E. Byrd and of Senator Harry F. Byrd. In 1886 the Texas Centennial Commission placed two memorials to him, one at Columbus and one on the courthouse grounds at Georgetown.
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, "Rivers, Robert Jones," accessed April 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fri29.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles