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 »


Robert Bruce Blake

ROBBINS, NATHANIEL (?–1837?). Nathaniel Robbins, soldier and Indian agent, came to Texas from Arkansas in 1819 and received a labor of land that is now part of Montgomery County, but settled first at Pecan Point in what is now Red River County. On February 20, 1827, he and Dr. Lewis R. Dayton protested to the Mexican government because United States authorities were taxing the inhabitants of Pecan Point. On September 15, 1834, Robbins applied for a league of land at the mouth of Bedias Creek on the Trinity River in Benjamin R. Milam's colony, where he settled his wife, Lucy, and their six children. Near their home the Old San Antonio Road crossed the Trinity, and Robbins's Ferry became a focal point for traffic across North Texas. The present Madison County community of Randolph is located on the site of the Robbins homestead.

In 1835 Robbins attended the Consultation at San Felipe de Austin. During the Texas Revolution he served as a private in Capt. Thomas J. Rusk's company at the siege of Bexar and participated in the Grass Fight. With the honorary rank of colonel, Robbins was commissioned by Gen. Sam Houston to "seize all arms and guns, and such weapons of war as may be useful to the army" and to "arrest all deserters from the army." On August 8, 1836, Robbins received Houston's appointment as collector of public property, and on September 10 he enlisted as a private in Capt. Elisha Clapp's company at Mustang Prairie. Robbins was discharged on December 10. He was said to have had great influence among the Indians of the region, and on November 8, 1836, he received Houston's appointment and the Senate's confirmation as commissioner to the Indians. He died sometime between December 1836 and April 1837.

John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Journal of the Proceedings of the General Council of the Republic of Texas (Houston National Intelligencer, 1839). Gifford E. White, 1830 Citizens of Texas (Austin: Eakin, 1983). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

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, Robert Bruce Blake, "ROBBINS, NATHANIEL," accessed June 04, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fro07.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. 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...