One of over 200 historical markers on the island, this marker is located at the Samuel May Williams home. The marker was erected in 1986 by the Texas Historical Commission.
“Born the son of a ship captain in Rhode Island, Samuel Williams was apprenticed to his uncle in Baltimore after 1810 to learn business skills. After 1816 he lived in Buenos Aires, where he learned Spanish and its related culture. By 1819 he was working in New Orleans, where he might have met empresario Stephen F. Austin.”
“Williams came to Austin’s Texas colony in 1823, and became the empresario’s translator and clerk. For his services and immigrant status, Williams received 11 leagues (48, 712 acres) of land. He married Sarah P. Scott in 1828; They had nine children.”
“Williams and Thomas F. McKinney founded a mercantile firm in 1833 in Quintana at the mouth of the Brazos River. Williams had traveled to the United States in 1835 to sell bank stock when he learned of fighting in Texas. Using the partnership’s credit, he made purchases for the Texas army. Williams and McKinney incurred expenses of $99,000 supporting the Texas revolution.”
“By 1838 Williams was helping the Texas navy build seven ships. His firm had moved to Galveston, where the partners promoted development of the city with Michel Branamour Menard. Williams opened a bank in Galveston in 1848, and lived in this home until his death. He is buried in Galveston’s Episcopal Cemetery. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986”
“Built by Samuel May Williams, a founder of Galveston, secretary to Stephen F. Austin, postmaster and land agent of Austin colony. Organized first Texas bank, was father of Texas navy and shipping industry. As envoy to the U. S., failed to get loan for Texas War for Independence, but gave $150,000 of his own money (a tenth of the cost).”
“House, framed in Maine, was shipped to Texas on a schooner.”
“Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1964”