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Biography of Smith Deaf Smith

Erastus Smith, better known as “Deaf Smith,” was the son of Chiliab and Mary Smith, and was born in New York on the 19th of April 1787. At the age of eleven years he emigrated with his parents to the Mississippi Territory, and settled near Natchez. His parents were strict members of the Baptist Church, and gave him such moral and intellectual training, as the circumstances around them would permit. He first came to Texas in 1817 likely with some of the patriot forces that were constantly arriving at that time in the Province. He soon, however, returned home; but in 1821 he came again to Texas, for the purpose of making it his home. This he did, never leaving it. He was in the country before Stephen F. Austin, but in what section is not known. His nature was to ramble alone and be by himself. He was not entirely deaf, but unable to hear an ordinary conversation, and if such was going on around him would generally walk away and stand apart, gazing into space. He also had a habit, if anyone addressed him, of putting his finger to his lips, indicating by that, it was supposed, that he was unable to hear the one that addressed him. When the colony under Green DeWitt commenced settling where the town of Gonzales is now located, Smith was one of them, going there in 1825. From there he drifted out to San Antonio, and in that place formed the acquaintance of a handsome young Mexican widow of the fine Castillian type, named Guadalupe Duran. Her maiden name was Ruiz,...

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