Texas History: Pistol on the Pulpit
There are many amazing heroes of the Texas Revolution. William B. Travis, Sam Houston, and James Fannin are rightfully enshrined in the chronicles of Texan history. But, what about George Webb Slaughter?
It was Slaughter who carried clandestine correspondence from Gen. Houston to the Texas troops who were under siege. With great stealth, George negotiated the enemy lines, to inform Travis at the Alamo and Fannin at Goliad.
Later, Sam Houston commissioned Slaughter to be Chief of Scouts, and even trusted him to carry wages and personal mail to the soldiers. Sam knew that if the message needed to get through, George was the man to call.
Born in Mississippi in 1811, Slaughter moved with his parents to Texas in 1830. His father was a seasoned military man who had fought in the Battle of New Orleans with Gen. Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. The family settled on acreage in East Texas, and was quickly embroiled in the tension between the new immigrants and the Mexican government.
At 19 years of age, George joined with a group of about 500 protesters to resist the tyranny of the state church. Since the government would only sanction the Catholic church, Protestant clergymen who led Bible studies were quickly jailed. The settlers marched on the jail and were soon fighting for their lives. During this time, Slaughter met Sam Houston.
Houston liked George, and asked him to haul his extensive legal library to Nacogdoches. This was the beginning of a life-long friendship with Houston, and a lucrative freighting business. Along the way, Slaughter saw his share of battles including the historic “Grass Fight” on Nov. 26, 1835, and the Cherokee wars of 1839. His later years were given to ranching in West Texas and long cattle drives to the mid-West.
As a young man, George made his commitment to Christ in a Methodist church, and became a bold witness of the Gospel. Slaughter said, “I was convinced of being a lost sinner in God's sight, and by his grace was happily converted, which I have never doubted." Later George was ordained with the Baptists, and reportedly personally baptized over 3,000 people in water, and ordained hundreds of new ministers.
After moving to West Texas, Slaughter would often ride his horse from town to town holding church services. He would always carry two six-shooters and a carbine rifle for protection against Indian attacks. In most services, George would place his pistol on the pulpit as he preached, and most of the congregation was armed and ready for any conflict.
The family reported that at his death, Slaughter gave a strong testimony of his faith in God and his longing to spend Eternity with Christ. George Webb Slaughter was a courageous Christian and a true Texas hero. Salute!