The Fearless Fifty-Nine, James Gibson Swisher
James Gibson Swisher was the 41 year old Washington representative. Before coming to Texas, Swisher worked as a land surveyor in Tennessee. He also participated in the War of 1812 and in the two battles of New Orleans. He and his family settled in Robertson’s colony in 1834 and then Chriesman Settlement, what became Washington County. He served in the military starting in October 1835 and participated in the siege of Bexar. After the battle, he was one of three commissioners that negotiated the surrender of Gen. Martin Perfect de Cos. During the Convention, he urged payment of land bounties to reward military service as well as careful examination of all bounty claims. This made a huge impact on Texas’ future land policies. He signed the Constitution of the Republic as well. He and his family took part in the Runaway Scrape and he assisted the evacuation of Washington-on-the-Brazos. After the war, he served with a company of rangers on the frontier and a justice of the peace of Washington County between 1839 and 1841. By 1846, Swisher became heavily involved in Austin life after moving there. He had moved to Austin where he operated a tavern, a hotel and a ferry after 1852. He was a registrar of an Austin High School, on a building committee of a church and part of a vigilance committee to enforce slave-control laws.