James Walker Fannin was born on the first day of 1804 in Marion, Georgia (though some sources say the year was 1805).
His was a short and tragic life.
Raised by his maternal grandfather, a plantation owner, he attended West Point for a little over two years before withdrawing in 1821. He returned to Georgia and, several years later, married. He and his wife, Minerva, had two daughters before moving to Texas in 1834 where Fannin began his own plantation near Velasco.
His personal letters, though, suggest that in addition to owning land Fannin was buying and selling slaves…and that was a big problem. Slavery was illegal under the Mexican constitution. This may explain, in part, why Fannin eagerly and actively supported the Texas Revolution.
Fannin was eventually elected a Colonel of the Provisional Regiment of Volunteers at Goliad. He was in command of troops at Goliad when they were captured and executed at the Battle of Coleto. Fannin was shot separately and last.
Sadly, it would seem that neither life nor death were particularly kind to James Fannin, but we remember him as an instrumental figure in Texas history.