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   In the 1830s, he was primarily living at his plantation near Grovehill, Clarke County, Alabama. In 1835, he expanded his reach into the tumultuous Texas frontier. On March 24, McKinney & Williams bought the land that became known as the Darrington Plantation on the Brazos River in Brazoria County, Texas, for $3,028 for Darrington. The Darrington Plantation itself
is historically significant as the land was originally owned by David Tally, one of Stephen F. Austin’s original 300 families of settlers. Darrington was taxed in the Republic of Texas in 1837, as shown in the scans of tax rolls for that year, and among the neighboring land owners was Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of War of the Republic of Texas.
Darrington continued to own the Texas plantation until selling it in April 1848. He died at his plantation in Alabama on September 12, 1855.
Based on the powder horn as well as period documentation, Darrington clearly traveled to and visited his Texas plantation in the mid-1830s and shot at least one buffalo and also witnessed some of the affairs of the Texas Revolution. This is confirmed by U.S. Military correspondence from the period reprinted in the Congressional Globe on May 16, 1836, and other period publications. Writing from New Orleans on April 25, 1836, Major General Alexander Macomb wrote about the situation in the ongoing war between the Texans and Mexican military and indicated he had met with “Colonel Darrington, who was formerly in the army, and who gave me the information you will find in the enclosed...”The attachment reads, “FROM TEXAS: ‘Colonel Darrington informs us that General Houston was encamped on the west of the Brazos, at Groce’s, a very strong position, with an aggregate force of about twenty-five hundred men, and daily increasing...Texas is broken up, and all the women and children
are fleeing, and in the most deplorable condition. The inhabitants of Natchitoches have subscribed largely, and sent many supplies for the relief
of the fugitives. On the 14th of April Nacogdoches was safe, but deserted. On the 1st of April Colonel Darrington left the body of fugitives in the fork between Navasoto and Brazos, in Robinson’s colony. The Indians are openly hostile
in the neighborhood, and should the
Navasoto continue up, the inhabitants are at the mercy of the Mexicans... As to the gathering of the Indians on the Sabine, Colonel Darrington says he knows nothing, and thinks there is no cause for the destruction and breaking up of Nacogdoches. ‘He met between the Sabine and Brazos five hundred men on their way to Houston’s camp.’”
By the 1830s, Darrington and the Hampton family were clearly well- acquainted, having run in the same elite social circle in South Carolina
and serving together in the U.S. Military during the War of 1812. They also shared interests in hunting and horse racing. He clearly also spent time on his holdings in Texas, and may have sent the horn on to his old comrade
in 1835 or 1836 during the excitement of the Texas Revolution. In early 1835, Wade Hampton II would have become the patriarch of his powerful South Carolina family upon his father’s death, and he was active in the management of his vast holding, but as a wealthy gentleman also had the leisure time to pursue his interests in hunting and horse racing. He is often referred to in sporting articles from the period as Colonel Wade Hampton. The buffalo horn powder horn certainly seems a fitting gift from a former comrade and old friend as he became the family patriarch. Though he
died in 1858 prior to the Civil War, the Hamptons remained a wealthy and powerful family with Wade Hampton III (1818-1902) as its patriarch. He
too was an avid outdoorsman and hunter, and had been raised to be a Southern gentleman and planter. He served in the South Carolina General Assembly and Senate prior to the Civil War. He resigned and became a colonel like his father and grandfather as the leader of “Hampton’s Legion” and rose during the Civil War to the rank of lieutenant general. After the war, he was returned to his role as a political leader in South Carolina
as governor and U.S. Senator, and was also appointed U.S. Railroad Commissioner by President Grover Cleveland.
CONDITION: Fine overall. The silver has attractive aged patina and distinct designs and inscriptions. The brass spout is a very nice professional replacement. The horn body has some insect damage, but is otherwise in fine condition and presents very well. Overall, this is a fascinating silver mounted Texas buffalo powder horn presented by a Southern “planter” and veteran military officer to another prominent antebellum era planter and former comrade. The fact that this horn was taken in 1835, the same year as the beginning of the Texas Revolution, is incredibly exciting and helps make this incredible powder horn a truly “priceless treasure” of both Texas and the American South during the time of expansion in the 1830s. Estimate: 150,000 - 225,000

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