Elizabeth Patton Crockett

I’m home at last after a trip that took me up to Colorado to sign the anthology Straight Outta Tombstone, to Louisiana to sign my vampire and horror novels, and to Bubonicon in New Mexico where I promoted all my recent books and debuted Maximum Velocity: The Best of the Full-Throttle Space Tales. In the middle of all that was Texas and on the way from Colorado to Louisiana I stopped in Acton, just outside Dallas to visit a memorial to a distant relative of mine, Elizabeth Patton Crockett.

Elizabeth was Davy’s widow and she was granted a plot of land after Texas became a state in gratitude for Davy’s service at the Alamo. She moved from Tennessee to Texas in 1853 and lived on the land until her death in 1860. There seems to be some debate about whether the statue is supposed to depict Elizabeth Patton Crockett or a pioneer woman in general. I like to think of it as Elizabeth, or at least an idealized form of Elizabeth. The one painting I’ve seen of her could be an older version of the woman immortalized by the statue.

Another homesteader in the area around Acton was a fellow named Isaac C. Burson, born in Alabama around the outbreak of the War of 1812. He died the year after Elizabeth Patton moved to the area around Acton. His daughter Martha married one of Elizabeth’s sons from her first marriage, a fellow named James C. Patton around 1859. As it turns out, Martha’s brother, Elisha Micah Burson was my great great grandfather. Three of Elisha Micah’s sons picked up and moved out of the Acton area. Two of the brothers homesteaded in Briscoe County, Texas in the late nineteenth century while my great grandfather, James Daniel Matthew Burson went on to homestead in the northeastern corner of New Mexico. The photo to the right shows him at his general store in Des Moines, New Mexico circa 1920.

My daughter, who accompanied me, thought this little side trip through the heart of Texas to see a statue dedicated to the memory of a pioneer woman connected to our family was worthwhile. It’s rare to see a statue to a woman and, indeed, this one is hidden away in a quiet little cemetery. The “Acton Historic Site” is supposedly the smallest state park in Texas and is Elizabeth Patton Crockett’s grave site. I grew up knowing several women like Elizabeth Patton Crockett and elements of their personalities became templates for characters such as Fatemeh Karimi and Larissa Crimson in my Clockwork Legion novels.

If you’d like to read the novels, they are:

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One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Deby Fredericks, author of the wonderful fantasy novel, Seven Exalted Orders, nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog Award.” Deby’s blog looks at dragon lore and history from around the world. If you enjoy dragon stories, fantasy, or folklore, this is a site you don’t want to miss!

This blog award comes with the following rules: Thank the person who made the nomination. Post the award graphic. List seven things about myself. Recommend seven more blogs. So, without further ado, let me present seven random factoids about myself:

  1. I have two brothers and no sisters.
  2. Of my brothers, I’m the only one who wasn’t named for someone in the family.
  3. Despite that, I do share a name with a distant uncle—David Crockett.
  4. Neither my parents nor I knew that Davy Crockett was a distant uncle until I was well into my 40s.
  5. I am the only one of my brothers who is not a native Texan.
  6. One of my brothers is also a writer and publisher.
  7. Although I’ve never lived in Texas, I was on the staff of the award-winning literary magazine of El Paso Community College for several years.

Here are seven blogs that are worth taking a look at:

  1. Sean McLachlan’s Civil War Horror discusses the Trans-Mississippi Civil War and historical fiction plus sometimes veers off into historical fiction.
  2. Sky Warrior Books is one of my publishers and offers some great writing, publishing and marketing tips.
  3. J Alan Erwine is an author and editor with many interesting projects.
  4. Melinda Moore is an author, musician, dancer, and teacher who blogs about writing, shares guest blogs, and even the occasional recipe.
  5. Rick Novy presents writing tips and interviews with some very well known authors.
  6. Mike Brotherton maintains a wonderful blog that discusses astronomy, science fiction and where the two come together.
  7. STEAMED! Writing Steampunk Fiction is a blog with several contributors including Suzanne Lazear, Theresa Meyers, Maeve Alpin, and O.M. Grey, plus regular guest posts. If you want to see just how varied and wonderful the world of Steampunk can be, this is a great stop.