“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Navasota in Grimes County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Primus Kelly

Primus Kelly Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, July 1, 2018
1. Primus Kelly Marker
Inscription. A faithful Negro slave. Came to nearby Courtney, Grimes County in 1851 with his master, John W. S. West from North Carolina. West was a prominent and wealthy pioneer planter and landowner.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, West sent Kelly "to take care" of his three sons-- Robert M., Richard and John Haywood-- who joined the famous Terry's Texas Rangers, where they served with distinction.

Kelly was not content "to wait on" his charges but joined them in battle, firing his own musket and cap and ball pistol. Twice Kelly brought to Texas the wounded Richard, twice took him to the front again.

After war, bought a small farm near "Marse Robert", raised a large family and prospered. Died in 1890's.

The courage and loyalty of Kelly was typical of most Texas Negro slaves. Hundreds "went to war" with their masters. Many operated the farms and ranches of soldiers away at war, producing food, livestock, cotton and clothing for the Confederacy. Others, did outside work to support their master's families. They protected homes from Indians, bandits and deserters and did community guard and patrol duty.

At war's end, most slaves, like Primus Kelly, became useful and productive citizens of Texas.
Erected 1965 by Texas State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker
Primus Kelly Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, July 1, 2018
2. Primus Kelly Marker
Number 8592.)
Location. 30° 13.955′ N, 96° 3.279′ W. Marker is near Navasota, Texas, in Grimes County. Marker is on State Highway 6 8.7 miles north of U.S. 290, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Primus Kelly Picnic Area approximatly 12 miles south of Navasota and 9 miles north of Hempstead. Marker is in this post office area: Navasota TX 77868, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gen. George and Libbie Custer Campsite (approx. 8.8 miles away); Washington-on-the-Brazos (approx. 8.9 miles away); Ahrenbeck-Urban Home (approx. 9.8 miles away); Clear Creek Confederate War Camps (approx. 10.6 miles away); Groce Family Plantations (approx. 10.6 miles away); Early Texas River Steamers (approx. 11.2 miles away); Farmers State Bank and Reinstein Store (approx. 13.6 miles away); Old Rock Store (approx. 13.6 miles away).
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 2, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 2, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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