STEWART, CHARLES BELLINGER TATE (1806-1885). Charles Stewart, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 6, 1806, to Charles and Adrianna (Bull) Stewart. He studied medicine in the early 1820s, and after 1825 he worked as a druggist in Columbus, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina; he subsequently resided in Cuba for a few months and conducted a trading partnership. He returned to South Carolina and received his license in pharmacy in June 1829. Stewart then moved to New Orleans and worked as a coffee merchant. He moved to Texas in the spring of 1830 and operated an apothecary shop in Brazoria. In June 1832, during the Anahuac Disturbances, Stewart joined Francis W. Johnson's command and fought at the battle of Velasco. He was later appointed to the Subcommittee of Safety and Vigilance of the Brazoria District by the Convention of 1832. In November 1834 Stewart was appointed secretary of the judicial district of Brazos. In the spring of 1835 he moved to San Felipe de Austin and opened a drugstore. On May 4, 1835, he obtained a license to practice medicine in Texas. On July 17, as secretary for the Austin delegation, Stewart attended a meeting with representatives of Columbia and Mina to discuss the capture Antonio Tenorio's troops by William B. Travis's troops at Anahuac. On October 11 Stewart was elected secretary of the Permanent Council. On November 11 he was appointed by the General Council as enrollment clerk and secretary to the executive, thus becoming in effect the first Texas secretary of state. Stewart and Thomas Barnett were elected to represent Austin at the Convention of 1836. On March 2, 1836, Stewart signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. He moved to Montgomery in 1837, established a medical practice, and opened a drugstore. In 1839 he served on the committee appointed by the Third Congress of the republic to design a new state flag. Stewart is credited with drawing the original draft of the Lone Star flag. On March 5, 1840, he was appointed district attorney pro tem of Montgomery County, and President Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed him notary public on May 11, 1841. Stewart represented Montgomery County at the Constitutional Convention of 1845. He also represented Montgomery County in the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth legislatures. Stewart married Julia Sheppard in March 1835, and the couple had five children. After the death of his first wife he married Elizabeth Antoinette Nichols Boyd. They had two children, and he also adopted her two children from a previous marriage. Stewart died on July 2, 1885, and was buried in the Montgomery Cemetery.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959). Robin Navarro Montgomery, The History of Montgomery County (Austin: Jenkins, 1975). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832-1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Virginia Stewart Lindley Ford
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "STEWART, CHARLES BELLINGER TATE," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/SS/fst53.html (accessed June 17, 2005).