William Henry Brodnax

Photo added by LeAnne McCamey

William Henry Brodnax

  • Birth 16 Feb 1838 Greensville County, Virginia, USA
  • Death 24 Nov 1880 Cameron, Milam County, Texas, USA
  • Burial Rockdale, Milam County, Texas, USA
  • Memorial ID 48062858

Co B Waul's Tex Legion CSA
Mother was Jane M and he was born about 1838.

Milam Co., TX - Newspapers: Cameron Herald, 1 June 1882 [NOTE: The following is a very lengthy article and the following is
an abstract.]

Last Saturday morning when Judge Collard asked R J. Boykin, Jr., "if
he had anything to say why sentence should not be pronounced upon
him," he rose and responded with the following:

I am asked by your Honor, "if I have anything to say why sentence
should not be pronounced upon me." I feel that I have nothing to say
that would alter your Honor's determination to impose the sentence
in accordance with the verdict of the jury that has convicted me.
The terms, the rules, and the technicalities of the law have been
complied with.

I do here solemnly say that I have been convicted unjustly. I do say
that I never had any unfriendly feelings for William Broadnax before
the commencement of the unfortunate difficulty, which cost him his
life and me my liberty. I do say that I never intentionally provoked
the quarrel; nor had Broadnax the right to think so. And I do say
that after it begun, I abandoned it in good faith and would never
have been troubled, if he had not called me back by words, which I
would rather die than submit to without notice or reply. When I
retorted back to his vile and infamous epithets, then he threw the
glass, which I tried to stop, and when I believed he meant to kill
me if he could, I shot him.

I never put my hand in my hip pocket till after coming back when he
raised the glass. He started to raise a bottle at me before Mangum
asked me to stop the fuss and it was then that I said, "if you hit
me with that, I will shoot you."

I will swear before my Maker that I never heard Broadnax say "Go
away I want no fuss," or anything like it, and I don't believe he
said it. I will swear that I never said, "I don't like you, Bill

Steve Stewart, Jim Hefley and John Hefley may have heard rumors or
talk just after, that these things were said, for that agreed with
the general feeling and belief, and they may have come t believe
them, as they were friends of Broadnax and did not like me. But
I do say they were never said in that difficulty.

My father [no name given] was sick in bed at the time. My enemies
had it all their own way and my own friends were afraid to speak.
Falsehood got fastened at the start, and that side has convicted
me. Old Mr. Durand has come near telling the correct tale than
anybody else.

And I also here say that I never struck Broadnax with my hand, but
I jumped forward and tried to clutch his arm as he raised the glass.
I here say that I believe the jury that convicted me have acted
honestly and I have no ill will against them, but I do believe that
the common notion and the general prejudice, entered into their
deliberations, like the air they breath enters their bodies and
inclined them to believe the state's side in preference to mine.
The most honest men are unconsciously governed by their prejudices
and the most hones juries sometimes decide against the weight of
the evidence. I believe it would be almost as hard for the people
of Milam county to rid themselves of the idea of my guilt as it
would be for the Christian to deny his Bible.

I shall bear my punishment without complaint and fell more suffering
on account of the plain and sorrow I give those so near and dear to
me than on my own account.

My noble and devoted father [no name given] I can never repay but
will try in future to behave like a man and hope yet I may be a man
not altogether unworthy.

To Mr. Breeding, Judge Broaddus and above all, my faithful, zealous
and eloquent advocate, Mr. Homan, I give my heartfelt thanks. And in
the dreary and lonely solitude of my cell it will be the greatest
pleasure and solace to remember the few kind friends who have stood
by me in my trial and those who have persecuted me, amongst whom are
some I had vainly imagined would be my friends, I shall try to forget.

To your Honor on the bench and to the people of Milam county, I bid
a final farewell; and I hope that time may come when your Honor and
the people may realize that I "have been sinned against as well as
sinning." I am done.

The judge then proceeded to pronounce the sentence, which was 20-
years in the penitentiary.


At Cameron on Wednesday night, a dispute arose in a barroom between Robert Boykin, jr., a boy of 19 and William Broadnax, an inoffensive gentleman. Boykin called him a liar and other offensive epithets, Broadnax threw a tumbler at him, when he drew his revolver and shot Broadnax, killing him instantly. The boy made his escape. . . . Boykin, the boy who murdered W.H. Broadnax at Cameron, on the 24th inst. has been arrested and is now in jail at Cameron. A reward of $500 offered by private citizens secured Boykin's arrest. Brenham Weekly Banner, December 2, 1880

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  • Created by: Ed Gibson
  • Added: 13 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 48062858
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry Brodnax (16 Feb 1838–24 Nov 1880), Find A Grave Memorial no. 48062858, citing Old City Cemetery, Rockdale, Milam County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Ed Gibson (contributor 47129667) .