Charlotte Marie Baldwin (1805 - 1895) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Baldwinsville, Onondaga, New York, United States
Death: Died in Houston, Harris, Texas, United States
Occupation: businesswoman,civic leader,cattle dealer,real estate dealer
Managed by: Fay Baldwin
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Charlotte Marie Baldwin

'THE MOTHER OF HOUSTON,TEXAS'

Charlotte Baldwin, dau. of Dr. Jonas Baldwin and Elizabeth Warner, was b. July 14,1805 in Baldwinsville, Onondaga Co.,NY; m. on May 3,1831, with AUGUSTUS CHAPMAN ALLEN. He was b. July 4,1806 in Canaseraga, New York to Rowland Allen and Sarah Chapman. He was a New York businessman. In 1832 her husband and his brother John Kirby Allen went to Texas and settled in San Augustine, then at Nacodoches. Shortly after Charlotte arrived and her inheritance helped the brothers to speculate in land.

In 1836 the Allen brothers purchased a half league of land on Buffalo Bayou for $9428 (6642 acres) and four days later advertised the establishment of a prosperous new city called Houston, which may have been at the suggestion of Charlotte (after the leader of the Texas army during the Texas Revolution). Their efforts to make this new place the capitol of the Republic of Texas succeeded, and it would become Capitol from 1837-1839. The Allen brothers built the first statehouse; Sam Houston lived next door to the Allens, and Charlotte and Augustus entertained countless businessmen at their home to promote their enterprises. The Allen parents, four brothers and a sister, came to Texas in 1837 and held prominent positions in that town.

With the untimely death of J.K. Allen, unmarried and without a will, in 1838; the remaining Allen family members (4 brothers and a sister) deferred their interests to their parents. However, with the parents dying soon after, there resulted in- squabbling and the brothers demanded that J.K.'s interests be sold and the proceeds divided. Eventually, the unrest which followed resulted in the separation, but not divorce, of Charlotte and Augustus. They both agreed never to reveal the details of their problems. Augustus moved to Mexico and served as consul for Texas. He d. in Washington, D.C. in 1864. Charlotte remained in Houston and became one of the city's best known citizens over the next forty-five years. She registered her own cattle brand, dealt in land purchases and development. In 1857 she sold the capitol site, which had become the location of the Capitol Hotel, for $12,000 (later known as the Rice Hotel).

After the Civil War, Charlotte Allen's home became the headquarters for the commanding general of federal troops in Houston. She deeded property, eventually called Market Square, to the city for a city hall and marketplace in 1895. In 1890 the Houston Daily Post called her "the connecting link between Houston's past and present history." Flags were flown at half-staff in her honor when she died. In 1907 the Charlotte Baldwin Allen elementary school became the first public school in Houston named for a woman.

Charlotte had four children, only one of whom survived to maturity. She died on Aug. 3,1895 in Houston and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. In 1911 her home was razed to provide a site for the Gulf Building.

Children known: Eliza (1838) and Mary.

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Charlotte Baldwin's Timeline

1805
July 14, 1805
Baldwinsville, Onondaga, New York, United States
1831
May 3, 1831
Age 25
1838
July 18, 1838
Age 33
Harris, Texas, United States
1895
August 3, 1895
Age 90
Houston, Harris, Texas, United States
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Houston, Harris, Texas, United States