Texas Revolution cannons named for Matagorda twin sisters

By Kathleen Tatum
Updated by Pat Morrow McMicken (Great, Great Granddaughter 
of Charles W. Rice)
    The sad news reached Geneva, New York, when their newspaper ran this obituary – “Died at ‘Mettagorda,’ (Matagorda) on the 11th of October,1838, after an illness of four months, Dr. Charles W. Rice, formerly of Geneva, New York in the 35th year of his life, brother of Mr. E. O. Rice of Seneca, New York. 
   Dr. Charles W. Rice married Margaret Hester Shaw in the state of New York, where their twin daughters Elizabeth Mars and Eleanor Madden were born.  
   Their other daughter, Calista Winegar Rice was born March 7, 1834 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
   Dr. Rice applied for a Texas citizenship January 10,1838. 
   He stated he first came to Texas May 5, 1837 and brought his family November 3, 1837. 
   He applied for a conditional land certificate for 1, 280 acres of land March15, 1838. 
   After his death Margaret, exchanged the certificate for an unconditional one May 3, 1841. 
   Dr. Rice was one of the signers of the petition for the first Masonic Lodge for Matagorda June 24, 1838.  
   Records indicate that Dr. Rice served as a surgeon in the Texas Navy during the Texas war for independence. 
   On board the ship coming from New Orleans, where the Rice family had previously lived were two identical cannons. 
   The cannons had been forged at Eagle Foundry, Cincinnati, Ohio for the Texas war against Mexico. 
   When they reached their destination of Brazoria and were being admired, someone said, “There they are, two sets of twin sisters,” meaning the Rice twins and the twin cannons. 

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