Peter Ellis Bean

Peter Ellis Bean (1783-1846) was a filibuster and Mexican revolutionary from Tennessee. In 1800, he joined Philip Nolan’s last filibustering expedition to Texas. He was lured by the promise of wealth from capturing mustangs and the possibility of finding gold and silver. He was captured by the Spaniards, and afterwards lived in Mexico and Texas.

In Texas Bean was captured by Spanish troops when Nolan’s camp was attacked. Bean was taken to Mexico. Mexican revolutionaries, let by a priest named Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, gave Bean a chance at freedom in 1810. Bean was supposed to help fight for the Royalists, but instead he ran away to Morelos and helped the revolutionaries take over the town.

Fifteen years later Bean returned to Texas as a Mexican. He wanted the United States to help Morelos’s cause. During the journey, he joined Andrew Jackson’s army during the War of 1812 and fought at the battle of New Orleans. Then, he went back to Mexico. He split his time between Texas and Mexico. Bean returned again to the United States as an ambassador and on his way back to Mexico he learned that Morelos had been killed.

Bean got married and had three children and he moved his family to East Texas in 1823. He served Mexico as an Indian agent. He persuaded the Cherokees to stay neutral during the Fredonian Rebellion. In 1830 Bean was the commander of a small military force at Fort Teran, but he was not trusted by Mexicans or Texans. He died in 1846.

Source: Peter Ellis Bean
Copyright © Texas State Historical Association

Back to top