Adolphus Sterne

Adolphus Sterne

State Representative
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Adolphus Sterne

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Nicholas Adolphus Sterne (April 5, 1801–March 27, 1852) served three terms in the Texas House of Representatives and one term in the Texas State Senate. He immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1817, living in Louisiana for ten years. In 1826, he moved to Nacogdoches, Texas, where he operated a mercantile and smuggled weapons for the colonist who wished to rebel against Mexico. His position as a Freemason helped save him from a death sentence, and Sterne went on to finance two companies of men, the New Orleans Grays, to assist in fighting in the Texas Revolution.

Early years

Adolphus Sterne, the eldest son of Emmanuel Sterne and his second wife, Helen, was born on April 5, 1801, in Cologne, although Alsace is also claimed as his birthplace. The elder Sterne was an Orthodox Jew, and Helen Sterne was a Lutheran. Sterne grew up amid turmoil. At sixteen he was working in a passport office when he learned that he was going to be conscripted for military service, forged a passport for himself, and immigrated to the United States. He landed in New Orleans in 1817, found mercantile employment, and studied law.

Moved to Texas

In 1826, Sterne moved to Nacogdoches, Texas and established a mercantile business. He was required to swear an oath of loyalty to Mexico, which governed Texas at the time. Despite having given his oath, Sterne soon became involved in the Fredonian Rebellion smuggling guns in coffee barrels. He...
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