This Week in Texas History

by Bartee Haile
SALLY SKULL WAS NOT A WOMAN TO MESS WITH A Colorado County judge granted Jesse Robinson a divorce on Mar. 6, 1843 from his headstrong wife after ten tumultuous years of marriage. Eleven days later, the former Mrs. Robinson tied the matrimonial  knot with a San Jacinto veteran who gave the fiercest female on the Texasfrontier her legendary last name -- Scull. For dramatic effect, storytellers would often change the spelling to "Skull." The future Sally Skull started out as Sarah Jane Newman, the fifth child born into a "good" Illinois family in 1817. When her maternal grandfather announced in 1823 that he was moving to Texas, the Newmans tagged along and with the patriarch became charter members of the Old Three Hundred, Stephen F. Austin's original group of colonists. Rachel Newman set a brave example for her little girl. On one memorable occasion, the frontier housewife chopped off the toes of an Indian trespasser when he stuck his foot under the front door of their cabin. Another time, she stopped a red int uder from coming down the chimney by throwing a burning pillow into the fireplace.

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