I believe that by coming to Texas is the best thing I ever did in my life for it will be a fortune to us and our children if it’s well-managed as long as we live.Unfortunately, that was not the way it was going to work out. On William's return home to Lexington via New Orleans in the summer of 1837, he died. I've yet to find out what took his life, but in that particular year, 412 people died from yellow fever in New Orleans. Fifteen years after his death, and one year before the death of his wife, Mary, a Commissioner from the State of Texas was helping the family claim the land that William had been awarded for his service. Because of widespread fraud, Texas set up a special court to review the claims. To this end, the family had to submit anything they had to support not only William's service, but also his death in New Orleans. Thankfully for his descendants, Mary had four letters that she had received from her husband and the Commissioner was able to secure testimony from volunteers who had served with William. Here is a transcription of the testimony provided by acquaintances of William.
With the research I've been able to accomplish thus far, it appears as if Mary and William's plan to provide their family with lifetime security did not come to fruition. I've yet to see if any of their adult children were able to get any proceeds from the bounty land. I can only imagine the loss caused by William's death -- just when he was anticipating a joyous reunion with the wife and children he so obviously cherished.