Peter Ellis Bean
Historical Figure
Nationality: Mexico (born in the United States)
Date of Birth: 1783
Date of Death: 1846
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Christianity
Occupation: Author of Non-Fiction
Revolutionary, Soldier
Parents: Elizabeth Blair and William Bean, Jr
Spouse: Magdalena Falfán de los Godos
Candace Midkiff (concurrent)
Children: Three with Candace
Military Branch: Mexican Army
(Mexican War for Independence)
Fictional Appearances:
"Hail! Hail!"
POD: December 15, 1826
Type of Appearance: Direct
Date of Death: 1826
Cause of Death: Shot in a duel

Peter Ellis Bean (sometimes Ellis Peter Bean; Spanish: Pedro Elias Bean) (June 8?, 1783– October 6?, 1846) was a United States-born Mexican soldier and revolutionary. Born in Tennessee, Bean signed on as a filibuster on Philip Nolan's last expedition to Texas in 1800. The whole expedition was a disaster, as the Mexican Army engaged the group near Nacogdoches. Bean was one of the handful of survivors to surrender. He and the other survivors were transferred into Mexico proper, and moved around to various towns. At times, Bean was able to secure parole within Mexico. However, he made numerous unsuccessful attempts to escape back to the U.S., but was always captured and moved around again. In 1811, he agreed to fight for the Spanish Royalists under siege at Alcapulco. However, he quickly escaped to the revolutionaries. He became an officer in the revolutionary army.

In 1815, he went to the U.S. to secure aid for the revolutionaries. While that failed, he did help Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. While he was subsequently able to secure aid in 1816, the rebel cause soon found itself in dire straits, and Bean was forced to flee to New Orleans again. He returned to Mexico after independence was secured. He was made an Indian Agent in 1825.

In 1826, he helped end the Fredonian Rebellion when he convinced the Cherokee to remain neutral. As an officer in the Mexican Army, he did not participate in the Texas Revolution, and was placed under arrest by General Sam Houston. He remained in Nacogdoches for the remainder of his life, although he does not appear to have given up Mexican citizenship. He died in his sleep in 1846.

Bean was a bigamist. He married his first wife, Magdalena Falfán de los Godos, during the revolution. He married his second wife, Candace Midkiff, while in exile in the Louisiana Territory. He maintained both throughout the remainder of his life. In 1817, while still in exile in Louisiana, he wrote his memoirs, thereby ensuring his posterity.

Peter Ellis Bean in "Hail! Hail!"[]

After the outbreak of the Fredonian Rebellion in December, 1826, the Mexican government sent Peter Ellis Bean (1783-1826) to convince the Cherokee band near Nacogdoches to stay out of the conflict. He arrived on December 27, 1826, and found that Fredonian ally Adolphus Sterne was already there. With him were the Marx Brothers, time travelers from the year 1934. Bean did not appear to know of their origin, but he did know that they were a group of "clowns".[1]

Julius Marx began goading Bean in response, reciting the playground song "Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit". While it didn't exist in 1826 yet, every English-speaker quickly understood the gist. For good measure, the Cherokee warrior Eightkiller even translated for some of the other Cherokee warriors present. One made a fart-noise with his mouth. Bean also understood Cherokee, and this act made him even angrier. Marx continued to taunt Bean, but took things too far by slapping Bean in the face. Bean immediately declared that Marx had challenged him to a duel. As the challenged, Bean selected pistols, and declared the duel would be at sunup the next day.[2] Sterne agreed to be Marx' second, and even provided him a pistol.[3]

The next morning, Bean was surprised to see Marx had not fled. Marx had a pistol that had been loaded by Sterne. Bean and Marx agreed to the final rules of ten paces, and one shot only. Bean also made it clear that only this duel could repair his honor. As the sun came up, the duel commenced.[4] After ten paces, Bean turned and aimed faster, but his gun misfired. Marx took aim at Bean's chest and fired. His gun discharged, hitting Bean in the chest. The wound was not immediately fatal, and Bean took an hour and a half to die.[5] Bean's death insured that the Cherokee would stay in the Fredonian camp, as the Mexican government would not believe that the Cherokee were blameless. Cherokee Chief Richard Fields announced that the warriors would head to Nacogdoches after they gave Bean a Christian burial.[6].


  1. "Hail! Hail!", loc. 739.
  2. Ibid., loc. 739-782.
  3. Ibid., loc. 782.
  4. Ibid., loc. 803-847.
  5. Ibid., loc 847-867.
  6. Ibid., loc. 867-877.