Through her frontier spirit and strong-willed determination to provide a good home for her children, Mary "Polly" Long without thinking helped with the development and traditions in the new Republic of Texas. As a widow with four young children, she immigrated to the Texas frontier around the latter part of 1836, applying for and later acquiring a land grant from the Mexican government. Mary's sons were successful in protecting the homestead from numerous Indian raids and Mexicans bandits with the skillful help of their mother who molded lead bullets and loaded rifles during the fearful raids. While waiting for a land grant from the Mexican government, Mary and the children lived with her cousin in Nacogdoches, James P. Henderson, who later became the first governor of the Sate of Texas. In June of 1838, Mary qualified for a Second Class Headright (conditional certificate #53) on land located a few miles from Douglas, Texas. Three years later she was granted an unconditional certificate #122 in the same area. Her sons built her a fine home on the land.