George Fisher (whose real name was Djordje Shagic) was born in Hungary to Serbian parents in 1795. He studied to be a priest and found he was adept at languages. By the time he was 17 he had mastered over a dozen languages, including Latin, Greek, English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Magyar, Serbian, Russian, Polish, Bohemian, Moravian, Slovenian, Croatian, Dalmatian and Montenegrin. However, adventure called and he left school to join and fight with the Serbian revolutionary forces against the Ottoman Turks during the first Serbian Revolution. After the revolution failed, he fled Austria and worked his way across Europe to Amsterdam where and sailed as a stow-a-way to Philadelphia. In 1814, he assumed the name of George Fisher for the first time. In 1817 he moved to Port Gibson, Mississippi and married Elizabeth Davis there in 1818, becoming an American citizen. That same year he was initiated into the Masons and in 1823 became a Royal Arch Mason. Nine years after moving to Mississippi, Fisher moved to Mexico City while his wife stayed in Mississippi and raised their five children. While working as an editor for the Correo de Atlántico newspaper in Mexico City, Fisher met and was befriended by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the US Minister to Mexico after whom the Poinsettia Christmas flower is named, and together they founded the first York Rite Masonic Lodge of that city. Fisher became a Mexican citizen in 1829, and in 1830 was given a land grant (formerly called the Haden grant) by the Mexican government where he was to settle 500 families in the Mexican territory of Texas.