The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915

Harris County, 1822-1845

HARRIS COUNTY, 1822-18451
ADELE B. LOOSCAN
I. FIRST SETTLERS
It is difficult to trace the first white settlers in a country in-
habited only by Indians of nomadic habits, such ,as frequented
the shores of Texas. In most cases the first settlers are of habits
similar to those of wandering tribes, and after a brief stay, move
on to more inviting localities. It is only after they have begun
to arrive in considerable numbers, and land titles are issued to
them, that accurate data are obtainable as to their names, number
and location.
In the case of Harris County we know only that, when the first
'I am indebted to the following sources for the material of this his-
tory: Original letters and business papers of the family of John R. Har-
ris, of Lewis Birdsall, and of Andrew Briscoe; records of county court,
probate and commissioners courts, and district court of Harris county;
The Gazette, published at San Felipe de Austin, October, 1829, by Good-
win Brown Cotton; The Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), 1838-
1856 (incomplete) ; The Morning Star (Houston), volumes 1 to 6, April
8, 1839, to October 26, 1844; "Extracts from an Historical sketch of
Harris County," by C. Anson Jones, in Burke's Texas Almanac, 1879,
taken from an address read by him at the centennial celebration held at
the State Fair Grounds, in Houston, July 4, 1876; "A manuscript His-
tory of the Early settlement of Harris County," by Mrs. Mary J. Briscoe
(only daughter of John R. Harris) written by her for the Ladies' Read-
ing Club of Houston in 1885; The Morning Star, H. D. Fitch, editor,
Houston, March 4, 1840; Letters from A. B. Dodson of Alice, Texas,
Texas Almanac, 1858, pp. 115-116, and 1859, pp. 36-59, From Virginia
to Texas (1835), being a diary of Colonel Wm. F. Gray, published by
A. C. Gray in 1909; Six Decades in Texas, by F. R. Lubbock, "Troubles
of a Mexican Revenue Officer," by Eugene C. Barker, in TIE QUARTERLY,
IV, 190-202; "Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris," Ibid., IV, 85-127,
155-189, VII, 214-222; "The first Texas Railroad," by P. Briscoe, Ibid.,
279-286; Year Bool for Texas (1901), by C. W. Raines; biographical
sketches, by John Henry Brown, in his Indian Wars and Texas Pioneers;
biographical sketches of citizens of Houston and Galveston in History -of
Texas, published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1895. "A Tale
of two Texas towns" (Anahuac and Harrisburg), by Adele B. Looscan,
Galveston Netos, September 6, 1903. "History of The Texas Press," by
A. C. Gray, in A Comprehensive History of Texas, II, 368-423, and copies
of papers filed in court in the succession of John R. Harris, the final set-
tlement of the business having been effected by Judge Andrew Briscoe.
The "Extracts from an Historical Sketch of Harris County," were, so
far as statements about early settlers are concerned, chiefly obtained
from John Iiams (.son of the first settler), and members of other families
who arrived at an early period.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/. Accessed August 30, 2014.