Don Carlos Barrett
DON CARLOS BARRETT1
'EUGENE C. BARKER
Of the early life of Don Carlos Barrett-Don is a name, not a
title-little is known. He was born, the eldest son of Jonathan
and Elizabeth Murdock Barrett, at Norwich, Vermont, June 22,
1788. At Natchez, Mississippi, he married Lucy Walton, in 1810,
who also was born in Norwich, in 1793. Of this marriage one
child, Oliver Barrett, was born, August 29, 1811. Some years
later, probably in the early twenties, though this date, too, is
uncertain, he married Mrs. Eliza De Cressey Smith, whom he
had met in New York City, and with her he lived for a time at
Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania.2 Of this marriage there were four
children, one of whom, Mrs. Emily Wight Tillinghast, was still
living in 1913, at Clearwater, California. In 1820 he was licensed
to practice law in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Luzerne County,
Pennsylvania, and in 1827 was admitted to practice in the Supreme
Court of Western Pennsylvania, sitting at Pittsburgh.3 It is said
that Robert C. Grier, later Justice of the Supreme Court of the
United States, conducted his bar examination.
Barrett's Texas career began, so far as this sketch is concerned,
on April 13, 1835, when he took the oath of allegiance before
Samuel Wolfenberger, alcalde of the municipality of Mina, and
became a citizen of Coahuila and Texas. He had apparently ar-
rived in Texas but a few weeks before, for among his papers are
xThis sketch was written several years ago at the request of Mrs.
Mary Ligon Christensen, then of Wichita Falls, Texas, and was intended
to appear in a biographical volume edited by Mrs. S. J. Wright for the
Texas Federation of Women's Clubs. This volume has not yet appeared,
and since the sketch adds somewhat to our knowledge .of a man who
played no mean part in the legislative history of the Texas revolution,
it is here presented in THE QUARTERLY. Besides the Journals of the
Consultation and of the General Council of the Provisional Government,
I have been permitted to use some interesting manuscripts in the pos-
session of Mr. B. D. Tillinghast of McDonald, Pennsylvania, transcripts
of which are now through his courtesy to ibe found in the State Library.
Documents here cited, unless otherwise stated, -are in this collection. Mr.
Tillinghast and Mrs. Christensen are great-grandchildren of Barrett by
2This information is furnished by Mrs. 'Christensen. It does not ap-
pear to be .based on documentary sources.
3Mr. Tillinghast says (in a letter to Mrs. Christensen, May 23, 1913)
that he has these licenses in his possession. I have not seen copies.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/. Accessed March 16, 2014.