The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953

rhe ml4uila4ality of I/arrisbrg
1835-1836
ANDREW FOREST MUIR
N an ordinance approved by Governor Henry Smith on
January 1, 1836, the boundaries of the Municipality of
Harrisburg were defined as follows:
Beginning at the entrance of Clear Creek into Galveston Bay, run-
ning up said creek with the line of the Municipality of Brazoria, and
with said line to the Brazos River; thence up said river to the upper
line of a league of land granted by the Mexican Government to
[Samuel] Isaacs; thence along said line to the North-East corner of
said league; thence northwardly, to include the settlements on Spring
Creek, to the southern line of the Municipality of Washington; thence
eastwardly as to intersect the line dividing the Department of Brazos
and Nacogdoches; thence southwardly, along said line to Galveston
Bay; thence to the place of beginning
From this it will be seen that the municipality comprised the
present area of Harris County plus a small fraction of Brazoria
County and a part of Fort Bend County lying east of the Brazos
River. The writer is unable to say exactly where the northern
boundary was, for to the best of his knowledge no one has ever
located the act creating the Municipality of Washington or de-
fining its limits. The common boundary of the Departments of
Brazos and Nacogdoches was the ridge dividing the waters of
the San Jacinto from those of the Trinity River.2 The only
difficulty with this definition is that there is no such ridge, for
between the two rivers and running parallel to them is a third
waterway, Cedar Bayou. According to the Works Projects Ad-
ministration, however, the line dividing the two departments
was east of and roughly parallel to that bayou.s
1H. P. N. Gammel (comp.), The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 (1o vols.; Austin,
1898), I, loz2. See also Seymour V. Connor, "The Evolution of County Govern-
ment in the Republic of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LV, 176n, 188,
189.
2A. Briscoe to Thomas J. Rusk, Harrisburg, January 30, 1837, in Domestic Cor-
respondence of the Secretary of State (MSS. in Archives, Texas State Library,
Austin).
8Map of Liberty County in Index to Probate Cases of Texas, No. r46, Liberty
County, December 9, x85o-July 28, z939 (San Antonio, 1941).

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed December 21, 2014.