Notes and Documents
1834 Census-Anahuac Precinct,
JEAN L. EPPERSON *
THE 1834 CENSUS OF THE ANAHUAC PRECINCT, RECENTLY DISCOVERED
in a private collection, is an important early Texas record that is
being published here for the first time.' Compiled by William Dobie,
the great-grandfather of the noted Texas writer J. Frank Dobie, the
census is one of only a few censuses that exist today of the Anglo colo-
nists during the Mexican period of Texas (1821-1836).2 Beginning in
1825, annual counts were supposed to be made listing all members of a
household by name, age, occupation, and place of birth. Not all Anglo
alcaldes or empresarios followed these directions, including Stephen F.
Austin, who did not give the wife's maiden name, exact ages, or names
William Dobie came to Texas in April, 1828, using the alias Wil-
liam D. Dunlap to escape debtors and domestic problems in Virginia.
He became a clerk in the Harrisburg store of John R. Harris. Harris
died in 1829, and Dobie moved in 1831 or 1832 to Anahuac, where he
operated a mercantile establishment, probably still employed by the
Harris family. When his family learned he was in Texas, several of his
sons followed him and also became settlers. Dobie received a land grant
*Jean L. Epperson is a retired educator and free-lance historical writer and researcher.
'The 1834 census of the Anahuac Precinct is printed with the kind permission of Sam Part-
low of Liberty, Texas, who has the original document in his private collection. The Anahuac
Precinct of 1834 apparently included the present-day areas of Anahuac, Double Bayou, Smith
Point, and High Island
2Published censuses include Carmela Leal (trans.), Residents of Texas, z 782-1836 (3 vols.; St.
Louis: Institute of Texan Cultures, 1984), an excellent source for Spanish, Mexican, and some
Anglo citizens. Material was taken primarily from the Bexar Archives (Eugene C. Barker Texas
History Center, University of Texas at Austin), the Nacogdoches Archives (Stephen F. Austin
University, Nacogdoches), the Saltillo Archives (transcripts at the Eugene C. Barker Texas His-
tory Center, University of Texas at Austin), and the Robert B Blake Collection (Stephen F.
Austin University, Nacogdoches). Three listings for 1825-1826 are Stephen F Austin's settle-
ments, the Colorado District, and the Atascosito neighborhood of Liberty and Anahuac. A
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed July 6, 2015.