The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904 Page: 65

Mrs. Mary Jane Briscoe.

The following sketch of Mrs. Briscoe by Kate B. Shaifer was pub-
lished in The Gulf Messenger (Houston) for February-March,
"In the town of St. Genevieve, Missouri, August 17, 1819, Mary
Jane, third child of John R. and Jane Birdsall Harris, was born.
"John R. Harris and wife had moved from East Cayuga, New
York, and were descended from two of the oldest pioneer families
of the colonists; the former from the historic Harris family of
Pennsylvania, and the latter from Nathan Birdsall, who settled on
Long Island 1657.
...... "There were [then] few white settlers in St. Genevieve,
and they were mostly French, but within a few rods of Mr. Harris'
home, about 500 friedly Indians were encamped, and his young
child created much interest among the squaws, and was called by
them "the little white papoose", who was probably the first white
babe they had ever seen.
"Among the few residents from the eastern states, was Moses
Austin, from Virginia, and an acquaintance and friendship soon
sprang up between the families of Austin and Harris, which re-
sulted in their removal to Texas. Moses Austin was then consid-
ering a scheme for the colonization of Texas which scheme imn
pressed J. R. Harris so favorably, that he determined to embark in
the enterprise.
"Not wishing to leave his family unprotected in Missouri, Mr.
Harris determined to have them return to New York, while he with
Austin, explored the resources of Texas. Accordingly he provided
a good team for 'the long overland journey to Cayuga, and accom-
panied them as far Vincennes. Here he bade them goodbye, and
thenceforth throughout the long trip, the whole responsibility
rested upon the wife [who was accompanied by a young brother
and a sister in law].

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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904, periodical, 1904; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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