The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 7, July 1903 - April, 1904 Page: 66
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66 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
"After parting with his family at Vincennes........ Mr. Harris
went to New Orleans and thence to Texas, where he selected his
location; and in 1824 received from the Mexican government a
grant of 4,425 acres of land which he located at the junction of
Buffalo and Bray's bayous, and in 1826 laid out a town and called
it Harrisburg; but remembering the hardships experienced by his
family in Missouri, and realizing the still greater trials of colonists
in Texas, he would not consent that they should join him until he
could at least assure them of a comfortable home.
"The country abounded in fine timber, and with an eye to busi-
ness, Mr. Harris erected a steam saw-mill, equipped it with machin-
ery and went to New Orleans to procure belting for same. He took
passage on a schooner called The Rights of Man, owned by himself
and brother, which plied between these two places; but scarcely had
he reached his destination, when he was seized with yellow fever
and died August 21, 1829.
"Feeling that she could do nothing until her sons arrived at an
age to be helpful, the widow, Mrs. Jane Harris, and her children,
remained with her father in New York till in 1833, when in com-
pany with her eldest son, De Witt Clinton Harris, she made the
journey to Texas. Arriving at Harrisburg, she found the mill
doing a flourishing business, managed by one of [her] husband's
brothers, and a number of families . . . already settled in the
town. Mrs. Harris opened a farm and soon made a comfortable
home, but even then the rebellion of the'colonists against Mexico
was impending, and soon there were occurrences that imperiled per-
"In June 1835, De Witt Clinton Harris, having gone to Anahuac
to purchase goods of Mr. Andrew Briscoe, was arrested and thrown
into prison for refusing to apply to the customhouse officials for a
permit to remove the goods.
"From this time there was no longer any feeling of security, and
events moved rapidly along, culminating in the war for independ-
ence, which the early settlers of Texas fought. Conspicuous among
those who took an active part, were members of Mrs. Harris' own
household and intimate friends.
"All who are familiar with Texas history will remember how the
inhabitants of Harrisburg fled to Galveston Island; of the sacking
and burning of the village by Santa Anna, and how, after the
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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. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101030/m1/70/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.