The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 49
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The Municipality of Harrisburg, 1835-1836
Parmenas Briscoe was not the only person to see the value of
Buffalo Bayou as a means of access to the agricultural areas along
the Brazos. The brothers Augustus Chapman and John Kirby
Allen saw the same thing, and they took overt steps to capitalize
upon their conclusion. They attempted to purchase the Harris-
burg property,"' but its title was badly fogged by fraudulent
claims against the estate of John Richardson Harris made by
his brother William Plunkett Harris and Robert Wilson, other-
wise known as Honest Bob, often in derision. The Allens then
purchased the bulk of the John Austin survey twelve miles
farther up the bayou.62 Before they had cut a tree or driven a
stake, they named their real estate development Houston and
advertised its strategic location. James Morgan was sarcastic in
his critique of the project:
The new town of "Houston" cuts a considerable swell in the paper.
I wish its projectors & proprietors success with all my heart. It will
injure Harrisburg City greatly when it gets into successful operations
Property must begin to depreciate there alreadyll As for N. Washing-
ton & Lynchburg & Scottsburg and all other burgs-not forgetting
Powhatan-all must go down nowl Houstonburg must go ahead in the
newspapers at least!68
The Allens, as time has proved, were more perspicacious than
Local government continued to operate in part. Although
there is no evidence that the ayuntamiento functioned, Edward
Wray as alcalde occasionally notarized legal instruments. The
two judges also held court. On May 27, the secretary of state
informed the municipal judges that Benjamin C. Franklin had
been appointed district judge for the District of Brazos, which ap-
pears to have been a new name for the Department of the Brazos,
and that their offices as local judges were thereupon vacated.64
But the local judges did not vacate. League had entered upon his
terminal illness and was unable to sit on the bench, but Nathaniel
61Houston Weekly Telegraph, October 1, 1868.
62Elizabeth E. Parrott to A. C. and J. K. Allen, August 26, 1836, in Deed Records
of Harris County, A, 156-158, 162-163.
6aMorgan to A. Briscoe, Galveston, September 30, 1836, in Looscan Papers
64W. H. Jack to H. H. League, Velasco, May 27, 1836, in Executive Record Books
(MSS. in Archives, Texas State Library), No. 34, P. 23.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/67/: accessed April 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.