Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 24 of 894



first immigrant, John R. Harris, subsequently married
Capt. Andrew Briscoe, who, as the colleague of
the grand Mexican patriot, Don Lorenzo de Zavala,
from that municipality, signed the declaration of
independence, and fifty days later commanded one
of the largest companies at San Jacinto. He was
also the first Chief Justice of Harrisburg County
and so remained for many years. The well-known
De Witt C. Harris, who died in 1860, was a brother
of Mrs. Briscoe, as is also Lewis B. Harris, of San
Francisco, who was my fellow-soldier on the Rio
Grande in 1842.
According to the notes of Mrs. Briscoe the first
actual settlers arrived in April, 1822, of whom
Moses L. Choate and William Petfus were the first
settlers on the San Jacinto, and a surveyor
named Ryder, unmarried, settled on Morgan's
Point, on the bay. In June John Ijams, with his
wife and two youthful sons arrived, of whom John,
the elder, then fifteen years old, still lives in Houston,
aged 82, a tribute certainly to the climate in
which he has lived sixty-seven years. They settled
at Cedar Point, afterwards a favorite home of Gen.
Sam Houston. Johnson Hunter settled near Morgan's
Point, but ultimately on the Brazos. In the
same year Nathaniel Lynch settled at the confluence
of the San Jacinto and Buffalo bayou, where
Lynchburg stands; John D. Taylor on the San
Jacinto at the place now called Midway; John
Jones, Humphrey Jackson and John and Frederick
Rankin, on the same river, where the Texas and
N. O. railroad crosses it. Mr. Callahan and Ezekiel
Thomas, brothers-in-law, located as the first settlers
on Buffalo bayou. Mrs. Samuel W. Allen,
youngest daughter of Mr. Thomas, still resides in
Houston--another tribute to the climate. In the
same year four brothers, William, Allen, Robert
and John Vince, all young men, settled just below
the mouth of Vince's bayou, rendered famous in
connection with Vince's bridge immediately before
the battle of San Jacinto, the destruction of the
bridge by order of Gen. Houston, leading to the
capture of Santa Anna. William Vince had a horse
power sugar mill on his place. During the same
year, Mrs. Wilkins, with her two daughters and her
son-in-law, Dr. Phelps, settled what is now known
as Frost-town in the city of Houston, being the
first settlers there. In 1824 came Enoch Bronson,
who settled near Morgan's Point; also Wm. Bloodgood
and Page Ballew, with families, and several
young men who settled in the district; also Arthur
McCormick, wife and two sons, who settled the
league on which, twelve years later, the battle of
San Jacinto was fought. He was drowned soon
afterwards in crossing Buffalo bayou, as was his

surviving son, Michael, a long time pilot on a
steamboat, in 1875. It was suspected that the
widow, eccentric, well-to-do and living alone, was
murdered by robbers and burnt in her dwelling.
George, Jesse, Reuben and William White, in 1824,
settled on the San Jacinto, a few miles above its
mouth; William Scott at Midway; together with
Charles E. Givens, Presly Gill and Dr. Knuckles,
who married Scott's daughter, while Samuel M.
Williams married another. [Mr. Williams was
the distinguished secretary of Austin's Colony and
afterwards, long a banker in Galveston.]
In 1824, Austin, with Secretary Williams and the
Commissioner, Baron de Bastrop, visited the settlement
and issued the first titles to those entitled to
In 1825 the Edwards family settled on the bay
at what has since been known as Edwards' Point.
Ritoon Morris, a son-in-law of Edwards, and a man
of wealth, came at the same time. He was greatly
esteemed and was known as " Jaw-bone Morris,"
from a song he and his negroes sang while he picked
the banjo. He settled at the mouth of Clear Creek.
About 1829 Mr. Clopper, for whom the bar in Galveston
bay is called, bought Johnson Hunter's
land and afterwards sold it to Col. James Morgan,
who laid out a town destined never to leave its
swaddling clothes, calling it New Washington. Its
chief claim to remembrance is in the visit of Santa
Anna a day or two before his overthrow under the
war cry of ' Remember the Alamo." Sam McCurley
and others were early settlers on Spring
Creek. David G. Burnet, afterwards President,
came in 1826. In 1831 he brought out the machinery
for a steam mill which was burned in 1845.
With him came Norman Hurd and Gilbert Brooks,
the latter still living. President Burnet built his
home two or three miles from Lynchburg. Lynchburg,
and San Jacinto, opposite to it, were destroyed
by the great storm and flood, on the 17th
of September, 1875.
Passing over the intervening years, we find that
in 1835 the municipality of Harrisburg abounded
in a splendid population of patriotic citizens, the
noble Zavala having become one of them. In the
Consultation of November 3-14, 1835, her delegates
were Lorenzo de Zavala, William P. Harris, Clement
C. Dyer, John W. Moore, M. W. Smith and
David B. McComb. In the convention which declared
independence, March 1-18, 1836, her delegates
were Lorenzo de Zavala and Andrew Briscoe,
as previously stated. When the provisional government
of the Republic was created David G.
Burnet was elected President and Lorenzo de
Zavala Vice-president, both of this municipal

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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .

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