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COLLINSWORTH, GEORGE MORSE

COLLINSWORTH, GEORGE MORSE (1810–1866). George Morse Collinsworth (Collingsworth), soldier, planter, and civil servant, was born in Mississippi in 1810. He was living in Brazoria, Texas, in 1832, when he participated in the battle of Velasco. In July of that year he was serving as secretary of the Brazoria Committee of Vigilance. In early October 1835 he raised a company of infantry from among the planters around the lower Colorado for service in the Texas army. With Benjamin Rush Milam, who had just returned to Texas after escaping from prison in Mexico, these men, numbering about fifty, captured the Mexican garrison at Goliad on October 9, 1835. Their victory cut off communication between San Antonio, then in possession of Mexican forces, and the Gulf of Mexico and secured valuable arms and supplies. At some time between October 10 and 17, 1835, Collinsworth left Goliad, either to recruit more men and gather supplies or to join the Texas army at San Antonio. Philip Dimmitt was elected to take his place as commander at Goliad. Critical reports about Dimmitt persuaded Stephen F. Austin to write him on November 18, demanding that he turn his command over to Collinsworth. Volunteers then present in Goliad adopted resolutions protesting Austin's order, and the General Council declined to intervene, so that Dimmitt continued in his position. In the meantime, on November 13, the provisional government voted a resolution of thanks to Collinsworth and his company for their victory at Goliad. On November 28, 1835, the General Council appointed Collinsworth captain of a company of infantry (see GOLIAD CAMPAIGN OF 1835).

On December 11, 1835, the General Council elected Collinsworth collector of customs for the port of Matagorda. His resignation from the army was accepted on January 4, 1836. On January 12, 1838, he received a bounty warrant for 320 acres for his military service. He was nominated collector for the port of Matagorda on May 22, 1837. On January 16, 1839, he was elected collector of the revenue for the county of Matagorda, and on January 30, 1840, he was nominated commissioner to inspect the Matagorda County land office, a post for which he was confirmed on February 3. Collinsworth was elected collector of the revenue for the port of Calhoun on January 22, 1841, and justice of the peace for the fourth beat in Matagorda County on March 27, 1841. On February 9, 1845, he was confirmed as customs collector for Aransas District.

Collinsworth married Susan R. Kendrick on June 5, 1837, in Matagorda County, where they lived until about 1854. In 1857 he was a surveyor in Karnes County. He died in Matagorda County on April 18, 1866. A son, George M. Collinsworth, Jr., was born about 1840 and served as a private in Company B, Eighth Texas Cavalry (Terry's Texas Rangers).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Eugene C. Barker, "Texan Revolutionary Army," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 9 (April 1906). Compiled Index to Elected and Appointed Officials of the Republic of Texas, 1835–1846 (Austin: State Archives, Texas State Library, 1981). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Texas State Archives, Austin. Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Thomas W. Cutrer

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas W. Cutrer, "COLLINSWORTH, GEORGE MORSE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fco29), accessed October 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.