MCNEEL, JOHN (?–ca. 1832). John McNeel, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists and Brazoria County planter, moved to Texas in 1822. He received title to a sitio of land in Brazoria County on August 3, 1824. John P. Coles wrote Austin in November 1824 that the McNeels wanted to see him to secure land on the Brazos and that they were an industrious, pushing family with means of making themselves useful in the country. The census of 1826 classified McNeel as a farmer and stock raiser, aged over fifty. With him were his wife, Elizabeth Nancy, four sons, one daughter, two servants, and twenty-five slaves. Sterling and Pleasant D. McNeelqqv were both sons of John McNeel; they may not be included in the sons enumerated in the census.
In October 1826 John McNeel wrote Austin that he had had to spend all of his last year's crop to set up his establishment, but that he soon hoped to pay the balance due on his land. The McNeel plantation, China Grove, was located on the San Bernard River and extended eastward for a mile onto Gulf Prairie; Chinaberry trees shaded the log house. McNeel produced cotton valued at $5,000 in 1830. The family had built a gin and shipped its goods from McNeel's landing or Marion. When a traveler named Fiske visited the plantation in 1831, he reported that the daughter had just completed her education in the North, that the jovial Kentuckian had 800 cattle and sixty horses, was shipping thirty oxen, and kept an Indian hunter just to supply the family with game. McNeel died in 1832 or 1833.
Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Abigail Curlee, A Study of Texas Slave Plantations, 1822–1865 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1932). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days (Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article."MCNEEL, JOHN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmcab), accessed January 31, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 29, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.