Thomas Barnett, pioneer settler and public official, was born on January 18, 1798, in Logan County, Kentucky. Before 1821 he moved to Livingston County, Kentucky, where he was sheriff for two years. In 1823 he moved to Texas as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred and on July 10, 1824, received title to a league of land on the east bank of the Brazos River in what is now southeastern Fort Bend County. The 1826 census of Austin's colony noted that Barnett owned two slaves. About 1825 he married Mrs. Nancy Spencer (see GRAY, NANCY). They had six children. On February 10, 1828, Barnett was elected comisario of the district of Victoria in the ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin. In 1829 he was elected alcalde; he represented Austin Municipality at the Consultation and on November 18, 1835, was elected a supernumerary member of the General Council. He was one of the three delegates from Austin Municipality to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. On December 20, 1836, President Sam Houston appointed him chief justice of Austin County. Barnett represented Fort Bend County in the House of the Third and Fourth congresses of the republic, 1838–40. He died at his home in Fort Bend County on September 20, 1843, and was buried in the family cemetery, eight miles from Richmond.