Barrett, William (ca. 1800–ca. 1853)

By: Deurene Oates Morgan

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 17, 2020

William Barrett (Barret, Barett), early Texas settler, may have been a member of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred. Although he was not listed on Austin's 1826 census, some sources pair him with Abner Harris as one of the original three hundred families. On his application for land he stated that he was aged twenty-six and single. The document also indicated that he was from Pennsylvania, but it is uncertain if he was born there. It is equally unclear when he came to Texas, but in June 1827 he and Harris were granted title to a sitio of land now in Fort Bend County. Barrett and Elizabeth Wient (Wiant) were married on July 8, 1829, before Alexander Hodge. Barrett pledged a dowry of $5,000, and the couple vowed to be married by a priest as soon as possible, a necessary step under Mexican law. Whether they were ever married by a priest is unknown, but they had at least two children who survived into adulthood. Barrett served in the Texas army under William Hester Patton and Edward Burleson in 1835–36. He was paid twenty-six dollars and honorably discharged, after which he returned home to Brazoria County. A William Barret was listed as a passenger on the steamer Sam Houston from Houston to Galveston in October 1837, and in 1842 a Capt. William Barett was listed as serving under Alexander Somervell at San Antonio; whether either of these men was the subject of this article is uncertain. The exact date of Barrett's death is also unknown, but he was posted as deceased and his estate was inventoried in March 1853.

Austin Land Papers, Spanish Collection (Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin). 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). Telegraph and Texas Register, October 7, 1837, December 21, 1842.

Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Deurene Oates Morgan, “Barrett, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 17, 2020

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