Barrington, the plantation home of Anson Jones, served as the last presidential residence of the Republic of Texas. The site, three miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos in Washington County, was purchased from Moses Austin Bryan in 1844, and the construction was supervised by a J. Campbell. The home and two log cabins were paid for with 200 acres of land, $200 cash, and $100 in stock. The plantation grew cotton and tobacco. Campbell had two slaves of his own and hired four from neighbors to work in the construction crew. The Texas Centennial Commission purchased the structure in 1936 and moved it to Washington State Park, where the building has been restored and is open to viewing by the public (seeWASHINGTON-ON-THE-BRAZOS STATE HISTORIC SITE).
Jones named the house after his place of birth, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. After annexation he continued to reside at Barrington until November 23, 1857. When his hope of election to the United States Senate was dashed by the Texas legislature, he sold the house and began moving his family to Galveston, where he planned to resume his medical practice. He was returning to Barrington, where the family waited, when he stopped in Houston to visit some old friends and committed suicide on January 9, 1858.
James P. Flewellen, an 1850 graduate of West Point and a native of Macon, Georgia, purchased the property from Jones. Flewellen moved to Texas with the intention of farming. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was commissioned a major and served as an artillery officer under Gen. John B. Magruder. After the war Flewellen returned to Barrington and lived there until shortly before his death in 1909. Jones's widow, Mary Smith Jones, made an annual pilgrimage to Barrington, where she was received as a guest of the Flewellens. The home was sold to Henry Quebe in 1910. His son sold it to Henry Goeking in 1916. In 1935 it was purchased from Goeking's heirs by William Stegemueller. The property was turned over to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1976 for administration and continued restoration. The plantation home is part of Barrington Living History Farm, which features educational tours and farming demonstrations by interpreters in nineteenth-century costume.
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W. O. Dietrich, The Blazing Story of Washington County (Brenham, Texas: Banner Press, 1950; rev. ed., Wichita Falls: Nortex, 1973). Herbert Gambrell, Anson Jones: The Last President of Texas (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1948). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Houses, Mansions, and Plantations
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
James L. Hailey,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 21, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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