The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now


Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Beard, James (ca. 1801–unknown)

Biography Entry

James Beard (Baird), one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, was a saddler from St. Louis, Missouri, who was later known as "Deaf" Beard. He joined Austin in New Orleans on June 18, 1821, and accompanied him on the Beaver to Natchitoches, Louisiana, and then to Texas. On November 22, 1821, he signed an agreement with Austin to come to Texas on the Lively and to work for him until December 1822 at building cabins and a stockade and cultivating five acres of corn. According to the terms of the agreement, Austin was to provide tools, provisions, a section of land, and a town lot. Beard served as a cook and steward aboard the Lively and was left in command of the vessel while some of the passengers explored the Brazos River. On August 10, 1824, he received a sitio of land and settled on the San Bernard River in what later became Fort Bend County. The census of 1826 listed Beard as a single man aged between twenty-five and forty. In 1846 John G. Owings owned the Beard headright.

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). W. S. Lewis, "Adventures of the `Lively' Immigrants," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 3 (July 1899). Telegraph and Texas Register, March 4, 1846. Clarence Wharton, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939). Dudley Goodall Wooten, ed., A Comprehensive History of Texas (2 vols., Dallas: Scarff, 1898; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1986).

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Anonymous, “Beard, James,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 02, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/beard-james.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

Loading