Andrew Briscoe, merchant, patriot, judge, and railroad promoter, was born on November 25, 1810, on the plantation of his father, Parmenas Briscoe, in Claiborne County, Mississippi. He made several trips on horseback between Mississippi and Texas before settling in Texas, where he registered in 1833 as a citizen of Coahuila and Texas. With a shipment of goods he opened a store in Anahuac in 1835. Briscoe opposed the irregular collection of customs dues by Mexican authorities at Anahuac and presented resolutions of protest at a mass meeting there and later at Harrisburg. When he attempted to trade to DeWitt Clinton Harris goods with unpaid duties, both he and Harris were arrested by Mexican officials. They were released when William B. Travis and his volunteers came to drive Antonio Tenorio out of office (seeANAHUAC DISTURBANCES). In July Briscoe wrote to the editor of the Brazoria Texas Republican justifying the action taken. In August he received a congratulatory letter from Travis. Briscoe was captain of the Liberty Volunteers at the battle of Concepción and followed Benjamin R. Milam in the siege of Bexar. He was elected a delegate from his municipality with Lorenzo de Zavala and attended the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, but evidently because of the urgency of reentering military service he did not remain until its close. At the battle of San Jacinto he was captain of Company A, Infantry Regulars.
In 1836 Briscoe was appointed chief justice of Harrisburg by Sam Houston. When his term ended in 1839, he began dealing in cattle and trying to promote a railroad. In 1839 he planned a road from Harrisburg to the Brazos River. In 1840, when the project was abandoned, about two miles had been graded and laid with ties. That year, in a paper entitled "California Railroad," he gave a complete plan for building a railroad from Harrisburg to San Diego via Richmond, Prairieville, Austin, and El Paso. In 1841 he secured a charter from the Republic of Texas for the Harrisburg Railroad and Trading Company, of which he was president. In the spring of 1849 Briscoe moved his family to New Orleans, where he engaged in banking and brokerage until his death, on October 4, 1849. He was survived by his wife, Mary Jane Harris Briscoe, and four children.
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Adele B. Looscan, "Harris County, 1822–1845," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 18–19 (October 1914-July 1915).
Republic of Texas
Upper Gulf Coast
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Lewis W. Newton,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 22, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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