Brotherton, Robert (unknown–1839)

By: Kenneth E. Hendrickson Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Robert Brotherton (Brotherington) was one of the original settlers of the Colorado District and an official in Colorado County in the Republic of Texas. He arrived in Texas from Missouri in the summer of 1822, bringing with him a letter of introduction addressed to Stephen F. Austin from Missouri governor Alexander McNair, who promised that Brotherton would be an "industrious farmer." Brotherton was one of the Old Three Hundred settlers of the Austin colony. He was wounded in the back during an Indian raid in July 1822, shortly after arriving in Texas. The incident, along with an Indian attack on three other men the following day, motivated colonist Robert H. Kuykendall to lead a punitive expedition that culminated in a successful ambush of the Karankawa Indians at Skull Creek, against the Karankawa Indians.

On July 24, 1824, Brotherton and his partner, Caleb R. Bostic, received a sitio of land in Austin's colony, where they farmed and raised stock. A census report of 1826 lists Brotherton as a farmer and stockman, aged between twenty-five and forty years. He was not recorded as having a wife or family. He began to take part in local politics early in 1825. In January of that year he acted as a judge in the election of James Cummings as alcalde of the Colorado District. In 1836 Brotherton sat on the committee that designated Columbus the seat of the newly formed Colorado County. He became county clerk in April 1837. In December of the same year the Congress of the Republic of Texas appointed him clerk to the board of land commissioners in Colorado County. The Brotherton house was named a stock subscription site for the Colorado Navigation Company in 1838. Brotherton died early in 1839. His probate petition is dated March 25 of that year. He left only a modest estate and debts accrued in farming.

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). Jesse Burnam, "The Reminiscences of Captain Jesse Burnam," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 5 (July 1901). J. H. Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6–7 (January, April, July 1903). William Barret Travis, Diary, ed. Robert E. Davis (Waco: Texian Press, 1966).
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Kenneth E. Hendrickson Jr., “Brotherton, Robert,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994

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