Burnam's Ferry

By: F. B. Largent, Jr.

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Burnam's Ferry, also known as Burnam's Crossing, was established in 1824 by Jesse Burnam at the La Bahía Crossing on the Colorado River in Fayette County, near the site of present La Grange. The settlement consisted of a trading post and ferry and was for some years the northernmost outpost on the Colorado. As such it was subject to frequent attack by the Karankawa Indians of the region. On March 17, 1836, the army of Gen. Sam Houston crossed the Colorado at Burnam's Ferry in retreat from the forces of Antonio López de Santa Anna in what later became known as the Runaway Scrape. Two days later Houston ordered the destruction of the ferry to prevent its use by the oncoming Mexican army. In the end, the Burnam family homestead and store were destroyed as well and were never rebuilt.

Jesse Burnam, "The Reminiscences of Captain Jesse Burnam," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 5 (July 1901). Darrell Debo, Burnet County History (2 vols., Burnet, Texas: Eakin, 1979). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

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

F. B. Largent, Jr., “Burnam's Ferry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 18, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/burnams-ferry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994