Burton, Isaac Watts (1805–1843)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Isaac Watts Burton, soldier and legislator, son of William B. Burton, was born in Clarke County, Georgia, in 1805. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1822 but withdrew in 1823. He traveled to Texas in January 1832 and took part in the battle of Nacogdoches. On November 29, 1835, he was appointed captain of a ranger company by the General Council and later served as a private in Henry W. Karnes's cavalry company at the battle of San Jacinto. Thomas J. Rusk commanded Burton and his mounted rangers to watch the Texas coast from Guadalupe to Refugio to keep the Mexicans from landing supplies. On June 3, 1836, Burton and his command, near Copano, captured the boat Watchman, loaded with supplies for the Mexican army. After capturing the Comanche and the Fannie Butler, Burton's command became known as the Horse Marines. Burton served in the Senate of the Second, Third, and Fourth congresses, September 25, 1837, to February 5, 1840. He was appointed commissioner to treat with the Indians on November 10, 1836, and served on the commission to select a site for a permanent capital of the republic. He practiced law in Nacogdoches for several years and was associated with Charles D. Ferris in publishing the Nacogdoches Texas Chronicle. In 1841 Burton moved to Crockett, where he died in January 1843.

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Patsy McDonald Spaw, The Texas Senate, Vol. 1 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Indian Agents
  • Politics and Government
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas
  • Texas Revolution

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

Anonymous, “Burton, Isaac Watts,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/burton-isaac-watts.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994