Cartwright, Jesse H. (ca. 1787–1848)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Jesse H. Cartwright, public official, early settler, and one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, was born about 1787 in Nashville, Tennessee. He moved to Texas from Woodville, Mississippi, in 1825. The census of March 1826 listed him as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife, Nancy (Gray), a son, a daughter, two servants, and eight slaves. Cartwright's title to a league and a labor of land now in Fort Bend and Lavaca counties was granted on March 31, 1828. In 1830 he built his home on the Samuel Isaacks league at the head of Oyster Creek. Cartwright presided over the August 1830 election of electors for choosing the state governor and vice governor; as second regidor at San Felipe de Austin in December 1830 he was on a committee to examine the validity of land titles in Austin's first colony. Cartwright, along with Randolph Foster and William Walker, apparently served on a procurement committee during the early stages of the Texas Revolution, for on October 11, 1835, Richard Royster Royall requested that the trio bring lead and powder to San Felipe for the use of the Texas army. In June 1836 Cartwright blossomed as a realtor and advertised lots in Fayetteville, to be located on Round Lake, on the east side of the Brazos River. This town he tried, unsuccessfully, to make the county seat of Fort Bend County in 1838. In October 1836 Cartwright represented Harrisburg County in the House of the First Congress. About 1841 he sold most of his Fort Bend County holdings and moved west to the Guadalupe River. Apparently Cartwright divorced Nancy; he married Martha Adcock on May 31, 1843, in Harris County. Nancy died in Fort Bend before May 4, 1847, and Jesse was administrator of her estate. He died on March 11, 1848, in Guadalupe County.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Eugene C. Barker, ed., "Minutes of the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin, 1828–1832," 12 parts, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21–24 (January 1918-October 1920). 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). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Leonie L. Weyand, Early History of Fayette County, 1822–1865 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1932).
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Anonymous, “Cartwright, Jesse H.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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