Chriesman, Horatio (1797–1878)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Horatio Chriesman, one of the Old Three Hundred, colonial statesman, and military officer, was born in Virginia on August 13, 1797. He moved to Kentucky and then on to Missouri, where he worked as a surveyor and married Mary Kincheloe in 1818. In 1821 he chartered the schooner Only Son and prepared to move with William Kincheloe's family to Texas. His wife died at New Madrid before the expedition started. Chriesman and other members of the party reached the Colorado River in Texas on June 19, 1822. He was surveyor of Stephen F. Austin's colony from 1823 to 1836. As a captain of the colonial militia in 1824, he participated in several Indian fights and also fought the Fredonians (see FREDONIAN REBELLION). On July 8, 1824, he received title to one league and two labores of land in the area that became Fort Bend and Austin counties. In 1825 he married Augusta Hope. He was elected alcalde at San Felipe in 1832 and signed the official call for the Convention of 1832. He petitioned for the organization of Washington Municipality in 1835 and was defeated that year in the race for the office of regidor. After attending the Convention of 1836, Chriesman started east to move his family and others beyond the Trinity River; they had reached Jefferson County when they learned of the battle of San Jacinto. In October 1837 Chriesman was one of a commission of five chosen to select a site for the capital of the republic. His offer of 700 acres near Washington-on-the-Brazos for the seat of government was rejected. He was still living in Washington County in 1842, when he was administrator of Thomas Gay's estate. Chriesman had eleven children. He later moved to Burleson County, where he died on November 1, 1878. The town of Chriesman in northern Burleson County, originally known as Yellow Prairie, was named for him.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). E. L. Blair, Early History of Grimes County (Austin, 1930). 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). Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959). J. H. Kuykendall, "Captain Horatio Chriesman," in One League to Each Wind: Accounts of Early Surveying in Texas, ed. Sue Watkins (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1964?). Andrew Jackson Sowell, History of Fort Bend County (Houston: Coyle, 1904; rpt, Richmond, Texas: Fort Bend County Historical Museum, 1974). Clarence Wharton, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939).

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Anonymous, “Chriesman, Horatio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 29, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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