Godwin B. M. Cotten was born about 1791. He may have been the G. B. Cotten who was an aide of José Álvarez de Toledo y Dubois in the battle of the Medina River on August 18, 1813. At any rate, he published the Louisiana Gazette in New Orleans in 1815 and the Mobile Gazette at Mobile, Alabama, from 1816 to 1819. He arrived in Stephen F. Austin's Texas colony on August 10, 1829, and on September 25 at San Felipe de Austin began publication of the Texas Gazette. In 1830 he agreed to publish in his paper all orders, decrees, and advertisements of the ayuntamiento of San Felipe in return for two town lots. During the paper's first year Cotten suspended publication for nearly three months in order to release his equipment for printing the Translation of the Laws, Orders and Contracts of Colonization, from January, 1821, up to This Time, in Virtue of Which Col. Stephen Austin Has Introduced and Settled Immigrants in Texas, with an Explanatory Introduction-one of the earliest pamphlets, if not the earliest one, printed in Texas. He sold his paper in January 1831 and in March of that year had a log house at the mouth of the Brazos for the entertainment of travelers. He also acquired title to a league of land on the west bank of the Colorado River about five miles southwest of the site of present Bay City in what is now Matagorda County on December 15, 1830. He resumed publication of the Gazette in December 1831 and in early 1832 moved the paper to Brazoria, where it was issued as the Texas Gazette and Brazoria Commercial Advertiser. In July 1832 Cotten sold the paper to Daniel W. Anthony, but he continued his work in Anthony's employ through January 1833. On March 27, 1834, he announced his intention to practice law in Austin's colony.
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Eugene C. Barker, "Notes on Early Texas Newspapers," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (October 1917). Douglas C. McMurtrie, "Pioneer Printing in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 35 (January 1932). Ike H. Moore, "The Earliest Printing and First Newspaper in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 39 (October 1935).
Publishers and Executives
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Cotten, Godwin Brown Michael,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 27, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
December 1, 1994