Cummins, James (unknown–1849)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

James (Jack) Cummins, farmer and public official, born about 1773, became interested in Texas as early as July 15, 1819, while operating a salt business on the south side of the Caddo River in Arkansas. He was in Texas before June 1822 and settled on the east bank of the Colorado River, opposite the community at Beason's Ferry, site of the present town of Columbus. While he was returning east for his family, an Indian raid on his vacant settlement destroyed his corn crop and left his family without provisions when they arrived on the Colorado. He became alcalde at San Felipe de Austin on August 16, 1823, and served for four years. On July 7, 1824, as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, he was granted six leagues and a labor of land now in Colorado and Austin counties; his land bonus was granted because he was building a saw and grist mill. The census of March 1826 listed him as a farmer and stock raiser aged over fifty. Cummins and his wife, Rebecca, were the parents of six children. His home was a community center on the Colorado River, and he took an active part in all colonial affairs, serving on committees, drafting petitions, and carrying on an extensive correspondence with Stephen F. Austin. He was with the group of settlers who went to Nacogdoches to put down the Fredonian Rebellion but was too old to take part in the Texas Revolution. He lived on Cummins Creek, now in Colorado County, until his death in 1849.

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). Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986).
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Anonymous, “Cummins, James,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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