The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Field, Joseph E. (unknown–1882)

Pat Ireland Nixon Biography Entry

Joseph E. Field, physician, reached Texas in 1833 and lived near Brazoria and Matagorda for two years. Late in 1835, when the Texas Revolution broke out, he was at Gonzales, on his way to Mexico, and he and the four other doctors in the area volunteered their services. Field marched with the army to San Antonio and during and after the siege of Bexar served as both doctor and soldier. On his way from San Antonio he met Sam Houston, with whom he traveled as far as Nacogdoches. At the Mexican armed incursion in the spring of 1836, Field joined the command of James Walker Fannin, Jr., fought at the battle of Coleto, and was made a prisoner along with Fannin's other men. He and the other doctors were spared from the Goliad Massacre so that they could treat wounded Mexicans. After two weeks Field made his escape and heard the news of the battle of San Jacinto. After the revolution he made a visit to Massachusetts, where, in September 1836, he published Three Years in Texas. On his return to Texas late that year he joined the army. After a year of service he practiced medicine, first at Brazoria, and then, as late as 1874, at Corpus Christi. He experienced extreme poverty in his later life. A small pension granted him in 1858 was subsequently withdrawn, and efforts were being made for its reinstatement when Field, then blind and forgotten, died in Clear Water Harbor, Florida, in 1882.

William Campbell Binkley, ed., Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution, 1835–1836 (2 vols., New York: Appleton-Century, 1936). Pat Ireland Nixon, The Medical Story of Early Texas, 1528–1853 (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lupe Memorial Fund, 1946). Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days (Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983).


  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Pat Ireland Nixon, “Field, Joseph E.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 09, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: