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Fisher, John (1800–1865)

L. W. Kemp Biography Entry

John Fisher, early settler, public official, and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Richmond, Virginia, on January 18, 1800, the son of James and Margaret (Nimmo) Fisher. In 1832 he traveled to Texas with his family and settled in Gonzales in Green DeWitt's colony. His brother, William S. Fisher, led a company at the battle of San Jacinto and was also the commander of the Mier expedition. Another brother, Henry Fisher, was purser on the Texas ship Liberty in 1835.

In 1835 John Fisher served as secretary of the committee of safety for Gonzales Municipality; in that capacity he wrote Stephen F. Austin on November 3, 1835, protesting the abuses of San Augustine volunteers who, according to Fisher, robbed "money clothing and every thing they could lay their hands on." At the Convention of 1836 in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Fisher represented Gonzales. On March 2, 1836, he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. On November 17, 1837, he petitioned President Sam Houston for a appointment as notary public for the port of Velasco. He apparently did not receive the post, for soon afterward he assigned to Peter W. Grayson his rights to a headright certificate for a league and a labor of land and returned to Virginia, where he married Margaret Connor McKim. The couple had two children, one of whom died in infancy.

By 1860 Fisher was listed as a tobacconist in Richmond, Virginia. In February of 1860 he wrote Sam Houston that he had petitioned the Texas legislature to grant him a league of land, but that his application had been rejected by the Senate. The letter requested that the governor use his influence to "get the Senate to reconsider their vote," but there is no evidence that Houston ever did so. Fisher died on August 13, 1865, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.

Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

L. W. Kemp, “Fisher, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 19, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995