Garrett, William (ca. 1811–1884)

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: Biography

Published: September 1, 1995

Updated: February 9, 2021

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William Garrett, a prominent San Augustine plantation owner, may have been one of the first settlers on the Brazos River.He was born in Tennessee about 1811, the son of Jacob Garrett. The family may have lived in Arkansas for a time. Sometime in the late 1820s or early 1830s Garrett moved to Texas. He started a mercantile business in Nacogdoches, then moved to the Ayish Bayou District, and eventually settled at San Augustine. His father Jacob and brother Milton later followed him to Texas. William Garrett was listed in San Augustine County records as a member of a militia commanded by Capt. William Kimbrough in 1836. In 1838 Garrett submitted a claim to receive one league and one labor of land. Garrett may have been married twice. The 1850 United States Census listed him as aged thirty-eight with five children. The 1860 census showed him to be forty-nine years old, owning 1,150 acres of improved land, and producing corn and cotton. He also produced significant harvests of wheat and barley. He owned 132 slaves. His plantation home was built by slave labor in 1861 and finally completed in 1864. He died on December 1, 1884, and a marriage announcement of his son mentioned the groom's late father, William Garrett. In 1962 the Garrett Plantation Home in San Augustine received a Texas historical marker.

Randolph B. Campbell, An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821–1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989). Anne Clark, Historic Homes of San Augustine (Austin: Encino, 1972). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Ralph A. Wooster, "Notes on Texas' Largest Slaveholders, 1860," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (July 1961).


  • Agriculture
  • Plantation Owners

Time Periods:

  • Antebellum Texas

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

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Garrett, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 18, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995
February 9, 2021