Gritten, Edward (unknown–unknown)

By: Julia L. Vivian

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 8, 2019

Edward Gritten, a mediator between the Mexican government and the Texas colonists just before the Texas Revolution, supposedly an Englishman and a long-time resident of Mexico, first visited Texas in 1834 as secretary to Juan N. Almonte. During July and August 1835 he worked to restore confidence between the Texas colonists and the Mexican government and held for a time a commission from Domingo de Ugartechea to report on the state of public opinion in the settlements. Gritten's reports refuted the charges against him of treachery to interests of the colonists. He urged Mexican authorities to adopt conciliatory measures, assuring them that most Texans were law-abiding Mexican citizens.

On July 7, 1835, through Gritten's influence, the Municipality of Gonzales passed resolutions of loyalty to Mexico, and on July 17 he was chosen as a commissioner to visit Martín Perfecto de Cos to explain the pacific attitude of the mass of the colonists. On the way to Matamoros, Gritten met a courier from Ugartechea with orders to arrest William B. Travis and other Texans. Gritten hastened to Bexar in an unsuccessful effort to persuade Ugartechea to revoke the orders, but he refused, and Cos sent a letter stating that he would not see Gritten until the surrender of the Texan offenders. Gritten remained at Bexar as mediator between Ugartechea and the colonists and identified himself with the Texas cause. He became a colonist on July 28, 1835, when he obtained certificates for a league and a quarter of land in Benjamin R. Milam's colony. In March 1836 Gritten pledged one-fifth of his land for the government.

On December 11, 1835, the General Council elected Gritten collector of the port of Copano, but Governor Henry Smith refused to sign the commission because he considered him a spy. In March 1836 Gritten worked in the printing office of the Telegraph and Texas Register at San Felipe. In July he was translator and interpreter in the case of the schooners Comanche and Fanny Butler, which had been captured by the Texas Navy. The last information found concerning Gritten is a receipt for money paid him by the government on October 11, 1836, for his services as a translator.

Eugene C. Barker, "James H. C. Miller and Edward Gritten," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 13 (October 1909).

  • Peoples
  • English
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Julia L. Vivian, “Gritten, Edward,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 8, 2019

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