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Hall, John W. (ca. 1786–1845)

Biography Entry

John W. (Captain Jack) Hall, member of the Old Three Hundred and judge, was born in South Carolina about 1786. His family moved to Louisiana soon after its purchase in 1803. Hall joined the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition in 1812, as did his brother, Warren D. C. Hall. He also took part in the battle of New Orleans in January 1815. In 1822 he returned to Texas and settled at the La Bahía Road crossing of the Brazos River. He received title to two leagues and two labors of land now in Brazoria and Waller counties on July 10, 1824, and established a ferry at the site of Washington-on-the-Brazos in 1825. The census of 1826 classified him as a farmer and stock raiser with a wife, Patsy (daughter of Andrew Robinson), two young sons, four servants, and twenty slaves. In December 1830 the ayuntamiento of San Felipe approved Hall's petition for an additional league of land. In March 1835 he joined with Asa Hoxey, Thomas Gray, and others in founding the Washington Townsite Company, which promoted Washington-on-the-Brazos and rented the building in which the Texas Declaration of Independence was written. Hall became county judge and sheriff of Washington County in July 1835 and in November of that year helped organize the local militia. In March 1836 he issued an address calling for volunteers; later during the revolution he furnished supplies for the army. He died on January 1, 1845. He was buried with Masonic rites and honors, and both houses of the Texas Congress adjourned as a mark of respect to his memory.

A John W. Hall immigrated to Texas in 1831 as a member of Stephen F. Austin's second colony, took part in the battle of San Jacinto, and lived in Brazoria County in 1837. He is probably the John W. Hall listed in DeWitt C. Baker's Texas Scrap-Book as dying in 1839.

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). Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959). Texas National Register, January 4, 1845. William Barret Travis, Diary, ed. Robert E. Davis (Waco: Texian, 1966).


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Anonymous, “Hall, John W.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: