Hopkins, James Elliot (1805–1878)

By: Christopher Long

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

Updated: April 27, 2016

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James Elliot Hopkins, early Red River County settler, was born on May 30, 1805, in Montgomery County, Kentucky, the son of Catherine "Katie" Elliot and Francis Marion Hopkins. He immigrated to Texas with his family in 1823 and gradually acquired a large amount of land that later became part of Red River County. He married Rebecca Gregg on February 2, 1834. The 1860 census lists him with personal property valued at $50,000. His plantation, which he operated with his brother Richard M. Hopkins, included some 1,200 improved acres; in 1860 it produced 10,000 bushels of corn and 385 bales of cotton. The brothers also owned 139 slaves and were thus among the 100 largest slaveholders in Texas at that time. He died on March 1, 1878, and is buried in the Clarksville Cemetery.

Randolph B. Campbell, An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821–1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989). Randolph B. Campbell and Richard G. Lowe, Wealth and Power in Antebellum Texas (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1977). Blewett Barnes Kerbow, The Early History of Red River County, 1817–1865 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1936). Red River Recollections (Clarksville, Texas: Red River County Historical Society, 1986). Rex W. Strickland, Anglo-American Activities in Northeastern Texas, 1803–1845 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1937). Ralph A. Wooster, "Wealthy Texans, 1860," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 71 (October 1967). Pat B. Clarke, The History of Clarksville and Old Red River County (Dallas: Van Nort & Co., 1937).


  • 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.

Christopher Long, “Hopkins, James Elliot,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 17, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hopkins-james-elliot.

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February 1, 1995
April 27, 2016