Jackson, Humphrey (1784–1833)

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

Humphrey Jackson, Harris County pioneer, member of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, and early San Jacinto District official, was born on November 24, 1784, in Belfast, Ireland, where his father owned flour and linen mills and was a member of the Irish Parliament that was dissolved in 1801. Jackson was educated in the law and immigrated to the United States in 1808. He settled at Berwick's Bayou, Louisiana, where he operated a sugar plantation near Vermillionville and served as a private with Baker's Louisiana Militia regiment at the battle of New Orleans in 1815. Jackson had married a Miss White, who died shortly without children. On October 13, 1814, he married Sarah Merriman, his first wife's cousin, with whom he had four children. Unable to run his plantation because he chose not to own slaves, Jackson traveled to Texas in September 1823 and built a log cabin outside Austin's colony on the San Jacinto River, a half mile west of the site of present Crosby. When it was discovered that he had settled outside the colony, Jackson petitioned the Baron de Bastrop, who on August 16, 1824, granted him title to a league and a labor of land, including the place where he had settled, in what is now Harris County. To become a legal colonist, Jackson next petitioned the Mexican government to form the San Jacinto District under control of the Austin colony; he was elected alcalde of the new district in 1824, 1825, and 1827, and served as ex officio militia captain of the San Jacinto area. In May 1825 he was appointed deputy constable in a case involving the schooner Mary. The census of March 1826 classified him as a farmer and stock raiser, a widower with a household including one servant, three sons, and a daughter. He offered Austin his services to help put down the Fredonian Rebellion in 1827 and in 1828 was regidor of Liberty Municipality. He was also a candidate for alcalde in 1830, when Francis W. Johnson was elected. Jackson was killed by a falling tree on January 18, 1833, and buried at Crosby. Jackson's Bayou in eastern Harris County is probably named for him.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Eugene C. Barker, "The Government of Austin's Colony, 1821–1831," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (January 1918). 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). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas (Austin, 1963-). Andrew Forest Muir, "Humphrey Jackson, Alcalde of San Jacinto," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 68 (January 1965). Regina Shaw, "European Immigration to the American Frontier: The Case of Humphrey Jackson, 1784–1833," Touchstone 1 (1982). Texas Gazette, November 27, 1830. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Peoples
  • Irish
  • Politics and Government
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Jackson, Humphrey,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/jackson-humphrey.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

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