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Nicholson, James (1814–1885)

Biography Entry

James Nicholson was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, in June 1814. He first came to the United States in 1833, returned to England for a visit in 1837, married Ruth Tripple in New York in 1838, and moved to Bastrop, Texas, in 1839. There he opened a store and, in June 1839, became town clerk. His family joined him in 1840. Nicholson served as mayor in 1844. For a time he operated a Bastrop hostelry known as the Nicholson House. In 1864, after service in the Confederate Army, he went to Mexico. In 1866 he and his wife made a combination boat and train trip to New York. Nicholson died at Bastrop on April 29, 1885, and was survived by his wife and three daughters. His diary of his trip to Texas in 1839 and his family papers are in the Texas State Archives.

Biographies of Leading Texans (MS, Texas State Archives, Austin).


  • Peoples
  • English
  • Business
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government

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

Anonymous, “Nicholson, James,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.