By: John L. Davis

Type: Overview Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: July 1, 1995

Scots, as immigrants to Texas, came singly or in small groups, some as early as 1825, but they had very limited success in establishing colonies, and they dispersed rapidly throughout the population. Several Scots, working both for the United States government and Scottish universities, explored and mapped Texas from around 1805 to 1835. Those settlers who came to stay fought in the Texas Revolution, and they were quickly followed into the new republic by native-born Scots or Americans of Scottish ancestry. Among noted individuals were the McLennans, who settled in central Texas (see MCLENNAN, NEIL; MCLENNAN COUNTY); George Cupples, prominent early Texas physician; Jesse Chisholm, Scot-Cherokee trailblazer and trader; the Camerons (see CAMERON, EWEN; CAMERON, JOHN; CAMERON, WILLIAM; CAMERON, WILLIAM WALDO); and Edmund Duncan Montgomery, physician and philosopher. A number of Scottish stone workers were brought to Texas for the construction of the state capitol (see CAPITOL BOYCOTT) in the 1880s. These granite workers were responsible for much of the work on the present capitol building and other, later, construction around the state. Although individualistic in business and settlement, Texas Scots were not slow to organize. In 1890 the Universal Order of Scottish Clans organized several lodges in Texas. The Scottish Society of Texas was a later organization. Both were active in the 1970s and held annual clan gatherings. Since 1961 an annual "Gathering of the Clans" has been held in Salado, Bell County, in November. Sponsored by the Central Texas Area Museum, it features highland dancing, piping and drumming events, and Scottish field events. The 1990 census listed 36,854 persons of Scottish descent in the state of Texas.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Peoples
  • Scots

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

John L. Davis, “Scots,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995