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Scott, Henry (ca. 1791–ca. 1834)

L. Clay Fisher Biography Entry

Henry Scott, early Texas colonist, arrived in Austin's Colony during February 1829 together with his wife Martha (nicknamed "Patsey," age thirty-three), five sons, and three daughters, all as evidenced by Austin's Register of Families. Four additional children (three sons and one daughter) were born to Martha and Henry Scott after their arrival in Texas. Scott took the oath of Mexican citizenship on December 10, 1829, and represented that he was a thirty-eight-year-old farmer coming from Alabama. In April 1831 the Mexican government granted Scott title to a league of land that had been surveyed by Horatio Chriesman at a place called Botts Spring on the right bank of the Brazos River, a few miles above the site known as Old Fort in what eventually became Fort Bend County. In the proceeding, Scott's character was attested to by Samuel May Williams, and the grant was issued by commissioner José Miguel de Arciniega. The Brazos riverfront lands within several miles both above and below the Scott league were occupied almost exclusively by Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred settlers. The name of Henry Scott appeared on a battle of Velasco muster roll of men in camp on June 28, 1832, under command of Capt. W. J. Russell. According to the Scott family Bible, Henry Scott died when he was in his early forties and prior to the birth of his youngest child in August 1835.

Evidence suggests that the Henry Scott league was situated directly on the path of the invading Mexican army during its 1836 spring campaign; indeed, the settlements and countryside in the immediate vicinity of the Scott homestead at the time of the Texas Revolution were described in some detail by Mexican army diarist Lt. Col. José Enrique de la Peña as well as Gen. Vicente Filisola. Thus, it is likely that the late Henry Scott's family members found themselves in the midst of the notorious Texian evacuation that became known as the Runaway Scrape. Shortly after the post-revolutionary Republic of Texas courts were established, succession proceedings relative to Scott's estate were initiated in January 1838 in the Fort Bend County probate court of Chief Justice Wyly Martin. The estate was appraised by battle of San Jacinto veteran Wilson T. Lightfoot (who later married one of Scott's daughters—Sarah) and Texas Declaration of Independence signer Thomas Barnett. Pursuant to a Fort Bend County court order, the lower half of the Scott league was ordered to be conveyed to James Knight, the surviving partner of the Old Three Hundred merchant firm of Knight and White; the remaining upper half was later divided between Scott's widow Martha and his children.

Martha Scott married again in 1841 to siege of Bexar veteran L. M. Armstrong— himself a widower—but for reasons now unclear that marriage was subsequently dissolved in 1844 by the court in Fort Bend County. During the early 1840s, widow Martha and many of the Henry Scott extended family members relocated to northern Bastrop County where they resided for the remainder of their lives. Much of the present-day town of Rosenberg is situated on the Henry Scott league in Fort Bend County, and the Scott family's early presence there is noted on the town’s Texas Historical Marker located in front of the city's Municipal Court building.

Fort Bend County Marriage Records; Fort Bend County Probate Records, Fort Bend County Clerk’s Office, Richmond, Texas. Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Villamae Williams, Stephen F. Austin’s Register of Families (Nacogdoches, Texas: Ericson, 1984). 

Categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Farmers

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

L. Clay Fisher, “Scott, Henry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/scott-henry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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