Starr, Franklin Jefferson (1805–1837)

By: Linda S. Hudson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Franklin Jefferson Starr, law partner of William B. Travis and brother of Texas land and banking agent James Harper Starr, was born at New Hartford, Connecticut, on April 11, 1805, the son of James and Persia (Shaw) Starr. In 1814 the Starr family moved to Ohio, and in April 1829 Franklin Starr became adjutant of the Second Regiment of the Second Brigade, Seventh Division, Ohio state troops. Later as principal of an academy at Columbus, Ohio, he instructed his brother, James. Franklin J. Starr was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1833, then moved to Georgia and was admitted to the Georgia bar. In 1834 Starr and Amasa Spencer were commissioned to inspect conditions in Mexican Texas by a group of Georgia investors. They investigated potential localities for settlement and returned to Georgia in spring 1835. Their report to their Georgia clients revealed Texas agricultural prospects and the unsatisfactory aspects of the Mexican administration. Starr married Pamela Orme sometime before August 30, 1835, when the newly married couple migrated to Texas. Starr took his Mexican citizenship oath at San Felipe de Austin on December 24, 1835. He and William B. Travis formed a law partnership at San Felipe at that time. While Travis took command of the Texian forces at the Alamo in San Antonio and gained fame as the ill-fated commander of the Alamo, Starr joined a volunteer company under Moseley Baker and marched to Gonzales. Starr was granted a furlough to remove his family and belongings from San Felipe to a safer location in Nacogdoches during the Runaway Scrape. The William B. Travis diary was one of the items preserved by Starr and became significant after the fall of the Alamo. Starr began the practice of criminal law in Nacogdoches in May 1836. In May of the next year he became captain of a company of mounted volunteers organized to pursue hostile Indians in Nacogdoches County, which comprised a large part of the eastern part of the state at that time. The volunteers became sick from forced marches and exposure, since the military campaign was conducted during warm weather. Starr became ill with a fever and died on July 7, 1837. He was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Nacogdoches, Texas. The only child of Franklin and Pamela Starr was born on May 18, 1836, and died on June 7, 1839.

John N. Cravens, James Harper Starr: Financier of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Daughters of the Republic of Texas, 1950). Carolyn Reeves Ericson, ed., Nacogdoches County Cemetery Records (Nacogdoches, Texas, 1974-). Carolyn Reeves Ericson, Nacogdoches, Gateway to Texas: A Biographical Directory (2 vols., Fort Worth: Arrow-Curtis Printing, 1974, 1987). James Harper Starr Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Linda S. Hudson, “Starr, Franklin Jefferson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995