Teal, Henry (ca. 1800–1837)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Henry Teal, army officer, was born about 1800, came to Texas with his father, Edward Teal, before 1826, and settled in what is now San Augustine County. After serving as second lieutenant in Thomas J. Rusk's company in the siege of Bexar, he returned to East Texas in the spring of 1836 and, as captain, recruited a company of about forty men for the Texas army. He received his commission from the Convention of 1836 and reported with his company to Sam Houston at Gonzales. He was with Houston on the retreat to Harrisburg but because of illness was not on the field at San Jacinto. After Antonio López de Santa Anna surrendered, Teal and Henry Wax Karnes were sent to Matamoros, Mexico, to negotiate with Gen. José de Urrea for the exchange of prisoners under the treaties of Velasco. At Matamoros they found Urrea preparing for an invasion of Texas, and the two commissioners were imprisoned because they learned too much of the preparations. Teal reported the situation in the "Whip-Handle Dispatch." After his escape and return to Texas, he commanded his regiment until May 5, 1837, when he was shot while asleep in his tent at Camp Bowie. Teal's murderer was not discovered until a man named Schultz, a member of John A. Murrell's outlaw band in Mississippi, was being tried in Galveston on another charge and confessed that he had killed Henry Teal.

Samuel E. Asbury, ed., "Extracts from the Reminiscences of General George W. Morgan," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 30 (January 1927). John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). George L. Crocket, Two Centuries in East Texas (Dallas: Southwest, 1932; facsimile reprod., 1962). "Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 4, 7 (October 1900, January 1901, January 1904). Telegraph and Texas Register, May 30, 1837. Homer S. Thrall, A Pictorial History of Texas (St. Louis: Thompson, 1879).
Time Periods:
  • Republic of Texas
  • Texas Revolution

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Teal, Henry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/teal-henry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995