Texas Gazette

By: Charlotte A. Hickson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: May 14, 2019

The Texas Gazette was published between 1829 and 1832, first at San Felipe de Austin and then at Brazoria. It was a typical frontier newspaper of four pages an issue, three columns a page; it usually measured 9½ inches by twelve inches and was printed in small type. The paper was generally in English but sometimes in Spanish. Although advertised as a weekly, it was very irregular. Godwin Brown Cotten began publishing the Texas Gazette on September 25, 1829, at San Felipe de Austin. The three major contributors-Robert McAlpin Williamson, Stephen F. Austin, and Cotten-often held divergent views. The opinions of Cotten and Austin often clashed. Williamson was on good terms with both men and often helped ease the tension between them. Austin also patronized the Gazette printing shop. Cotten was editor, publisher, and printer of the Gazette until January 15, 1831, except for a three-month period in which Williamson edited the paper while Cotten printed and published it. Cotten sold the Gazette to Williamson in January 1831, after completing the fifty-two numbers of Volume 1. Williamson named the newspaper the Mexican Citizen and ran it until approximately December 27, 1831, when Cotten resumed the ownership of the press and restored the paper's former name. Cotten also moved the press to Brazoria, where he published the Texas Gazette and Brazoria Commercial Advertiser from April to June 1832. Daniel W. Anthony purchased the paper around July 1832 and changed the name to Constitutional Advocate and Brazoria Advertiser. All extant issues, however, have the name Constitutional Advocate and Texas Public Advertiser. When Anthony died of cholera in the summer of 1833, John A. Wharton took over the press and published a paper named the Advocate of the People's Rights. The last issue was dated March 27, 1834. The same press was used beginning in July 1834 by Franklin C. Gray and A. J. Harris to issue the Brazoria Texas Republican.

The Texas Gazette, the first enduring Texas newspaper, was the earliest Texas newspaper of which more than one issue is now extant. As the first newspaper printed in Austin's colony, it depicted the life of the colonists and therefore the growth of the colony. It provided settlers with translations of Mexican laws, brought them outside news, and allayed their fears in time of crisis. The writings of Stephen F. Austin in the Texas Gazette are of particular historical importance since they enable us to trace his policy of placating the Mexican government. The press's publication of Mexican decrees and orders adds to the historical significance of the Texas Gazette. In addition, Cotten contributed to the history of Texas printing by setting a standard for the craft of printing for later Texas newspapers. He also made the first printed statement of dissatisfaction with arbitrary official conduct in Texas.

Charles A. Bacarisse, "The Texas Gazette, 1829–1831," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 56 (October 1952). Eugene C. Barker, "Notes on Early Texas Newspapers," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21 (October 1917). Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983).


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Charlotte A. Hickson, “Texas Gazette,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 26, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-gazette.

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May 14, 2019

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