Thompson, Jesse (ca. 1776–1834)

By: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 14, 2019

Jesse Thompson, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists and Brazoria County planter, was born about 1776 in Georgia. He married Mary Denley and settled in Alabama. They eventually had nine children. The family moved to Texas around 1823, and Thompson received title to a sitio of land in Brazoria County on August 7, 1824. The census of 1826 listed him as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife, Mary, four sons, four daughters, two servants, and fifteen slaves. Noah Smithwick reported that Thompson paid more attention to his stock than to his planting. Probably because of Thompson's dissatisfaction over the slavery situation, Benjamin W. Edwards tried to persuade him to aid the Fredonian Rebellion in December 1826. Thompson, however, did not join Edwards but was paid $522 for the use of his teams in transporting the Mexican troops to put down the trouble. In 1828 Thompson moved to Fort Bend County, contracted for the Knight and White league of land on the east bank of the Brazos River, and put in a ferry. By 1833 Thompson and Thomas H. Borden were quarreling over a section of land that both of them wanted. They submitted the quarrel to a board of honor and agreed to stop hostilities, but difficulties continued until Borden shot and killed Thompson in Fort Bend County on December 19, 1834. The Mexican army commanded by Antonio López de Santa Anna crossed the Brazos River at Thompson's Ferry in April of 1836, which forced the Texans to abandon Fort Bend. In 1842 Thompson’s heirs received title to a labor of land on the west side of the Brazos River.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days (Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983). Texas Republican, December 20, 1834. William Barret Travis, Diary, ed. Robert E. Davis (Waco: Texian, 1966). Clarence Wharton, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939).

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, “Thompson, Jesse,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 14, 2019

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