Vince, Allen (ca. 1785–1849)

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 21, 2017

Allen Vince, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, and his brothers, William, Robert, and Richard Vince, whose family originally came from Georgia, was born about 1785. Vince was a widower whose two sons apparently did not accompany him to Texas when he first arrived. He was living in the San Jacinto River area in 1822 and was listed in the census of 1826 as aged between twenty-five and forty. A sister, Susan Vince, kept house for the family. Allen Vince was a partner of Mosis A. Callahan when they received title to a sitio in what is now Harris County on August 3, 1824. In April 30, 1831, Vince received an additional half league in eastern Grimes County and Montgomery County, and in 1838 he received a labor of land in Harrisburg County. The brothers gave their name to Vince's Bayou, famous for its bridge at the time of the battle of San Jacinto. Though Vince did not personally participate in the battle, Antonio López de Santa Anna fled the battlefield on his black stallion. In 1838 Sally Vince, a black woman, filed suit against Vince, charging him with holding her, a free black, in slavery. She based her case on a deed executed by William Vince dated September 7, 1834, that granted her freedom at his death. Allen Vince, William's administrator, contended that William owned only a one-third interest in Sally. When William's property was sold, Allen Vince claimed to have purchased her for $500. The case, which went to jury on January 7, 1839, awarded Sally Vince her freedom. Vince married Ann Baker Hendrick Melon (or Mellon) in 1839 and some time later married Matilda Wilburn (Welborn, Wellborn); according to some sources, he may have been living with two wives simultaneously. In 1838 the Second Congress of the Republic of Texas declared John Vince, son of Allen Vince and Matilda Welborn, the legitimate son of Allen Vince and capable of inheriting his parents' property. Allen Vince was administrator of the John Flanders estate in 1841 and of the Richard Vince estate in 1844. In his diary Christian F. Duerr recorded visits made by Vince and his son and their talks of old times in Florida and early days in Texas. Vince died in Fort Bend County, where he operated a stock ranch, in May 1849.

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). George L. Charlton, "Vince's Bridge: Question Mark of the San Jacinto Campaign," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 68 (January 1965). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Adele B. Looscan, "Harris County, 1822–1845," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 18–19 (October 1914-July 1915). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Andrew Forest Muir, "The Free Negro in Harris County, Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 46 (January 1943). "Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 4, 7 (October 1900, January 1901, January 1904). Telegraph and Texas Register, June 23, 1838, June 9, 1841, January 31, 1844.

Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Vince, Allen,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

July 21, 2017

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: