Claiborne West, political leader and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Tennessee about 1800. He moved to Louisiana and married Anna Garner in 1824. The Wests came to Texas seven years later. West represented the Liberty District at the Convention of 1832 and served as a member of that body's subcommittee for safety and vigilance for the district of Cow Bayou. In 1835 he served in the Consultation from the Liberty Municipality. Upon the formation of the General Council West was selected to represent the Jefferson Municipality. At the Convention of 1836 he signed the declaration of independence from Mexico. During the Runaway Scrape West returned to Southeast Texas, where he furnished provisions to soldiers prior to the battle of San Jacinto. He subsequently enlisted in a company under Benjamin Franklin Hardin and served from July 1 to October 7, 1836. He was elected by Jefferson County voters to the House of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1836–37. After serving as postmaster for the hamlet of Jefferson, West moved to Montgomery County, where 1840 tax rolls include six slaves, four horses, and fifty cattle among his possessions. His wife died on March 3, 1847; shortly thereafter, West married Mrs. Prudence Kimbell, widow of George C. Kimbell. By 1850 the Wests had moved to Guadalupe County, where his estate included $3,000 in real property and nine slaves. After his second wife's death in 1861, West was married for a third time, to Mrs. Florinda McCulloch Day. West was a Mason and the father of nine children by his first marriage. He died on September 10, 1866.
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Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959).
Politics and Government
Republic of Texas Congressmen
First Congress (1836-1837)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 16, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 1, 1995