Westall, Thomas (1782–1833)

By: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell and Brett J. Derbes

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 19, 2019


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Thomas Westall, member of the Old Three Hundred, was born in Scotland, Virginia, in 1782. The Westall family moved to Buncombe, North Carolina, in 1808 and acquired land on Whitsons Creek. By 1815 the family relocated to Franklin, Tennessee. On his way to Texas from Tennessee in April 1824, Westall stopped at Alexandria, Louisiana, where J. Thomas gave him a letter of recommendation to Stephen F. Austin. As one of Austin's Old Three Hundred settlers, Westall received title to two leagues and two labors of land in what became Wharton, Fort Bend, and Austin counties on July 19, 1824. In August 1824 he hired four slaves to Austin as part payment for his land. He went back to Tennessee and laid in a supply of merchandise in the fall of 1824. Both Stephen F. and James E. B. Austin bought supplies from him in March 1825. James Austin married Westall's daughter, Eliza, in 1825. The census of 1826 classified Westall as a farmer and stock raiser, aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife Sarah (Henry) Westall, two sons, a daughter, and four slaves. In 1830 Westall agreed to build a brick house and do some fencing in San Felipe in return for building lots there. His cotton plantation near the McNeil plantation on the Brazos River had a school taught by Timothy B. Phelps. In June 1832 Westall was on a committee to decide whether or not citizens at Brazoria should take part in the war against the Mexican garrison at Anahuac (see ANAHUAC DISTURBANCES). He was sent by John Austin to order the Mexican collector at Brazoria to give up his arms and ammunition. Westall died in a cholera epidemic on August 21, 1833; James F. Perry wrote Austin of claims being made on his estate by persons in Tennessee.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Eugene C. Barker, ed., "Minutes of the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin, 1828–1832," 12 parts, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 21–24 (January 1918-October 1920). 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). Randolph B. Campbell, An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821-1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989). Light Townsend Cummins, Emily Austin of Texas 1795-1851 (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 2009). Marie Beth Jones, Peach Point Plantation: The First 150 Years (Waco: Texian Press, 1982). Sean M. Kelley, Los Brazos de Dios: A Plantation Society in the Texas Borderlands, 1821-1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010).P. E. Peareson, "Reminiscences of Judge Edwin Waller," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 4 (July 1900). Edna Rowe, "The Disturbances at Anahuac in 1832," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6 (April 1903). Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days(Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983). Telegraph and Texas Register, March 28, 1837. Visit to Texas (New York, Goodrich & Wiley, 1834; Austin, Steck, 1952).

Categories:

  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers

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 and Brett J. Derbes, “Westall, Thomas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 20, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/westall-thomas.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

1952
September 19, 2019

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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