The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

White, Francis Menefee (1811–1897)

Stephen L. Hardin Biography Entry

Francis Menefee White, settler, soldier, and public official, was born at Pulaski, Tennessee, on August 11, 1811, son of Jesse and Mary (Menefee) White. The family moved to Tuscumbia, Alabama, and then to Jackson County, Texas, in 1830. On February 26, 1835, White married Rosanna K. McNutt. On October 1, 1835, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Texas army and later participated in the siege of Bexar, the Grass Fight, and several other minor skirmishes while serving under Rawson Alley and George Sutherland. Voters in the Matagorda district elected White as their representative to the Consultation in San Felipe, but, occupied with his military duties around Bexar, he was unable to attend. White later left the army to care for his pregnant wife; apparently Rosanna's pregnancy was too far advanced for her to join in the Runaway Scrape; she and White remained in the Brazos bottoms. White and a young man slave delivered the baby, who soon died. The Whites had three more children. After independence, White was named commissioner of Jackson County in 1837 and was elected justice of the peace in 1838, 1839, and 1840. White attended the Convention of 1845 and as a member of the House represented Jackson County in the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth legislatures. He was a member of the Board of Land Commissioners and also served as chairman of the House Committee on Public Lands. On September 14, 1845, after Rosanna's death, White married Margarette Sealy; they had eight children. In 1857 he won the post of commissioner of the General Land Office, which he held until 1862. Provisional Governor Andrew J. Hamilton recalled White to oversee the Land Office during the early stages of Reconstruction, and he served until 1866, at which time he left public life. White returned to his Jackson County home and spent his remaining days farming and practicing law. He died on March 22, 1897, and was buried in the Wells family cemetery ten miles southeast of Edna.

Harold Schoen, comp., Monuments Erected by the State of Texas to Commemorate the Centenary of Texas Independence (Austin: Commission of Control for Texas Centennial Celebrations, 1938). Ira T. Taylor, The Cavalcade of Jackson County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1938). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).


  • First Legislature (1846)
  • House
  • Politics and Government
  • Government Officials
  • State Legislators
  • Fifth Legislature (1853-1854)
  • Fourth Legislature (1851-1853)
  • Sixth Legislature (1855-1856)
  • Military
  • Soldiers

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Stephen L. Hardin, “White, Francis Menefee,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 21, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.