White, Matthew G. (1775–ca. 1830)

By: Robert Wooster

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: November 1, 1995

Matthew G. White, early Texas settler, surveyor, and alcalde of the Atascosito District, son of John and Mary White, was born in Charlotte County, Virginia, in 1775. He and his wife, Lucy (Price) White, moved to Mississippi, where they established a plantation near Liberty, the county seat of Amite County. White and his son-in-law, Hugh B. Johnston, were among the leaders of a contingent of immigrants to Texas in 1825. White claimed a league of Atascosito District land on the east bank of the Trinity River in what is now part of the city of Liberty. The 1826 census listed him as a farmer and stockraiser. As was the case for many other area residents, however, the Mexican government did not immediately recognize his claim. This led White to join a number of local settlers in petitioning Mexican president Anastasio Bustamante for action in the matter in 1827. Despite his grievances, White was alcalde of the Atascosito District in 1829–30. White drowned in Self's Bayou in late 1830 or early 1831. He had twelve children; James B. Woods and Hugh B. Johnston married two of his daughters. Mexico finally recognized White's land claim in 1831, and the area was subsequently found to have large quantities of oil. In 1976 the Liberty Bicentennial celebration commemorated White's prerevolutionary grant with a marker.

Miriam Partlow, Liberty, Liberty County, and the Atascosito District (Austin: Pemberton, 1974).
  • Exploration
  • Surveyors and Cartographers
  • 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.

Robert Wooster, “White, Matthew G.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/white-matthew-g.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1995

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