Whiting, Samuel (1799–1863)

By: Brett J. Derbes

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 25, 2017

Samuel Whiting, newspaper publisher, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1799, and came to Texas in 1825. He settled at Liberty and represented that district at the Convention of 1833. He was secretary of the Consultation at San Felipe in 1835 and on November 29, 1835, was granted six blank commissions or letters of marque to outfit privateers at New Orleans. During the Texas Revolution he served as a loan officer in the Texas Navy, as well as the cavalry under William B. Travis, and rose to the rank of colonel. In the summer and fall of 1836 he furnished supplies for the Texas army and a garrison holding prisoners at Liberty. Whiting was appointed as public printer for the Republic of Texas, and served in that capacity for four years. In 1837 he began printing the laws and journals of the Third Congress, and he published the Houston National Intelligencer in 1838 and 1839. On January 27, 1838, he married Elizabeth Everett Munson Orr at Magnolia Hall on Galveston Bay, but she died two years later. In 1839 he was appointed midshipman by President Mirabeau B. Lamar, served as chairman of the board of directors for the Galveston City Company, and opposed the efforts of journeymen printers to raise wages by more than 25 percent. That same year, Whiting lost nearly $5,000 to a thief, and was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Houston. On July 4, 1839, he was among a group of proprietors who established the town of Cushattee along the Trinity River at Tanner's Bluff in Liberty County. He set up a printing press at Austin on which he printed the first issue of the Austin City Gazette on October 30, 1839. In 1841 he became an officer of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Republic of Texas, and purchased 807 acres of land in Travis County from Captain Bartlett Sims. He published the Austin Daily Bulletin from November 1841 through January 1842 to give a daily synopsis of the proceedings of Congress. Whiting supported Sam Houston until the time of the Archives War, when he turned to the opposition. The Gazette suspended publication in August 1842, but Whiting remained in Austin until about December. He fell out of political favor following his criticism of President Sam Houston, which compelled him to leave Texas for New York. Whiting married Mary Stillwell in Brooklyn on March 22, 1843, and the couple produced two daughters and a son. He operated a clothing business and served as a trustee for Nelson W. Pettet and Jacob H. Burtis. In November 1848, a fire destroyed the North American Fire Insurance Company agency office, and Whiting offered space at his building as temporary office space. He later served as a director of the Montauk and Brooklyn Fire Insurance Companies. In 1850 he operated the Long Island Clothing Wareroom, and acceded to the demands of the Tailors Protective Union to increase the wages of tailors at his business. In January 1863, he operated a clothing a tailor business that sold fashionable cloth, cassimere, and vesting for men, youths, and boys. Whiting died on February 6, 1863, in Brooklyn, New York, and was buried at Old North Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut.

Austin City Gazette, January 29, 1840, September 1, 1841, December 29, 1841, January 5, 1842. Austin Daily Bulletin, December 14, 1841.Hugh Best, Debrett's Texas Peerage (New York: Coward-McCann, 1983). Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 23, 1843, November 8, 1843, February 26, 1844, November 10, 1848, January 4, 1850, October 8, 1850, June 21, 1860, January 27, 1863, October 24, 1863.Frank Brown, Annals of Travis County and the City of Austin (MS, Frank Brown Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). Civilian and Galveston Gazette, January 11, 1839. Joe B. Frantz, Newspapers of the Republic of Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Bruce A. Glasrud and James C. Maroney, Texas Labor History (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2013). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). Houston Morning Star, June 3, 1839. Houston National Intelligencer, March 28, 1839, July 4, 1839. New York Evening Post, August 16, 1843, January 7, 1850. New York Herald, February 7, 1863. Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Publishers and Executives

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

Brett J. Derbes, “Whiting, Samuel,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 24, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/whiting-samuel.

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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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.

April 25, 2017