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COATS, MERIT M. (?–1827). Merit M. Coats (Coates), one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, received title to a sitio of land now in Waller County on July 19, 1824. No Merit M. Coats was listed in the colony census of 1826, but the census did list a Brown M. Coats, a farmer and stock raiser, a single man aged between twenty-five and forty and owner of two slaves. A Merrit M. Coates executed a will in Harris County on October 2, 1823. The will freed two slaves, Violet and her son, Carter. The claim was made that Coates kept Violet as his wife, and their daughter, Martha, was freed upon Coates's death in 1827. It is not clear if Carter was Coates's son.


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). Andrew Forest Muir, "The Free Negro in Harris County, Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 46 (January 1943).


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

"COATS, MERIT M.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed August 31, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.