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SMITH, MORGAN L.

SMITH, MORGAN L. (1802–?). Morgan L. Smith, soldier, merchant, and Brazoria County planter, a native of New York City, had served as a colonel in the New York Seventh Regiment before 1838, when he came to Columbia, Texas, and became a merchant in partnership with Thomas J. Pilgrim and John Adriance. The business concern, under the name of Smith and Adriance, sold family and plantation supplies for which cotton was frequently received in exchange and extended credit to families, planters, and local dealers throughout the settlements west of the Trinity River. From 1841 to 1847 Smith and Adriance were joint owners of Waldeck Plantation in Brazoria County, which Smith developed into one of the largest sugar plantations in Texas. In 1842, when cotton receipts fell off, he began to accept other security and added to Waldeck slaves, acreage, and equipment. The partnership dissolved by 1845, and from 1842 to 1846 Smith used the plantation as a self-sustaining recruiting camp, to which he sent slaves and work animals that he accepted in trade. In 1852 the plantation produced 520 hogsheads of sugar. Smith married Elizabeth B. Brower in Brooklyn, New York, in 1853. They returned to Texas, and he continued to operate Waldeck until about the beginning of the Civil War, when he sold it to an H. Bass. Smith, his wife, and his daughter Margaret were living in New York City in 1860. By the 1880 census Smith, aged 78, was living in Newark, New Jersey.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Abner J. Strobel, The Old Plantations and Their Owners of Brazoria County (Houston, 1926; rev. ed., Houston: Bowman and Ross, 1930; rpt., Austin: Shelby, 1980).

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Handbook of Texas Online, "Smith, Morgan L.," accessed July 01, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsm33.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.