Texas Day by Day
On this day in Texas history…
Memoirist John H. Jenkins killed in gunfight
November 30th, 1890
On this day in 1890, soldier and memoirist John Holland Jenkins was killed in a gunfight in Bastrop in an attempt to save his son, the sheriff, from an ambush. Jenkins, born in Alabama in 1822, was a man of little education but learned to write in a vigorous and cultivated style. He and his family came to Texas in 1828 or 1829 and settled near the site of present Bastrop in 1830. In 1833 Jenkins's father was murdered and young Jenkins became the ward of Edward Burleson. At age thirteen Jenkins joined Burleson's First Regiment, Texas Volunteers, and is thought to have been the youngest Texan to serve in the San Jacinto campaign. After the Texas revolution, Jenkins joined the Texas Rangers and fought at the battle of Plum Creek. During the Civil War he served as a private in Parsons's Brigade and later served as a captain in the Frontier Battalion. In 1884, with the aid of his daughter-in-law, Jenkins completed his memoirs for the Bastrop Advertiser. A typescript was preserved in the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin. It was edited by his great-great grandson, John H. Jenkins III, and published in 1958 by the University of Texas Press under the title Recollections of Early Texas.