Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

Adele Briscoe Looscan Collection

William Plunkett Harris Papers, Manuscript Collection: MC065

Collection Summary

Creator: Harris, William Plunkett, 1797-1843
Title: William Plunkett Harris papers
Dates: 1828-1849
Abstract: Financial and legal papers document the life and career of William Plunkett Harris in Texas between the years 1833 and 1843.
Identification: MC065
OCLC Record No. 50105483
Quantity: 22 items
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

William Plunkett Harris was born on February 27, 1797, in Cayuga, New York, the second child of John Harris and Mary Richardson. With partner Robert Wilson he owned and operated a number of ships on the Mississippi River between 1826 and 1830. In 1830, Harris and Wilson journeyed to Texas, to present large claims against the estate of William's brother, John R. Harris. Harris participated in the Anahuac Disturbance in 1832 and was active in the provisional government serving as chairman of the committee on naval affairs, as a representative of Harrisburg at the Consultation, and as a member of the General Council. During the Texas Revolution, he was a collector at the Port of Galveston and operated his steamboats for transporting materiel to the Texian Army. Later Harris was land commissioner of Harrisburg County (1838), an alderman of the town of Harrisburg (1842), and a director of the Harrisburg Town Company. In 1840, William Plunkett Harris married Caroline E. Morgan with whom he had 2 children. He died at his estate in Red Bluff in 1843. His wife, Caroline, became administrator of his estate.

Scope and Content Note

Financial and legal papers document the life and career of William Plunkett Harris in Texas between the years 1833 and 1843. Promissory notes, statements of account, and receipts record Harris' financial affairs. Of interest is a bill from Dr. Maurice L. Birdsall, which lists patients as "black woman, wife, self" and the cost of each visit and procedure. Two deeds (1833) executed with business partner Robert Wilson, a vote by proxy for Harrisburg Town Company Board of Directors, and an affidavit comprise the legal documents. Financial and legal documents (7) concerned with settling the affairs of William Plunkett Harris after his death are included in the estate papers series.


Organized into two series: Financial and Legal; arrangement is chronological.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

Birdsall, Maurice Lee, 1794-1847
Harris, William Plunkett, 1797-1843--Archives
Harrisburg Town Company
Land tenure--Texas
Harris County (Tex.)

Archivist's Note

Other related papers from the Adele Briscoe Looscan Collection include the John R. and Jane Harris Papers, the Harris Family Papers, the Mary Jane Harris Briscoe Papers, the Birdsall Family Papers, the Lewis Birdsall Harris Papers, and the DeWitt Clinton Harris Papers. All photographs are located in the Adele Briscoe Looscan Papers.

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], William Plunkett Harris Papers, MC065, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


Mr. and Mrs. George A. Hill, Jr., Houston Public Library, Annie Hume, 1939-1940.

Processing Information

Processed by Sandra Eileen Yates, 2002.


"Harris, William Plunkett." The Handbook of Texas Online.


William Plunkett Harris Papers

box folder
68.3 1 Financial: Account Statements, Promissory Notes 1828-1835, undated
2 Legal: Deeds, Vote by Proxy 1833-1847
3 Legal: Estate of William Plunkett Harris 1838-1849