A Guide to the George Fisher Papers, 1830-1848
Early Texas settler George Fisher (1795-1873) was born Djordje Ribar in Hungary to Serbian parents. After serving in the Slavonic Legion during the Serbian Revolution from 1813 to 1814, he immigrated to America, eventually settling in Mississippi, and adopted the name George Fisher, the English variant of Djordje Ribar.
In 1825, he traveled to Mexico, becoming a citizen in 1829. That same year, he was appointed collector of customs for Galveston, Texas, and in 1830 became administrator of the port of Galveston. When Manual de Mier y Terán ordered the port suspended in 1830, Fisher became secretary of the ayuntamiento, or governing body, of San Felipe. The following year, he established the Anahuac customhouse, decreeing all ships from certain ports be cleared through Anahuac, which led to the Anahuac Disturbances and to Fisher’s move to Matamoros in 1832. He published the newspaper Mercurio del Puerto de Matamoros from 1832 until 1835, when he moved to New Orleans as commissary general and secretary for the Tampico Expedition, which unsuccessfully sought to provoke Mexican insurrection by attacking Tampico.
In 1837, Fisher became a commission agent in Houston. He also served as justice of the peace (1839), a member of the Houston City Council (1840), and president of the philanthropic society German Union. In 1843, Fisher became major of the Second Brigade in the Texas Militia. After traveling in Panama, he settled in California in 1851 and served in several civic posts in San Francisco. In 1870, Fisher became consul to Greece.
Hazlewood, Claudia. "Fisher, George."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed November 30, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffi16.
The George Fisher Papers, 1830-1848, consist of photocopied and typescript correspondence, a report, and an article that document Fisher’s career and life during the Texas revolutionary and republic periods. Correspondence includes letters written by Fisher to Manuel de Mier y Terán, January 8-14, 1832; a typescript of an 1835 letter from Fischer in New Orleans to Stephen F. Austin about raising troops to help Texas achieve Mexican statehood or independence; and a Photostat of an 1848 letter from Fisher in Houston to Washington D. Miller, the Texas secretary of state, concerning historically important books and documents. The photocopy of an 1830 report by Fisher as collector of customs of the port of Galveston discusses tobacco smuggling, while a Photostat of an article, entitled "Sketch of George Fisher," from John Livingston’s Sketches of Eminent Americans Now Living, Vol. III, describes the life of Fisher as an early Texas settler.
This collection is open for research use.
George Fisher Papers, 1830-1848, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers