A Guide to the James Grant Papers, 1835, 1927, 1930
Physician and Texas revolutionary leader James Grant was born on July 28, 1793, at Milton of Redcastle, Ross-shire, Scotland. Upon completing his medical studies, Grant served as a ship’s surgeon on three East India Company voyages to India and China between 1813 and 1819. Before departing for the Far East, he married Margaret Urquhart and subsequently fathered two children with her, Stewart Majorbanks (or Marjoribanks) and Jamesina. Grant arrived in Texas in 1824, where he met Guadaloupe Reyes, with whom he had seven children.
Grant managed haciendas for a consortium of British companies as well as personally purchasing the Hacienda los Hornos in Parras, Coahuila. He also attempted to settle 800 families near Goliad in 1833 with John Charles Beales, but the Beales’ Rio Grande Colony quickly collapsed. Grant then moved to Nacogdoches and was elected to the state legislature of Coahulia and Texas in 1832. He later served as the secretary of the legislature in the spring of 1835, before Santa Anna disbanded the government.
During the Texas Revolution, Grant joined Thomas J. Rusk’s company and fought at the Siege of Bexar in November 1835. While Grant was elected to serve as a delegate to the Consultation at San Felipe, he did not attend any of its sessions. In early 1836, Grant and Col. Francis W. Johnson organized one of the controversial and disastrous Matamoros expeditions. Grant was killed at the Battle of Agua Dulce Creek on March 2, 1836.
Blake, Robert Bruce. "Grant, James." Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed December 16, 2010.
Reid, Stuart. The Secret War for Texas. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2007.
Roell, Craig H. "Matamoros Expedition of 1835-1836." Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed December 16, 2010.
The James Grant Papers, 1835, 1927, 1930, contain a volume of photocopied and typed transcripts of correspondence and a will, documenting the history of the Grant and Urquhart families. The collection includes a transcript of Grant’s 1835 will, alongside a letter from the donor to UT Librarian E.W. Winkler. The bulk of the correspondence is between Scottish gentlemen discussing the history of the Grant and Urquhart families. A letter from the State Capitol archivist Harriet Smithers, who endeavored to obtain information about Grant, prompted the correspondence and research.
This collection is open for research use.
James Grant Papers, 1835, 1927, 1930, 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