A Guide to the William H. Wharton Papers, 1837-1838
William Harris Wharton was born in Virginia in 1802 and raised in Nashville, Tennessee after his parents died while he was still young. He attended the University of Nashville, and moved to Texas after he married Sarah Ann Groce. Sarah’s father gave Wharton a plantation as a way to entice the couple to settle down in Texas.
Wharton flourished in Texas and is perhaps best known for serving as a delegate to the Convention of 1832, where he expressed staunch support for seceding from Mexico, and penned a petition to Mexico requesting Statehood. Subsequently, Wharton participated in the Siege of Bexar during the Texas Revolution, and once Texas was established as the Republic of Texas, Wharton served as the Commissioner to the United States.
In 1837, Wharton was captured on a Mexican ship and held prisoner in Matamoros. He eventually escaped and was elected to the Texas Senate in 1838. Wharton’s life was cut short when he accidentally shot himself in 1839.
Weir, Merle, “Wharton, William Harris,” Handbook of Texas Online. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwh08 (Accessed March 30, 2016)
The William H. Wharton Papers, 1837-1838, is comprised of correspondence primarily regarding Wharton’s imprisonment on a Mexican ship. It includes a letter by Sam Houston approving the release of a charter vessel to Wharton’s brother John to aid in his search for William.
This collection is open for research use.
William H. Wharton Papers, 1837-1838, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Amanda Reyes, March 2016.
Detailed Description of the Papers