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Jane Long sees her filibustering husband for the last time


On this day in 1821, James Long left his wife, Jane, at Fort Las Casas on the Bolivar Peninsula, for a journey to La Bahía. But James, who was plotting and working for the overthrow of the Mexican government, was captured at San Antonio and taken to Mexico City, whence he never returned. Three months after he left, Jane gave birth to a daughter. After losing her husband, Jane unsuccessfully sought a pension from Governor José Félix Trespalacios, a former compadre of James Long. Forced to earn a living, she ran a boarding house in Brazoria for several years before moving to her land grant in the Austin colony. In Richmond, Texas, she opened another boarding house and built a plantation. By the time of the Civil War she was rich. But the war reduced her to near-penury. She lived dependent upon her children and grandchildren, and died in 1880 in Richmond. Her old reputation as the "Mother of Texas" was based on her own inaccurate claim to be the first English-speaking woman to bear a child in Texas; several had preceded her. In her imaginative, old-age account of her early suitors, she claimed to have been courted by Texas greats including Milam, Houston, and Lamar.

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