While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Guy Maurice Cloud, Jr.

CLOUD, JOHN WURTS, SR. (1797–1850). John Wurts Cloud, Sr., early settler and planter in the Austin colony and the first known Episcopal priest in Texas, one of eight children of Adam and Mary (Grandin) Cloud, was born at Flanders, New Jersey, on February 27, 1797. He was a descendant of William Cloud, a Quaker from Wiltshire, England, who arrived in William Penn's colony in 1682, and of Robert Cloud of Delaware, who served in the American Revolution. John W. Cloud's father, Adam, was the first Episcopal clergyman in Mississippi. After studying at the Episcopal Academy in Cheshire, Connecticut, Cloud graduated from Yale College in 1823. He married Sarah Adeline Hull in Cheshire, Connecticut, in 1825; they had three children. Cloud served as a minister in Mississippi, then as a missionary in Connecticut, before being ordained in New York in 1829. However, he did not publicly practice his ministry after immigrating to Texas.

He arrived in the Austin colony before May 1831 and settled at Brazoria. In 1832 he was one of a committee of five Brazoria citizens that decided to attack the Mexican fort at Velasco. He then participated in the attack on June 26, 1832, one of the first engagements of the Texas Revolution (see VELASCO, BATTLE OF). Cloud became a division commander and served as a member of the convention of Brazoria Municipality, which framed an interim code of laws and performed other basic functions of government for a large area of Southeast Texas. In 1832 he opened a school, the first in Brazoria and one of the earliest in Texas, where such courses as Latin, Greek, geometry, trigonometry, surveying, philosophy, and chemistry were offered.

Cloud's first wife died of cholera in 1833, and he married Rebecca Johnston on November 1, 1837, in Harrisburg (now Harris) County. They had nine children. From about 1837 until 1845 Cloud was occupied primarily as a planter and stock raiser in Brazoria County. He served as a justice of the peace there from about 1838 to 1843 and was an associate county justice from 1839 to 1842. He moved to the Houston area in 1845 and lived briefly in Austin County before moving to Chappell Hill, Washington County, where he died on September 15, 1850.

Andrew Forest Muir, "John Wurts Cloud, Priest and Planter," Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, September 1956. Raymond Houston Wilson, Sr., The Cloud family (MS, Genealogical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Guy Maurice Cloud, Jr., "CLOUD, JOHN WURTS, SR.," accessed July 07, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcl34.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...