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FISHER, HENRY FRANCIS

Henry Francis Fisher
Photograph, Portrait of Henry Francis Fisher, from 1858. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

FISHER, HENRY FRANCIS (1805–1867). Henry Francis Fisher, colonizer, son of Henry Francis Fisher, was born in Kassel, Hesse, in 1805. He left Europe late in 1833 and spent a year each in London and New York and two years in New Orleans. In 1837 or early 1838 he came to Houston, Texas, where he was consul for the Hanseatic League (modern-day Germany). He became interested in the exploration and colonization of the San Saba area and in 1839 was acting treasurer of the San Saba Company, which was later reorganized as the San Saba Colonization Company. In 1841 Fisher married Mrs. Mary E. Kessler. In a contract made on June 7, 1842, and renewed on September 1, 1843, he and Burchard Miller received the Fisher-Miller Land Grant.

Contract for Henry Francis Fisher's emigration company
Photograph, Contract for Henry Francis Fisher's German emigration company. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Sam Houston appointed Fisher the Texas consul to Bremen in December 1843, and in March 1844 Fisher left for that city, where he hoped to serve the interests of Texas as well as his own and his partners' colonization interests. On June 26, 1844, he associated himself with the Adelsverein. The society bought an interest in the Fisher-Miller grant and placed Fisher on its colonial committee. He returned to Texas in August 1844 to make preparations for transporting the prospective settlers to the grant and for providing supplies for them. Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, the society's commissioner general, charged Fisher with negligence and was generally dissatisfied with his activities. On December 30, 1845, by means of an indenture with John O. Meusebach, the society's second commissioner general, Fisher and Miller assigned their rights in the colonization contract to the society for $5,000. Fisher died on October 23, 1867, in Wiesbaden, Germany, and was survived by his wife and four children.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). Rudolph L. Biesele, "Prince Solms's Trip to Texas, 1844–1845," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 40 (July 1936). Rudolph L. Biesele, "San Saba Colonization Company," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 33 (January 1930). Don Hampton Biggers, German Pioneers in Texas (Fredericksburg, Texas: Fredericksburg Publishing, 1925). Henry Francis Fisher Papers, Texas State Library, Austin; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of the Cities of Houston and Galveston (Chicago: Lewis, 1895). Republic of Texas Colonization Papers, Texas State Library, Austin.

Rudolph L. Biesele

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Rudolph L. Biesele, "Fisher, Henry Francis," accessed May 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffi17.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on April 11, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.