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 »


Laurie E. Jasinski

GARRETT, WILLIAM (ca. 1811–?). William Garrett, a prominent San Augustine plantation owner, may have been one of the first settlers on the Brazos River.He was born in Tennessee about 1811, the son of Jacob Garrett. The family may have lived in Arkansas for a time. Sometime in the late 1820s or early 1830s Garrett moved to Texas. He started a mercantile business in Nacogdoches, then moved to the Ayish Bayou District, and eventually settled at San Augustine. His father Jacob and brother Milton later followed him to Texas. William Garrett was listed in San Augustine County records as a member of a militia commanded by Capt. William Kimbrough in 1836. In 1838 Garrett submitted a claim to receive one league and one labor of land. Garrett may have been married twice. The 1850 United States Census listed him as aged thirty-eight with five children. The 1860 census showed him to be forty-nine years old, owning 1,150 acres of improved land, and producing corn and cotton. He also produced significant harvests of wheat and barley. He owned 132 slaves. His plantation home was built by slave labor in 1861 and finally completed in 1864. His exact date of death is not known, but he probably died before 1884, when a marriage announcement of his son mentioned the groom's late father, William Garrett. In 1962 the Garrett Plantation Home in San Augustine received a Texas historical marker.


Randolph B. Campbell, An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821–1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989). Anne Clark, Historic Homes of San Augustine (Austin: Encino, 1972). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Ralph A. Wooster, "Notes on Texas' Largest Slaveholders, 1860," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (July 1961).

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, Laurie E. Jasinski, "GARRETT, WILLIAM," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fga57.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 12, 2019. 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...