LITTLE, WILLIAM W. (?–1841). William W. Little, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, was born in Pennsylvania, the son of John Little. He married Jane Edwards in Missouri early in 1821. In June of that year he joined Austin on the Beaver and accompanied the empresario to Texas to explore the location of the Moses Austin grant. William Smithers, Joseph Henry Polley,qqv Charles Beard, Henry Holstein, and Little then stayed in Texas to await the arrival of the first contingent of colonists. In the United States in November 1821 Little contracted with Austin to work for him in Texas until December 1822 building cabins and a stockade and planting five acres of corn. He sailed as supercargo on the Lively and reached the mouth of the Brazos River in January 1822. In February 1822 he camped with William Morton and David Fitzgeraldqqv at the great bend of the Brazos. Little, later joined by his father, settled on the east bank of the river at the site of Henry Jones's landing. The Little plantation became a steamboat landing that was visited by the Yellow Stone and other early vessels. Little voted in the colony election in April 1824 and on July 10 as one of the Old Three Hundred colonists, received title to a league and a labor of land now in Fort Bend County. The census of 1826 classified him as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife, Jane, a baby boy born on January 7, 1825, and one servant. In November 1835 the General Council appointed Little a commissioner to organize the Harrisburg militia. He and his family had to take refuge in the canebrakes at the time of the Runaway Scrape. He laid out the town of Richmond in 1836, signed a petition for the organization of Fort Bend County in 1837, and served on the first grand jury impaneled in the county. He died on July 8, 1841.

A William L. Little and his wife, Matilda, who came to Texas from Kentucky in 1832, were also members of Austin's colony.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Eugene C. Barker, ed., "Journal of Stephen F. Austin on His First Trip to Texas, 1821," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 7 (April 1904). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). "Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 4, 7 (October 1900, January 1901, January 1904). Andrew Jackson Sowell, History of Fort Bend County (Houston: Coyle, 1904; rpt, Richmond, Texas: Fort Bend County Historical Museum, 1974). Telegraph and Texas Register, January 16, 1836. Clarence Wharton, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939).

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:

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, "LITTLE, WILLIAM W.," accessed September 17, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 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...