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MORFIT, HENRY MASON (?–1865). Henry Mason Morfit, United States emissary to Texas in 1836, was born between 1790 and 1800 in Norfolk, Virginia, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. For a while he lived in Missouri and later in Baltimore, Maryland. He married Catharine Campbell about 1816 in Washington, D.C. They had sixteen children. During the summer of 1836 Morfit was sent by President Andrew Jackson to investigate the condition of the new Republic of Texas. His report, written in a series of ten letters from August 13 to September 14, 1836, and submitted by Jackson to Congress on December 21, 1836, was favorable to Texas but advised against immediate recognition of the republic, chiefly because of the threat of a new Mexican invasion. In 1861 Morfit was elected to the Maryland legislature. He died in Baltimore on December 1, 1865, and was buried in Washington.


Dictionary of American Biography. Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Edd Miller

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Edd Miller, "MORFIT, HENRY MASON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.