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 »


Mary M. Standifer

PATRICK, JAMES BLAIR (ca. 1800–?). James Blair Patrick, early Texas settler and public official, was born about 1800 in Kentucky. He arrived in DeWitt's colony on March 27, 1829. On May 29, 1828, he had married Polly "Mary" Jane Ponton, sister of Andrew Ponton, in Cooper County, Missouri. As a married man with no children, he received on September 3, 1831, a sitio of land, the amount given to families who engaged in stock raising. Patrick also received free, as a "mechanic," two lots in the town of Gonzales. In 1830 he was elected to complete Fielding Porter's unexpired term as comisario of police in the colony, and in December 1830 he was reelected to a full term. In December 1832 Patrick was elected alcalde, and on May 17, 1835, he was selected to a seat on the Gonzales Committee of Safety. After the fall of the Alamo was confirmed, the citizens of Gonzales evacuated the town. At the same time, Sam Houston and his army retreated eastward from Gonzales and set fire to the empty village. Destroyed in the blaze were two houses that Patrick had built, one on each of his two town lots. His wife died the following year in San Felipe, and on July 12, 1839, Patrick married Temperance Smith, widow of Stephen Smith. At that time Patrick had a daughter less than two years of age and a six-year-old son; his new wife had four young daughters. In January 1840 Patrick was one of the three Gonzales County commissioners chosen to assist the Traveling Board of Land Commissioners in verifying land claims. That year he owned 2,214 acres, one-third of a town lot, and a saddle horse. In 1840 he also served as a Gonzales alderman. His second wife died in December 1845. Patrick was living on the San Marcos River in Gonzales County in 1850, sharing his home with an eighteen-year-old son and a ten-year-old daughter. He claimed real estate valued at $5,000 and was working as a ferryman. On February 16, 1852, when Gonzales College was chartered, Patrick was listed as a trustee, as well as a stockholder in the Gonzales School Association, which established the college. In 1860 he listed his occupation as farmer and claimed $2,000 worth of real estate and $5,000 in personal property. Patrick was a Mason and was described by one source as a "soldier-surveyor."

James David Carter, Masonry in Texas: Background, History and Influence to 1846 (Waco: Grand Lodge of Texas, 1955). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). Gonzales County Historical Commission, History of Gonzales County (Dallas: Curtis, 1986). Virginia H. Taylor Houston, "Surveying in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (October 1961). Edward Albert Lukes, DeWitt Colony of Texas (Austin: Jenkins, 1976). Ethel Zivley Rather, "DeWitt's Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 8 (October 1904). Texas Sentinel, February 5, 1840. Gifford E. White, Amy White of the Old 300 (Austin: Nortex, 1986).

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, Mary M. Standifer, "PATRICK, JAMES BLAIR," accessed July 14, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpa50.

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...