San Jancinto Museum of History

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Townsend, Stephen  ( 1800 Jan? 1801 Jan 23?  -  1851 Oct )

The Kemp Sketch (What is this?) | Download the original typescript

TOWNSEND, STEPHEN - The compiler is responsible for having Mr. Townsend’s name placed on the bronze plaque in the San Jacinto memorial monument on which are inscribed the names of the Texans who participated in the battle of San Jacinto. He is now (March 24, 1941) convinced that Mr. Townsend was among those detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg April 21, 1836.

Mr. Townsend is listed on page 41 of the army rolls in the General Land Office as J. Townsend, one of those detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg, April 21, 1836. His name is not shown on the San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836 or on the San Jacinto rolls in the General Land Office yet he received Donation Certificate No. 356 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. The certificate was not issued, however, until July 28, 1851 and at that time the terms “having participated in battle” and “having been detailed to guard the baggage” had become synonymous.

Captain Townsend was born in Florida, a son of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Stapleton) Townsend. In Headright Certificate No. 28 issued to him January 23, 1838, for a league and labor of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Colorado county it is stated that he came to Texas in 1833. In Comptroller’s Military Service Record No. 244 it is certified that he commanded a ranging company on the frontier from February 1 to March 12, 1836, when he was called to the main army. It stated that he was a member of Captain William H. Smith’s company of cavalry and was discharged from the army May 12, 1836. It is also stated that he served one month and sixteen days as captain of rangers at $75.00 per month, and one month and twenty seven days as captain of infantry at $68.50. Captain Smith made affidavit on the battlefield April 25, 1836, that Captain Townsend “volunteered into my company from the upper campt (Harrisburg) to this place. He lost a mare on route valued by Mr. Moss and Mr. James Bird at $80.00.”

At the expiration of his term, Captain Townsend reenlisted and served until November 20, 1836. On January 16, 1839, he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 7021 for 960 acres of land for having served in the army from February 1 to November 20, 1836.

Captain Townsend was sheriff of Colorado County in 1837-38. He moved to Fayette County and there died October 30, 1851, as is shown in the records of Florida Lodge No. 46, Round Top. Mr. Joel W. Robison was appointed administrator of his estate November 25, 1851.

TOWNSEND, STEPHEN – The compiler is responsible for having Mr. Townsend’s name placed on the bronze plaque in the San Jacinto memorial monument on which are inscribed the names of the Texans who participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. He is now (March 24, 1941) convinced that Mr. Townsend was among those detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg April 21, 1836. See the sketch of Mr. Townsend in the Harrisburg camp books.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.


Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Gibson Kuykendall

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1800 Jan? 1801 Jan 23?
  • Birthplace: Florida? South Carolina, Marlboro County?
  • Came to Texas: 1833
  • Date of Death: 1851 Oct
  • Bounty Certificate: 7021
  • Donation Certificate: 356
  • Wife: Sabrina Robison
  • Children: Thomas Townsend; Augustus Townsend; Francis Townsend; Mary Townsend; Sabrina Townsend; Samuel Townsend; Adriana Townsend; Stephen Townsend
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother Spencer Burton Townsend, brother-in-law Joel Robison fought at San Jacinto

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