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Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Harrisburg

The Kemp Sketch

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KUYKENDALL, JAMES HAMPTON - A son of Abner Kuykendall.1 In 1874 while he was a member of the Texas Veterans Association he gave his age as fifty-four.2 He came to Texas in 1834, as is shown in the headright certificate issued to him February 16, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Austin County. He was a member of Captain Gibson Kuykendall’s company and on June 21, 1838 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 360 for 640 acres of land for having been detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg April 21, 1836. On January 6, 1838 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3740 for 640 acres of land for having served in the army from March 1 to October 1, 1836. After being discharged from Captain Kuykendall’s company he joined Captain H. N. Cleveland’s company of Mill Creek Volunteers.

Mr. Kuykendall was a member of the House of Representatives from Austin County in the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas.

Mr. Kuykendall was living in Rockport in 1874. On November 21, 1879 he was living in Victoria County when he received a Veterans Donation certificate for 1280 acres of land. He died in Refugio in 1882.3

1. Hobart Huson to L. W. Kemp, November 14, 1939

2. D. W. C. Baker, A Texas Scrap-Book, 603

3. Hobart Huson to L. W. Kemp, November 14, 1939


James Hampton Kuykendall, son of Captain Abner Kuykendall and Gates (daughter of William Gates) was born in either Arkansas or Kentucky, about 1820. His parents and grandparents Gates were Austin Colonists and came to Texas in 1821, being the second families to arrive in Texas. Captain Abner and his brothers Robert and Joseph were prominent in the Colony and its leading soldiers. (Texas 1834 unnumbered H R 1/3 L Austin.)

When the Texas Revolution began, James Hampton Kuykendall was visiting in Mexico. Learning of the trouble he returned overland to Texas with a companion named Pantaloon, and reached Goliad, February 15, 1836, after a five days journey from Matamoras. He gave Colonel Fannin detailed information concerning the movements and plans of the Mexicans (Lamar I - 332). After a rest at Goliad 0“Young Kuykendall” proceeded to San Felipe, where he arrived prior to February 20. He then went to his home where he immediately enrolled as a private in Captain Robert McNutt’s company, of which his brother, Gibson Kuykendall, was lieutenant.

McNutt’s company took up the line of march on March 1, 1836, and next day formed a junction with Captain Moseley Baker’s company. They encountered other companies en route to Gonzales, where they formed parts of General Houston’s army. James Hampton Kuykendall has left published accounts of the campaign which culminated in the Battle of San Jacinto. (Wade’s Fayette County 126-137; Tex. Hist. Quart. Vol. p. ).

Prior to the Battle of San Jacinto, Gibson Kuykendall became the company captain. This company marched as far as Harrisburgh where it was left to guard the baggage, which it was engaged in doing at the time the Battle of San Jacintowas fought. On June 21, 1838, James Hampton Kuykendall was issued Donation Certificate No. 360 for 640 acres for his services at Harrisburg. He remained in the army until October 1, 1838, as a member of Captain H. N. Cleveland’s company of Mill Creek Volunteers.

Kuykendall represented Austin County in the lower House of the Sixth Congress of the Republic.

On June 11, 1851, he became editor of the “Texas Monument” published at La Grange, and remained in that capacity until September of that year. In the announcement of his editorship it is stated that he had been in Texas for thirty years. Kuykendall appears to have been connected with the newspaper business during many periods of his life. In 1874 he was living in Rockport, where at one time he edited a newspaper. He was living in Victoria on November 21, 1879, when he received his veteran’s donation certificate for 1280 acres of land.

In 1881 or 1882 he was employed to transcribe the records of Refugio County and was engaged in this work when he died at Refugio in March, 1882. Judge Lyman B. Russel, an octogenarian, now living at Comanche, Texas, writes:

“I knew “Uncle Hamp” Kuykendall while he was transcribing the Spanish records at Refugio, but I really knew very little about his antecedents. He died before the job was done. I helped bury him, but the conditions were unfortunate. A record-breaking rise in Mission River prevented our laying him away with Masonic or religious rites, as the only available burial ground was the Catholic Cemetery on the hill west of town, and we had to choose a location outside of consecrated grounds and no ceremonies were permitted. The waters of the flood almost lapped the cemetery’s lower boundary

“At the time of his death he was alone. I fail to recall certainly whether he even had a family.”

According to the late William L. Kuykendall, J. P., nephew of James Hampton Kuykendall:

“Captain Abner Kuykendall had ten children, eight sons and two daughters. Five of the sons were, William, Gibson, Barzallai, Robert, and James Hampton x x William Kuykendall came to Refugio County about 1853.x x x

“James Hampton Kuykendall was a member of the First Texas Congress from an East Texas county. He was at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was engaged to marry a young woman when he was a young man. Thesweetheart died and he never married. He died in Refugio in Larch, 1882, and is buried in the hackberry mott outside of the Catholic Cemetery at Refugio.”

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: Fourth Sergeant
  • Company: Capt. Gibson Kuykendall
  • Battle Account: Southwestern Historical Quarterly vol. 4, no. 4 pp. 291-306

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Jonathan Hampton, Hamp
  • Date of Birth: 1815 Nov 18
  • Birthplace: Arkansas
  • Origin: Arkansas
  • Came to Texas: 1821
  • Date of Death: 1882? 1880?
  • Comments: U.S.-Mexican War; Civil War, Confederate Army
  • Bounty Certificate: 3740
  • Donation Certificate: 360
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brothers Adam, Brazilla, and Gibson Kuykendall at Harrisburg; second cousin once removed Matthew Kuykendall fought at San Jacinto.