The Kemp Sketch
BRISCOE, ANDREW -- Born November 25, 1810 in Adams County, Mississippi, a son of Parmenas and Polly Montgomery Briscoe. He received his education at Clinton Academy in Hinds County, Mississippi and Franklin University in Kentucky. Later he studied law under General John A. Quitman at Jackson, Mississippi. He came to Texas in 1833, as is stated in the Headright Certificate issued to him February 5, 1838 for a league and labor of land by the Harrisburg County Board, and settled at Anahuac, then in Liberty Municipality, where he engaged in the mercantile business. In 1835 D. W. C. Harris started from Harrisburg in a sail boat to replenish his stock by purchasing from Mr. Briscoe. As he prepared to return to Harrisburg he was informed by a Mexican officer that he could not remove the merchandise without a permit from the custom house. This he determined not to do. As a result both Mr. Briscoe and Mr. Harris were arrested and imprisoned. Harris, a mere youth, was released the next day but Mr. Briscoe was not. When William B. Travis at San Felipe learned of the affair he set out to release Mr. Briscoe. At Clopper's Point, now called Morgan's Point, a company of volunteers was organized with Travis as Captain. They placed a six pound cannon on board the sloop Ohio, sailed for Anahuac and on June 30, 1835 forced Captain Antonio Tenoria, commander of the fort, and his company of about forty men to capitulate.
On November 28, 1835 Mr. Briscoe was appointed Captain of Artillery by the General Council of the Provisional Government of Texas at San Felipe. He was in command of the company, the Liberty Volunteers, at the battle of Concepcion and at the siege of Bexar, in 1835.
Captain Briscoe moved to the town of Harrisburg during the latter part of 1835 and was elected as one of the delegates from Harrisburg Municipality to the Constitutional Convention which opened March 1, 1836. He arrived at Washington-on-the-Brazos March 10th and on that date signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. He left the convention hall March 16th to rejoin the army. According to an affidavit made by Lyman F. Rounds, a San Jacinto Veteran, Captain Briscoe was placed in command of Captain Henry Teal's Company of Regulars April 18th, Captain Teal having contracted the measles. He commanded the company at San Jacinto. On August 21, 1845 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 1205 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. He received Bounty Certificate No. 3512 for 640 acres of land for having served in the army from November 1, 1835 to May 1, 1836.
Captain Briscoe was elected by Congress December 16, 1830 as the first Chief Justice of Harrisburg County. He resigned effective May 7, 1839 to become one of the promoters of a railroad from Harrisburg to the Brazos River, on which actual construction was begun in 184O. The project failed but the survey of the road was later adopted by a line which is today a part of the Southern Pacific system.
Captain Briscoe in 1849 moved to New Orleans where he engaged in the banking business. There he died October 4, 1849. His remains were buried in the Briscoe family cemetery in Claiborne County, Mississippi. His remains were removed in 1937 and on February 26th of that year reinterred in the State Cemetery at Austin, Lieutenant Governor Walter F. Woodul delivering the funeral oration. Brisco County, Texas was named in his honor.
Captain Briscoe was married to Mary Jane Harris at Houston August 17, 1837 by Judge Isaac Batterson. Mrs. Briscoe was born August 17, 1819, a daughter of John R. and Jane Birdsall Harris. Her father founded the town of Harrisburg, now a part of Houston, and it, as well as Harris County, was named in his honor.
After the death of her husband Mrs. Briscoe returned to Houston and resided there until her death March 8, 1902. She is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. It was at her home that the "Daughters of the Republic of Texas" was organized November 6, 1891. Mrs. Anson Jones, widow of the last President of the Republic of Texas, Being elected President.
Children of Captain and Mrs. Briscoe, all of whom are deceased, were: (1) Pamela, (2) Andrew Birdsall, (3) Jesse Wade and (4) Adele Briscoe.
(1) Pamela Briscoe was married to __________
(2) Andrew Birdsall Briscoe was married to Annie F. Payne. Their children were: (a) Carrie, (b) Mary, (c) Birdsall P., and (d) Payne Briscoe.
(3) Jessie Wade Briscoe was married to Milton G. Howe. Their son, Milton J. Howe resides in Houston.
(4) Adele Briscoe was married to Major Michael Looscan. No children survive them.
Captain Briscoe buried in the Briscoe family cemetery in Claiborne County, eight miles from Port Gibson, Adams County.
Mr. L. Briscoe Allen: As you know the remains of Captain Briscoe will soon be moved to the State Cemetery, Austin. I have informed Mr. Thurlow B. Weed, Austin that you will tell him how to locate the grave.
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.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Captain
- Company: Regular Army
- Date of Birth: 1810 Nov 25
- Birthplace: Mississippi, Claiborne County
- Origin: Mississippi
- Came to Texas: 1833
- Date of Death: 1849 Oct 4
- Burial Place: Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas
- Other Battles: Concepcion, Bexar
- Comments: Anahuac disturbance
- Bounty Certificate: 3512
- Donation Certificate: 1205
- Wife: 1. Elizabeth House; 2. Mary Jane Harris
- Children: Elizabeth Zara Briscoe; Parmenas Briscoe; Andrew Birdsall Briscoe; Jesse Wade Briscoe Howe; Adele Lubbock Briscoe Looscan