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

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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BURLESON, EDWARD -- Born in Buncombe County, North Carolina in 1793, a son of James Burleson. His father moved early to Tennessee and from there to Alabama. In 1813 Edward was married to Sarah G. Owens in Madison County, Alabama and on the following year they moved to Missouri. In Howard County, Missouri Captain Burleson commanded a company of militia and later was Colonel of the First Regiment in Saline County. In 1823 he moved to Tennessee and for a time was Lieutenant Colonel, and then Colonel of a Regiment in Hardeman County.

On page 75 of Book B, List of Applicants for land in Austin's Colonies, it is shown that in 1831 when Colonel Burleson applied he gave his age as 33 and that of his wife, Sarah, as 35. This being true he would have been born in about 1799. The Burleson family records, however, show the year as 1793. Colonel Burleson stated in his application that he had arrived in Texas from Tennessee in 1830. On April 4, 1831 he received title to a league of land in Austin's Second Colony situated in the present county of Bastrop. In Headright Certificate No. 54 issued to him in 1838 it is stated that he came to Texas in 1831. With him were his three brothers-in-law, David F. Owen, James and Joseph Rogers and others. They selected and settled on land eleven miles below Bastrop.

In 1833 Colonel Burleson was sent as a delegate from __________ to the Second Convention of Texas, held in San Felipe. At Gonzales October 10, 1835 he was elected Colonel of the only regiment organized under General Stephen F. Austin. While the army was before Bexar, General Austin was sent by the General Council of Provisional Government of Texas to the United States to enlist men and solicit funds for the Army of Texas, and General Burleson succeeded him in command of the army.

On March 12, 1836 at Gonzales Colonel Burleson was elected Colonel of the First Regiment of Texas Volunteers which he commanded at the battle of San Jacinto. On May 14, 1838 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 6 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. On November 14, 1838 he received Bounty Certificate No. 4420 for 1280 acres for having served in the army from October 12, 1835 to October 12, 1836.

In 1837 Colonel Burleson was elected Brigadier General of the Militia. In 1838 he was appointed Colonel of the First Regiment of Infantry of the Regular Army.

General Burleson was a member of the House of Representatives from Bastrop County, in the Second Congress of the Republic, September 21, 1837 to May 24, 1838, and a member of the Senate from the District composed of Bastrop, Gonzales and Fayette Counties (?) in the Third Congress, November 5, 1838 to January 24, 1839.

General Burleson commanded the Regulars in the battle with the Cherokees July 16, 1839, In which Chief Bowles was killed. In 1840 he raised a volunteer company for the pursuit of Indian raiders, but arrived to late to participate in the battle of Plum Creek, August 12, 1840.

On September 6, 1841 General Burleson defeated Memucan Hunt and William Menefee for the Vice Presidency of the Republic of Texas and was inaugurated December 10, 184l. He was a candidate for the Presidency in 1844 against Anson Jones and was defeated largely through the efforts of General Sam Houston.

In 1844 General Burleson was Grand Junior Warden of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Texas.

During the Mexican War, General Burleson was on the staff of General James Pinckney Henderson.

In 1838 General Burleson laid out the town of Waterloo, the boundaries of which are with in the City limits of Austin. Land adjoining it was selected for a town to be called Austin, in honor of Stephen F. Austin, and at which was to be the capitol of Texas.

After returning from the Mexican War in 1846 General Burleson settled near the spring at the head of the San Marcos River in Hays County.

During the session of the Fourth Legislature General Burleson died at 7:30 on the morning of December 26, 1851 at the home of N. C. Raymond. He was at that time President pro tem of the Senate and on the following day a Committee was appointed by the Legislature to select a suitable burial place for him. His body lay in state at the Capitol and funeral services were conducted under the auspices of Austin (Masonic) Lodge No. 12, of which he was a member. Guy M. Bryan delivered the eulogium.

A joint resolution of the Legislature approved February 13, 1854 by Governor __________ provided for the purchase of the land on which General Burleson was buried and which is now the State Cemetery. Later the Legislature appropriated one thousand dollars for a monument to be placed at his grave.

On _______________ Burleson County, Texas was created and named in honor of General Edward Burleson.

Mrs. Sarah G. Owens, Burleson, wife of General Burleson, born in Kentucky in 1796 and died in Austin, Texas, April 12, 1875. She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in an unknown grave.

Children of General and Mrs. Burleson, except those who died in infancy, were (1) John, (2) Edward, Jr., (3) Grace B., (4) Joseph R., (5)David Crockett and (6) Elizabeth T. Burleson.

(1)John Burleson was born April 6, 1824.

(2)Edward Burleson, Jr. was born November 30, 1826. He was a veteran of the Mexican War. On February 4, 1854 he was married to Eimna Kyle, daughter of Colonel Claiborne Kyle.

(3)Grace B. Burleson was born July 4, 1832. She was married March 26, 1850 to Felix Kyle. One of their children Robert Kyle, was married to Anna Randle, daughter of Wilson and Sarah Randle.

(4)Joseph R. Burleson was born September 6, 1837.

(5)David Crockett Burleson was a twin of Joseph R. Burleson and was born September 6, 1837. He was married to Louisa Ware.

(6)Elizabeth T. Burleson was born October 14, 1841.

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: Colonel
  • Company: First Regiment Texas Volunteers

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1793
  • Birthplace: North Carolina, Buncombe County
  • Origin: Tennessee
  • Came to Texas: 1830
  • Date of Death: 1851 Dec 26
  • Burial Place: Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas
  • Other Battles: Grass Fight
  • Comments: War of 1812; U.S.-Mexican War
  • Bounty Certificate: 4420
  • Donation Certificate: 6
  • Profession: Soldier, statesman
  • Wife: Sarah G. Owens
  • Children: John Burleson; Edward Burleson; Grace B. Burleson Kyle; Joseph R. Burleson; David Crockett Burleson; Elizabeth T. Burleson
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother Aaron Burleson at San Jacinto