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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BURNAM, JOHN HICKERSON -- Name not shown on the San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836. Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 514 signed at Victory (Victoria), by Captain William J. E. Heard and countersigned by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Somervell reads: "I certify that John H. Burnam enrolled himself as a volunteer in the army of Texas for three months commencing on the 24th of February and has ever since performed the duties of a soldier with honour sic to himself and benefit to his country he fought in the battle of the 21st April at Sanjacinto sic and he is now at the expiration of his term of service honourably sic discharged May the 29th 1836."

On February 16, 1846 Mr. Burnam was issued Donation Certificate No. 1244 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. On July 25, 1853 Bounty Certificate No. 1330 for 320 acres of land was issued in Mr. Burnam's name for his services in the army from February 28 to May 28, 1836. The land was surveyed in Burnet County.

Mr. Burnam was born on Duck River, Tennessee, October 9, 1817, a son of Jesse and Mary Temperance (Nall) Burnam. In the Headright Certificate issued to him December 1, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Fayette County it is stated that he came to Texas in 1821. His father settled first on Pecan Point in what is now Red River County. Six months later he removed to Clear Creek where he resided for two years. Then he removed to Cole's settlement and built the first house in the present town of Independence. He had lived there but a short time when he crossed the Colorado River and settled near where LaGrange, Fayette County now stands.

The Texas Army' crossed the Colorado at Burnam's ferry where Jesse Burnam ran a store. Mr. Burnam in 1854 made the statement that Captain William H. Patton acting on orders from General Sam Houston not only sunk his ferry and burned his store but also burned his residence which was a great distance from the line of march.

The compiler has been unable to find out when and where Mr. Burnam died. The Deed Records of Guadalupe show that on December 18, 1846 Jesse Burnam of Fayette County sold part of the headright land granted to John H. Burnam and that on June 30, 1848 the other part of the land was sold for taxes. The Deed Records of Burnet County show that on January ll, 1864 Jesse Burnam divided his property among his children who names follow: Emily M., Hunter, Sarah E. Burnam, Waddy T. Burnam, Gid Burnam and Adelia Burnam.

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. William J. E. Heard

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1817 Oct 8
  • Birthplace: Tennessee, Duck River
  • Came to Texas: 1821
  • Bounty Certificate: 1330
  • Donation Certificate: 1244
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother William Owen Burnam at San Jacinto