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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BURTON, ISAAC WATTS -- Born in 1805 in Clarks County, Georgia, a son of William B. Burton. In 1822 he was appointed a cadet to West Point through the efforts of Judge R. B. Priest and General Elliot, Congressmen from Georgia. He matriculated July 1, 1822 and withdrew May 25, 1823. "Of this appointment," Mr. Burton wrote in his journal, "I proved unworthy and left the institution at West point in the month of February next enxuing my admission -not, however for want of capacity but from utter want of application and per-fact recklessness of consequences." In 1831 while in Louisiana Mr. Burton became acquainted with a young lady whose father was preparing to move to Texas and he decided to follow them. He crossed the Sabine on January 14, 1832 and located about thirty miles east of Nacogdoches, boarding for a while in the home of Benjamin Lindsay. He commanded a volunteer company August 2, 1832 against Jose' de la Piedras who commanded the Mexican garrison at Nacogdoches.

Mr. Burton was appointed captain of a company in the corps of rangers by the General Council of the Provisional Government of Texas, November 29, 1835. At San Jacinto he was a member of Captain Henry W. Karnes' Company and on April 9, 1861 his estate was issued Donation Certificate No. 344 for having participated in the battle. He received a Headright Certificate for one labor of land from the Nacogdoches County Board, February 12, 1838.

As Major of mounted rangers stationed on the coast near Copano his command captured the boat "Watchman", June 2, 1836, loaded with supplied for the Mexican Army. Later they captured the "Comanche" and the "Fanny Butler," carrying all three boats to Velasco. For this feat his command was known as the "Horse Marines." He was appointed commissioner to treat with Indians November 10, 1836. A member of the senate from the district of Nacogdoches and Houston in the first, second and third congresses October 3, 1836 to January 24, 1839. The senate on January 15, 1839, selected Burton and Albert C. Horton as its commissioners to join with commissioners chosen by the house of representatives to select a permanent capitol for the Republic. Waterloo on the Colorado River was selected and its name changed to Austin.

Mr. Burton was a prominent lawyer of Nacogdoches. He moved to Crockett in 1841 and died there in January, 1843. The State of Texas had a monument erected at his grave in the cemetery in Crockett in 1936.

William Bedford Burton, brother of Isaac W. Burton, was married to Ann Gilbert Hughes. Two of their children were Isaac W. and Thomas Walker Burton.

Isaac W. Burton was married to a Miss Martha Lacy, daughter of Martin end Dorothy Young Lacy. They had two children, Susan and Mart. Mart died single.

Susan Burton was married to B. D. Hendrick of Rusk, Cherokee County. They had two sons, Bert and Edgar Hendrick.

Thomas Walker Burton, brother of Isaac W. Burton, was married to Marthy Frances Bowsell, December 18, 1832. A daughter, Susan Ann Hampton Burton was married to Dr. J. N. B. Guinn, October 12, 1854. They moved from Alabama to Alto, Texas.

Isaac W. Burton was a Charter member of the Grand (Masonic) Lodge of Texas.

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. Henry Wax Karnes

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: Benton
  • Date of Birth: 1805
  • Birthplace: Georgia, Clarke County
  • Origin: Louisiana
  • Came to Texas: 1832 Jan 14
  • Date of Death: 1843 Jan
  • Burial Place: Crockett, Texas
  • Comments: Horse Marines
  • Donation Certificate: 344
  • Profession: Lawyer