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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COLTON, WILLIAM -- Born William "Coltrin" in Cayuga County, New York, April 30, 1801, the eighth child of ten children of William and Emma (Sawtell) Coltrin. His father was born in Plympton, Massachusetts, January 15, 1765, and was married to Emma Sawtell at Halifax, Vermont, February 16, 1786. Emma Sawtell was born at Groton, Massachusetts, July 16, 1764.

William Coltrin, Jr., was married to Druisilla Crawford, October 14, 1825, in Indiana. Leaving his wife at home Mr. Coltrin left for Texas. Not hearing from her husband and believing him dead, Mrs. Coltrin was later married to a Mr. Durkee in Indiana.

William Colton (He signed his name "Colton") arrived at Velasco, January 28, 1836 on the schooner Pennsylvania, having been recruited in New Orleans for the army of Texas by Captain Amasa Turner. In the Headright Certificate issued to him in 1838 by the Harrisburg County Board for one-third of a league of land it is stated that he came to Texas in January, 1836. He was a member of Captain Turner's at San Jacinto and on July 18, 1838 was issued Donation Certificate No. 471 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. On a muster roll at the General Land Office he is shown as having enlisted in Captain Turner's Company February 13, 1836. On another roll he is shown as a member of Company A, First Regiment of Regular Infantry on Galveston Island, February 26, 1837.

The Deed Records of Harris County show Mr. Colton a resident of that county August 11, 1840 when he sold his Headright Certificate to John Belden.

Mr. Colton was a member of Captain Nicholas M. Dawson's Company at the battle fought September 18, 1842, near San Antonio, and was one of the few who escaped the massacre. He was captured and imprisoned in Castle Perote in Mexico, where he evidently died. He was never heard from by his relatives after being imprisoned. F. W. Chandler was appointed administrator of his estate in Fayette County, October 29, 1850.

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. Amasa Turner

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1801 Apr 30
  • Origin: Louisiana
  • Came to Texas: 1836 Jan 28
  • Date of Death: 1843?
  • Comments: May be 2 William Coltons in the Texas Army; only 1 at San Jacinto
  • Donation Certificate: 471
  • Wife: Lucretia Felt
  • Children: Edward Colton; Edwin Colton; Henry Colton