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

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Harrisburg

The Kemp Sketch

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MORRIS, JONATHAN D. -- Name not shown on the San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836. He was born in Kentucky and was a half brother of Samuel Highsmith. He came to Texas in 1827, as is shown in Headright Certificate No. _____ issued to him July 6, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Bastrop County Board. Mr. Morris was a member of Captain Jesse Billingsley's Company of Mina (Bastrop) Volunteers at San Jacinto. On page 144 of the army rolls in the General Land Office there is an affidavit signed by Captain Billingsley in which he stated that Mr. Morris was detailed to wait upon Colonel J. C Neill who was severely wounded in the skirmish of April 20th and was thus prevented from taking part in the battle on the 21st. Captain Billingsley signed this affidavit December 22, 1855.

Mr. Morris signed his will in Bastrop County, October 18 1838 and it was opened for probate August 30, 1839. In it he left his property to "my brother Samuel Highsmith" and to Amanda Louisa Highsmith, daughter of my brother Samuel Highsmith and his wife Teresa." Pursuant to an act of the Legislature, approved February 13, 1860, a Donation Certificate for 640 acres of land was issued in the name of Mr. Morris, February 17th, due him for having participated. in the battle of San Jacinto. The rights to the certificate had been assigned to J. J. Moncure. Bounty Certificate No. 189 for 320 acres of land due him for having served in the army from March 3 to June 3, 1836 was issued at the same time. It also had been assigned to Mr. Moncure. Bounty Certificate No. 9844 for 320 acres of land for Mr. Morris' service from July 1 to November 1, 1836, was issued September 25, 1841. It had been assigned to Thomas Kenny.

A petition in the Court of Claims files in the General Land Office shows that on August 30, 1858 the heirs of Jonathan D. Morris were his half brothers or half sisters, David Highsmith, M.B. Highsmith, and Mrs. Polly Miller, all of Bastrop County.

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. Jesse Billingsley

Personal Statistics

  • Birthplace: Kentucky
  • Came to Texas: 1827
  • Date of Death: 1838/1839
  • Comments: Detailed to care for the wounded Lt. Col Neill on Apr. 20; may not have been on the battlefield
  • Bounty Certificate: 189
  • Donation Certificate: 90