The Kemp Sketch
NEILL, JAMES CLINTON -- Born in Scotland, a son of John and Margery (Ferguson) Neill. In 1938 Mr. Vivian G. Heckman, Burnett, Texas was in possession of the Neill family Bible from which the following dates of the births and deaths of the children of John Neill are taken: Hellen, born April 21, 1791, died in November, 1893; John born April 23, 1793, died October 31, 1816; Thomas, born May 11, 1796, died in November, 1860; James Clinton, born March 2, 1798, died September 8, 1856; Agnes, born January 23, 1800, died in 1867; Andrew, (first) born August 1, 1802, died August 7, 1802; Margery, born September 30, 1803, died in 1845; Jane, born September 7, 1805 died (no record); William, born December 71 1807, died October 12, 1885; Charles, born March 26, 1809, died (no record); Andrew, born January 2, 1812, died March 26, 1883; and Helen Neill, born May 2 1816, and died October 3, 1857.
On June 1, 1835 Colonel Neill received title to one league of land in Milan's Colony situated on the Colorado River above Cedar Creek in what is now Travis County. This league is not shown on the land maps in the General Land Office. It was located on a large grant made to Jose Antonio Navarro in 1833 and the Navarro grant is shown on the maps. Colonel Neill probably made a deal with Colonel Navarro and retained the land.
On page 30 of Book ___ in the Spanish Archives in the General Land Office it is shown that on June 1, 1835 Colonel Neill was 45 years old, and it is stated that he was born in North Carolina. This, as may be seen, does not agree with the Bible records of the Neill family.
Colonel Neill did not apply for the one-fourth of a league headright due him from the Republic of Texas but in the Headright Certificate issued to his son, George J. Neill, in 1838 by the Board of Land Commissioners of Bastrop County for one-third of a league of land it is stated that he came to Texas in 1830. It is assumed that Colonel Neill arrived at the same time. After coming to America Colonel Neill settled first in North Carolina, moving from there to Alabama.
Colonel Neill was a delegate to the Second Convention of Texas in 1833. He entered the army of Texas September 28, 1835 and on December 7, 1835, was elected Lieutenant Colonel of Artillery by the General Council of the Provisional Government. He commanded the Artillery at the Storming and Capture of Bexar, December 5 to 10, 1835, and was later placed in charge of the town and district of Bexar. On January 17, 1836, Colonel James Bowie and thirty men left Goliad for Bexar with an order from General Houston to Colonel Neill to destroy the fortifications and retire with the artillery. Colonel Neill could not comply with the order, due to lack of teams to move the cannon. Governor Smith then sent Travis to the Alamo and Colonel Neill returned to his home.
Colonel Neill was again placed in charge of the artillery in the San Jacinto campaign. He was severely injured in the skirmish on April 20th and on February 1, 1838 he received a league of land for having been wounded. An Act of Congress, approved January 6, 1845, granted him a pension of $200.00 per year for life on account of injuries he had sustained.
On November 20, 1837 Colonel Neill was issued Bounty Certificate No. 196 for 1280 acres of land for having served in the from September 28, 1835, to October 27, 1836. He received Donation Certificate No. 292 for 640 acres of land, June 6, 1838, for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto (?) or Bexar.
On March 30, 1844, Colonel Neill and Stephen H. Williams were confirmed by the Senate of the Republic as Commissioners to treat with the Indians April 15, 1844.
Children of Colonel Neill were (1) Samuel Clinton, (2) George Jefferson, and a daughter.
For the names of some of the surviving descendants of Colonel Neill see the sketches of George Jefferson Neill and Samuel Clinton Neill.
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.
- Died in Battle: No
- Wounded in Battle: Severly wounded in the hip in the skirmish on April 20
- Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
- Company: Artillery Corps
- Date of Birth: 1798 Mar 2? 1790?
- Birthplace: Scotland? North Carolina?
- Origin: Alabama
- Came to Texas: 1830
- Date of Death: 1856 Sep 8? 1845?
- Burial Place: Seguin, Texas
- Other Battles: Gonzales, Bexar
- Comments: Injured April 20, 1836
- Bounty Certificate: 196
- Donation Certificate: 292
- Children: Samuel Clinton Neill; George Jefferson Neill; a daughter