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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SOVEREIGN, JOSEPH -- The records of the Texas Veterans Association of which he was a member, show that Captain Sovereign was born in Portugal in about 1810. In the Headright Certificate issued to him April 25, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for Harrisburg County it is stated that he arrived in Texas in December 1835.

Captain Sovereign was a private in Captain William S. F. Fisher's Company at San Jacinto and on May 23, 1838 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 199 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. On May 9, 1838 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3265 for 320 acres of land for his services from March 16 to June 16, 1838.

Captain Sovereign commanded a company in Colonel C. L. Harrison's regiment for three months beginning August 1, 1836.

Captain Sovereign lived in Houston and attended the first annual reunion of the Texas Veterans Association, held at Houston, May 23, 1873. He died in Houston in January 6, 1877 and his death was reported at the reunion of the Veterans Association held at Austin, October 19, 1877. An account of the proceedings of the Convention was reported in the Galveston News, October 20, 1877. His grave is lost. The certificate filed in the Health Department of the City of Houston recording Captain Sovereign's death contains several errors. It reads:

"Joe Sovereign, colored, Portugal, aged 87 years, occupation, gentleman." The cause of his death was assigned as inanition.

In the Pension Papers in the Archives of the Texas State Library, it is shown that Captain Sovereign from his home in Galveston, August 13, 1870, applied for a pension. In his application he stated that he joined Captain Allen's volunteer company in New Orleans in February, 1836. The company at Velasco was reorganized and Captain Sovereign was assigned to Captain William S. Fisher's Company. Since the revolution he said he had spent much time in New Orleans. He could not write.

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 S. Fisher

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1810
  • Birthplace: Portugal
  • Came to Texas: 1835 Dec
  • Date of Death: 1877 Jan 6
  • Comments: Certificate filed in the Health Department of the City of Houston concerning his death reads "Joe Sovereign, colored." Could not write.
  • Bounty Certificate: 3265
  • Donation Certificate: 199