The Kemp Sketch
TONG, JOHN B. - The compiler is responsible for having Mr. Tong’s name placed on the bronze plaque in the San Jacinto memorial monument on which are inscribed the names of the Texans who participated in the battle of San Jacinto. He is now (March 24, 1941) convinced that Mr. Tong was among those who were detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg, April 21, 1836.
Mr. Tong was born in Maryland, a son of William and Elizabeth (Thomas) Tong. The date of his birth has not been ascertained by the compiler. In Headright Certificate No. 16 issued to him February 2, 1838 by the Board of Land Commissioners for Montgomery County for three-fourths of a league and one labor of land it is stated that he came to Texas in 1827. He received one-fourth of a league of land in Vehlein’s colony, July 24, 1835. This was surveyed eight miles north of the present town of Conroe, Montgomery County.
Mr. Tong’s name was not on the official San Jacinto rolls printed in 1836. It appears on page 44 of the army rolls in the General Land Office as one of the members of Captain William Ware’s company who were detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg, April 21, 1836. In spite of this, however, he was issued Donation Certificate No. 539, September 11, 1838 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle of San Jacinto. He died in Montgomery in 1843. His grave is lost.
Mr. Tong was married by bond July 26, 1835 to Rhoda Simpson, daughter of Isaac Simpson. There were no children by this union. After Mr. Tong’s death his widow was married to Matthew Yarborough.
William Tong, father of John B. Tong, was born August 9, 1756 on Piscataway Creek, seven miles from Mount Vernon, Virginia. In February, 1775 he joined an independent company of Maryland troups under a Captain Rezin Bell, one of three similar companies organized under supervision of the Maryland Committee of Safety. The members of these companies were Minute Men. He was actively engaged against the marines of Lord Dunmore’s fleet in 1775 at St. George’s Island, and in 1777 against a British fleet of “about thirty sail” which ascended the Potomac as far as Mount Vernon. In September 1777, his company entered the Continental Army as a part of the regiment of Maryland troops attached to General Smallwood’s division. He fought in the left wing of the army at Brandywine, also at Germantown, and was mustered out at Valley Forge where all of the Maryland militia were discharged and returned to their homes. Back in Maryland his company trained on regular days until after Yorktown, and did not disband until after the treaty of 1783.
William Tong was the father of twenty-six children, thirteen of each of two marriages; the first to Eleanor Ford, also of Prince Georges County, Maryland, and the second to Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of Captain Thomas of Charles County, Maryland. Three children by the latter marriage were John B., Horace Washington, and Mary Elizabeth Tong. Horace died in San Antonio, March 28, 1904.
Mary Elizabeth Tong was married to John Gooch. Their eldest daughter, Mary Elizabeth Gooch was married to William McFarland Wilson at Clinton, Missouri, November 20, 1845. Their daughter, Virginia Wilson, was married to William Marmon Spence in Austin, Texas, in 1868, and a daughter, Mary Spence was born in 1869.
Mary Spence, mentioned above, was married to Omar William Cooper in Austin in 1891. One of their children is Miss Allie May Cooper, 217 South Ninth Street, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
TONG, JOHN B. – The compiler is responsible for having Mr. Tong’s name placed on the bronze plaque in the San Jacinto memorial monument on which are inscribed the names of the Texans who participated in the battle of San Jacinto. He is now (March 24, 1941) convinced that Mr. Tong was among those who were detailed to guard the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg, April 21, 1836. See the sketch of Mr. Tong in the Harrisburg books.
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
- Company: [Capt. William Ware] detailed to baggage wagon
- Birthplace: Maryland
- Came to Texas: 1827 Mar
- Date of Death: 1843
- Donation Certificate: 539
- Wife: Rhoda Simpson Tong Yarborough