Thomson, Alexander, 1785-1863

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Thomson, Alexander, 1785-1863

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence


According to the biographical information received with the letter and other sources, Alexander Thomson, Jr. was born 29 Aug. 1785 in St. Matthews Parrish, S.C., the only son of Alexander and Lucy (Fontaine) Thomson. Thomson lived in Georgia in his youth, and married Elizabeth Dowsing in Lincoln County, Ga. 31 July 1805. Thomson and his family left Georgia in 1814, moving to Giles County, Tenn., where Thomson rented land from Sterling Clack Robertson, who later became a land empresario, second only to Stephen Austin in the size of his holdings. Thomson emigrated to Texas, and settled at Washington, Tex. around 1830, becoming one of the first settlers in what is now Burleson County in east Central Texas. According to the biographical note, Alexander Thomson and his wife had twelve children, but other sources state they had thirteen. The Thomson letter is addressed to his son William D. Thomson, who later served as the first county clerk of Milam County, and Engrossing clerk of the House of Representatives, First Congress, Republic of Texas, which convened at Columbia, Tex. on October 3, 1836.

As a surveyor and full partner of the empresarioSterling C. Robertson, who represented the colonization project called Robertson's Colony, which was variously known as the Texas Association, Leftwich's Grant, and the Nashville Colony, Alexander Thomson encouraged the colonization of Central Texas, and invested $20,000.00 himself in Robertson's colonization plan. As a result of drawn out legal disputes with the much more influential empresarioStephen F. Austin over the ownership of the area covered by Robertson's colony, mainly caused by the passing of the Law of 6 April 1830 in which the Mexican government banned any further emigration from the United States into Texas, Thomson settled in Austin's colony in 1830. The land disputes were not settled until 1834, at which time colonists were legally permitted take up their land grants in Robertson's Colony and settle there. The handwritten biography accompanying the Thomson letter notes that Thomson was also related to Sterling Robertson, since Helen P. Robertson was Alexander Thomson's cousin, and that a more complete record of Alexander Thomson's various services to the development of Texas is recorded in the April 1904 issue of the Texas Quarterly.

Among his services to Texas after this 1832 letter was written, Alexander Thomson participated as a member of the General Council, which helped govern Texas as a part of the provisional government established by the Consultation in San Felipe de Austin, which adjourned 14 Nov. 1835, until the opening on 1 March 1836 of the Convention which wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. Alexander Thomson is particularly credited with naming Milam County, introducing a resolution as a delegate from the Municipality of Viesca (Milam County) to the Consultation on 26 December 1835, naming the County in honor of Ben Milam who had just been killed in San Antonio. Thomson probably also helped bring Methodism to Milam County, significant since the Mexican government had earlier specified in their land grant agreements that all colonists must be Catholics.

After his first wife's death 24 Dec. 1849, Thomson married Elizabeth Hill, widow of Asa Hill 28 May 1850. Alexander Thomson died 1 June 1863 (the biographical note gives May 1865), and was buried in a family graveyard at Yellow Prairie, Tex., renamed Chriesman in 1885, in honor of Horatio Chriesman, a later pioneer. Though declined by 1993 to barely thirty citizens, Chriesman is still located seven miles northwest of Caldwell, Tex. in northwestern Burleson County.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places