Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long

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Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long (1798–1880) was a Texas pioneer. She is known as the "Mother of Texas".


Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long was born July 23, 1798 in Charles County, Maryland,[1] the niece of General James Wilkinson.[citation needed] Around 1811, her family moved from Maryland to Natchez, in the Mississippi Territory. There she married James Long, a doctor and a native of Virginia.[1] In 1819, James Long used his own money to raise an unauthorized private army to secure Texas from Spain for the United States.[citation needed] Jane Long later followed him to Texas.[1]

On December 21, 1821, at Bolivar Point near present-day Galveston, Jane Long gave birth to her third child, Mary James Long.[1] It is often claimed that this was the first child born to an English-speaking woman in Texas[1] (a myth put forth by Long herself[citation needed]), and while census records from 1807 to 1826 list several children born to Anglo-American mothers in Texas before 1821,[1] the story continues. Because of this Long styled herself to be the "Mother of Texas”.[citation needed] Sam Houston, in a gubernatorial speech, later gave to this title to Margaret Theresa Wright for Wright's heroic support of Texas troops during the Texas Revolution.[2] For the majority of histories, however, Long retains the title due to Mirabeau B. Lamar,[citation needed] to whom Long gave her own story for the building of a history of Texas.[2]

In 1822 Long's husband died after being captured by Mexican forces.[1] Stephen Warden gave her grants of land in Fort Bend and Waller counties, but instead of farming, she opened a boarding house in San Felipe, Texas. She sold part of her land in Fort Bend County, on which the town of Richmond was built. Long later moved to Richmond, where she opened a boarding house and started a plantation nearby. She died on December 30, 1880, in Fort Bend County. A marker was erected in her honor in 1936.[1]

Jane Long Elementary School located in Freeport, Texas, in the Brazosport Independent School District is also named for her.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Henson, Margaret Swett. "Long, Jane Herbert Wilkinson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  2. ^ a b McArthur, Judith N. "Wright, Margaret Theresa Robertson". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 

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