Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long

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Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long
Born Jane Herbert Wilkinson
July 23, 1798
Charles County, Maryland
Died December 30, 1880
Fort Bend County, Texas
Occupation Boarding house owner, planter
Spouse(s) James Long
Relatives James Wilkinson (uncle)
Alexander Calvit (brother-in-law)

Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long (1798–1880) was a Texas pioneer. She owned boarding houses and a plantation in Texas. She is best known as the "Mother of Texas."


Early life[edit]

Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long was born on July 23, 1798 in Charles County, Maryland.[1] She was a niece of General James Wilkinson;[2] her father was James' eldest brother, William Mackall Wilkinson (c.1751-1799).[3]

About 1811, her family moved from Maryland to the small town of Washington, Mississippi, the capital of the Mississippi Territory.

Adult life[edit]

She moved to Texas with her husband in the 1820s.[1] In 1822, her husband died after being captured by Spanish/Mexican forces and she became a widow.[1] Stephen Warden gave Jane 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. She later moved to Richmond, where she opened a boarding house and started a plantation nearby.

Personal life[edit]

She was married to James Long, a doctor and a native of Virginia, in Natchez, Mississippi.[1] On December 21, 1821, at Bolivar Point near present-day Galveston, Jane gave birth to her third child, Mary James Long.[1] She gave birth with her only her slave, Kian, helping.[4] Together the two fought starvation for weeks, hunting their own game, ice-fishing and gathering oysters, until in early 1822, they headed out.[4] It is often claimed that Mary was the first child born to an English-speaking woman in Texas,[1] even though census records from 1807 to 1826 list several children born to Anglo-American mothers in Texas before 1821.[1]

Because of this, she became known as the "Mother of Texas." Sam Houston, in a gubernatorial speech, later gave this title to Margaret Theresa Wright for Wright's heroic support of Texas troops during the Texas Revolution.[5]

Her sister, Barbara Mackall Wilkinson, married Alexander Calvit, a sugar planter.[6][7]


She died on December 30, 1880, in Fort Bend County, Texas.


A number of schools within Texas have been named after the "Mother of Texas." Among them are the following:


  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. ^ John Edward Weems, "WILKINSON, JAMES," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwi87), accessed May 10, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  3. ^ Wilkinson page on RootsWeb at Ancestry.com, accessed 19 Apr 2015.
  4. ^ a b Jones, Nancy Baker (March 2011). "Jane Long and Kian". Women in Texas History. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Neila Skinner Petrick, Jane Long of Texas, 1798-1880: A Biographical Novel of Jane Wilkinson Long of Texas : Based on Her True Story, Pelican Publishing, 2000, p. 89 [1]
  7. ^ Mary Austin Holley, Mary Austin Holley: The Texas Diary, 1835-1838, Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1965, p. 113 [2]

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