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John Cartwright

Male 1787 - 1841  (54 years)


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  • Name John Cartwright  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Born 10 Mar 1787  Pitt County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Gender Male 
    Died 18 Jul 1841  San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4, 5, 8
    Buried Cartwright Cemetery, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 9
    Notes 
    • John was the only son of Matthew (1754-1812) and Mary "Polly" Grimmer Cartwright (1761-1824), although he had five sisters. He was a grandson of John Cartwright (1728-1780) and Sarah Miller.

      Harry Noble wrote a twenty page biography of him in his book, TEXAS TRAILBLAZERS (pages 70 - 90). He noted that much additional material can be found in the first five chapters of Margaret Swett Henson and Deolece Parmelee's volume THE CARTWRIGHTS OF SAN AUGUSTINE (Texas State Historical Association, Austin, 1993).

      Margaret Henson, in her preface of her book about the Cartwright Family, writes that Emily Griffith Roberts, the wife a John Cartwright's great-grandson, privately published a two-volume genealogy about the family in 1939 and 1948. The volumes included research and many documents concerning the Roberts, Griffiths, Cartwrights and other interrelated families.  A committee of descendants later employed Mrs. Deolece Parmelee to explore the collections of papers scattered in private hands, along with some archived at the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, and to prepare a more complete history. Parmelee made photocopies and typescripts, arranged them in a usable order, and eventually compiled a 450 page typescript. This was largely the basis for Henson's 1993 book.

      Noble wrote that when John Cartwright was five years old his parents sold their farm in North Carolina and moved westward across the mountains into Tennessee. There they purchased two hundred acres on Drake's Lick Creek in Sumner County. John spent his childhood in Tennessee. He would continue a pilgrimage that would cover approximately 800 miles and involve at least five moves, but when completed thirty-three years later, he would be in Texas--his home for the remainder of his life. Texas would also be the home for several generations of his descendants.

      While in Wilson County, Tennessee, John was a merchant, an occupation he would continue for the rest of his life. By 1818 he was having trouble collecting certain debts. His attorney, a new resident in Lebanon, Tennessee, was Sam Houston....the two men were detstined to meet again--the next time in San Augustine, Texas. (Noble, page 71)

      John later moved his family to Mississippi, and "caught 'Texas fever' when the new Mexican government...stabilized...with a constitution resembling that of the United States." He began the last leg of his pilgrimage in early 1825...(taking) his family down the Mississippi River to New Orleans by steamboat and then across the Gulf and up the Red River. Leaving the river at Natchitoches, the family traveled by wagons overland past Fort Jessup to James Gaines ferry. John picked his homesite about five miles east of the Ayish Bayou close to the banks of springs near Palo Gacho Creek. The area was vacant, not a settler anywhere near, "...although the house of a previous owner remained in the vicinity." John's thirty-three year odyssey was over, ending on the banks of the Palo Gacho Creek in Texas and Coahuila, Mexico. What a mosiac of people John found in the Ayish Bayou region when he arrived. Most were hard working farmers or businessmen of modest means, but some were unscruplous drifters, already at odds with the law. (Noble, page 72)

      John and his family can be found on the 1835 Sabine District census. Their were 11 slaves in their home, from ages 12 to 39. There were also 4 children born to their slaves.

      On August 21, 1840, with the assistance of San Augustine attorney William W. Frizell, Cartwright made his will. In it he gave the 885 acre homesite on Palo Gacho to his two minor sons, Clinton and Richard. He also gave his wife an interest in the homesite and placed the restriction that it couldn't be sold until after her death. Additionally, he gave her all monies due him by debt. He then distributed the remaining assets to various family members. (Noble, 89) John Cartwright died on July 18, 1841, and (his son-in-law William) Garrett, along with Mary, Cartwright's widow, were appointed executors of Cartwright's estate. Their selections was confirmed the following month. With assistance from Matthew Cartwright, Garrett then compiled an inventory of the estate. It was valued at $72,800. (Noble)

      In the book, The Cartwrights of San Augustine, it was noted that elder sons, Matthew and Robert, challenged the will, likely on the grounds that the document was not in keeping with the community property laws adopted by the Republic of Texas in January 1840, and because John had exceeded his testamentary powers in the distribution of his property to his children. Mary Cartwright immediately renounced her executorship in order to contest John's will so as to "receive in common with my children such portions of said estate as we are by law entitled to." The family reached a settlement in January 1842. (Henson and Parmelee, pp. 119-120).
    Person ID I5513  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2014 

    Family Mary E. "Polly" Crutchfield,   b. 26 Oct 1787, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jun 1848, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Married 21 Jan 1807  Wilson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Children 
     1. Matthew Cartwright,   b. 11 Nov 1807, Wilson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Apr 1870, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     2. Robert Grimmer Cartwright,   b. 25 Mar 1809, Wilson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Mar 1853, Shelby County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years)
     3. Dicey Hoskins Cartwright,   b. 21 Jan 1811, Wilson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1820, Wilkinson County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 9 years)
     4. George Washington Cartwright,   b. 2 Aug 1812, Wilson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jun 1881, Sabine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
     5. Mary "Polly" Grimmer Cartwright,   b. 1 May 1814, Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Sep 1846, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 32 years)
     6. Clementine G. "Mentie" Cartwright,   b. 14 Apr 1819, Wilson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1847, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
     7. Martha E. Cartwright,   b. 7 Aug 1822, Pike County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aug 1822, Pike County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     8. John Clinton Cartwright,   b. 10 Sep 1823, Pike County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 May 1848, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 24 years)
     9. Richard Hankins Cartwright,   b. 25 Apr 1828, Ayish Bayou, Texas And Coahuila, Mexico Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Apr 1856, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
    Last Modified 31 Dec 2012 
    Family ID F1140  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 10 Mar 1787 - Pitt County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 21 Jan 1807 - Wilson County, Tennessee Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Jul 1841 - San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Cartwright Cemetery, San Augustine County, Texas Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S231] Noble, Harry Jr. "William Garrett Plantation Was Near Town" SAN AUGUSTINE TRIBUNE 6 April 1995, pg 6.

    2. [S461] White & Toole, "Sabine County Historical Sketches and Genealogical Records" c. 1972.

    3. [S350] Schluter, Helen Gomer "1835 Sabine District, Texas Census" c. 1983 Distributed by Ericson Books, p 37 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S873] Find A Grave [database online]; http://www.findagrave.com/, (Thousands of contributors submit new listings, updates, corrections, photographs and virtual flowers every hour to the FIND A GRAVE website. When it comes to administrating, building and maintaining the site, Find A Grave is largely operated by its founder, Jim Tipton.), Cartwright Cemetery, San Augustine County, Texas (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S1426] Henson, Margaret Swett and Parmelee, Deolece "The Cartwrights of San Augustine" (Texas State Historical Association, Austin, 1993), Appendix, Chart II: John Cartwright's Children and Grandchildren (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S233] Noble, Harry P. Jr TEXAS TRAILBLAZERS: SAN AUGUSTINE PIONEERS (Best of East Texas: 1999).

    7. [S1426] Henson, Margaret Swett and Parmelee, Deolece "The Cartwrights of San Augustine" (Texas State Historical Association, Austin, 1993), p. 7 shows place of birth as Pitt County, North Carolina (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S1426] Henson, Margaret Swett and Parmelee, Deolece "The Cartwrights of San Augustine" (Texas State Historical Association, Austin, 1993), p. 116 (Reliability: 3).

    9. [S1426] Henson, Margaret Swett and Parmelee, Deolece "The Cartwrights of San Augustine" (Texas State Historical Association, Austin, 1993), p. 116, "Mary buried her husband of thirty-four years on the bluff overlooking the Palo Gacho." (Reliability: 3).

    10. [S1426] Henson, Margaret Swett and Parmelee, Deolece "The Cartwrights of San Augustine" (Texas State Historical Association, Austin, 1993), p. 9 (Reliability: 3).