Forbes N. Britton

Portrait of Forbes N. Britton Headstone Photograph

Forbes Britton

Of Corpus Christi.
State Senator
Late Captain U. S. A.
Feb. 14, 1861
Aged 51.
This Is Erected To His Memory By His Widow.
Full Name: Forbes N. Britton
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 1 (C1)
Row:Q  Number:21
Reason for Eligibility: Member Texas Senate 
Birth Date: 1812 
Died: February 14, 1861 
Burial Date:  
BRITTON, FORBES N. (1812-1861). Forbes N. Britton, soldier, businessman, and legislator, was born in 1812 in Clarkesville, Virginia, and is thought to have attended Kenyon College in Ohio. He was appointed from Virginia to the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated thirty-third in his class on July 1, 1834. He was brevetted a second lieutenant, Seventh Infantry, on July 1, 1834. He was appointed a second lieutenant on November 18, 1835, promoted to first lieutenant on July 7, 1838, and made a captain on February 16, 1847, after serving in the Mexican War. For most of his army career he moved Indians from the southeastern United States to sites in Indian Territory.

He resigned his commission on July 16, 1850, and moved to Corpus Christi to practice law and speculate in real estate. With Cornelius Cahill, Britton began a profitable commission business in 1850. In 1852 he was one of the incorporators of the Corpus Christi Navigation Company, formed for the purpose of dredging a ship channel into Corpus Christi Bay. He lobbied for construction of a road between Corpus Christi and El Paso and joined with William L. Cazneau, James Power, Henry L. Kinney, and others in forming the Texas Western Railroad Company on February 16, 1852; the company laid no track. Britton incorporated the Western Artesian Well Company with Charles Stillman, Henry Redmond, Frederick Belden, D. S. Howard, and H. Clay Davis on November 14, 1857. He was elected senator from the Nueces district in the Seventh (1857-58) and Eighth (1859-60) Texas legislatures, where as a moderate and a Unionist he supported Gov. Sam Houston. While serving in the legislature he was commissioned chief of staff to General Houston, on February 25, 1860, with the rank of brigadier general.

Britton married Rebecca Millard of Washington, D.C., on March 13, 1836, and they had two sons and two daughters; their daughter Elizabeth married Edmund J. Davis. Britton died in Austin on February 14, 1861, while attending a special session of the legislature, and was buried in the State Cemetery, the third person to be interred there.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Corpus Christi Ranchero, February 25, 1860, February 23, April 6, 1861. Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938-43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Frank Wagner

"BRITTON, FORBES N." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Thu Nov 13 11:00:40 US/Central 2003].

#8746) Served in the 7th and 8th sessions. He was the 3rd person interred at the cemetery.
Entered by Administrator on 2/1/1998 12:11:18 PM

#9062) Britton and Davis family descendent indicates that the spouse of Forbes Britton, Rebecca Millard Britton, is buried in Washington, D.C.
Entered by Jennifer Aprea on 1/28/1999 8:47:07 AM

Additional Multimedia Files To Download:

#1544) Title:Britton Home in Corpus Christi, Texas
Source:Corpus Christi Area Heritage Society


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