He stated under oath that he came to Texas in the fall of the year that Stephen F. Austin came to Texas; his gravestone is inscribed “and emigrated to Texas in 1822”. He said that he helped build the first house in San Felipe, Stephen F. Austin’s first colony in Texas. He lived and worked in the Matagorda and Brazoria areas as a farmer, stockman, and a teamster, and could speak fluent French and Spanish. James S. Patterson was approximately 6 feet tall, had sandy hair, blue or grey eyes, and, generally was not regarded as a handsome man.
In 1836 when the Mexican Army approached the town of Harrisburg (now within the city limits of Houston), he joined Sam Houston’s army, enlisting as a private in Co. I, Captain William S. Fisher’s Company (Velasco Blues), with Colonel Millard Commander. He participated in the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, while a member of Capt. Fisher’s company. He was wounded by a sword thrust above the knee but did not report as wounded and was not, therefore, listed among the casualties. He enlisted for an additional three months after the Battle of San Jacinto.
The wound in his knee bothered him a great deal and he returned to Louisiana, and in August 1843 married Eugenia Trahan (born November 14, 1806 in either France or Louisiana). They had two children, James W. Patterson (who fought in the Civil War with Hood’s Brigade) and Elvira J. Patterson. He remained in Louisiana until he heard that Texas was giving land grants to those who had participated in the Battle of San Jacinto and other battles and also for service in the Texas Army.
He returned to Texas before 1850 and petitioned the Texas Legislature for the land grants (the date to apply for such grants having expired before he was aware of them). His petitions were granted and he was issued a head right certificate for one-third of a league of land; Donation Certificate Nr. 218 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto; and, Bounty Warrant Nr. 723 for 320 acres for “3 months service” in the Army of the Republic of Texas. He was issued the 640 acres on August 26, 1850; he was living in Milam County, when on October 6 1851, he sold the certificate of land to Nathan Halbert for $64.00. He could not write but affixed his mark to the deed of transfer. It is probable that he sold the other parcels of land as well, as they are no longer owned by any descendents. He applied for a pension as a surviving veteran of the Texas War of Independence and this was granted December 21, 1870, Certificate Nr. 173.
He was in Goliad, Texas, in the early 1860’s but by 1870 he and Eugenia were residing in Austin. He suffered from the "gravels" and died November 8, 1872. He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery with his wife Eugenia at his side.
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