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David Gouverneur Burnet
Birth: Apr. 14, 1788
Newark
Essex County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Dec. 7, 1870
Galveston
Galveston County
Texas, USA

President and Vice President of the Republic of Texas. Born in Newark, New Jersey, and orphaned at about age 3, he was raised by his older half brothers, Jacob and Isaac, who moved to Cincinnati, Ohio from the east when David was about 7 or 8 years old. He was given a classical education; instruction in subjects such as Greek, Latin, philosophy, history, and literature. He seemed primed to follow in the footsteps of his successful brothers. He was articulate, opinionated about politics, and burning with a fierce determination to live up to his family's name and reputation. At age 17, he began his quest for adventure and success by joining as a lieutenant in a private military expedition (illegal, but commonplace during this era) in hopes of striking it rich in land, pay, privateering, and other enterprises. The expedition was a failure, the first of many. By age 29, he was expected to die from a lung ailment. Seeking a cure, he moved to the warmer climate of Louisiana to a trading post at the headwaters of the Brazos River, and became fascinated with the Comanches who came to the post. He spent much time learning their customs and language. The gentler weather and interesting work led to an improvement in his health, but not his finances, so he returned to Ohio. In Cincinnati, Burnet wrote a series of articles for the "Literary Gazette" detailing his time spent with the Indians. He practiced law for several years, then returned to Texas after hearing of Stephen F. Austin's successful colony for Anglos. He settled in San Felipe, the headquarters of Austin's colony, in 1826. For the next 18 months he provided law advice to the 200 settlers in the town and organized the first Presbyterian Sunday School in Texas. A deeply religious man, Burnet neither drank nor swore and always carried a Bible in his pocket. He received a land grant as an empresario which authorized him to settle 300 families north of the Old Spanish Road and around Nacogdoches, within six years. He was to receive 23,000 acres from the state of Coahuila and Texas for every 100 families settled. Burnet spent 1827 in Texas and then returned to Ohio, where he sought colonists and financial backing from prominent men to develop his grant, but that adventure failed. In desperation he and refugee Lorenzo de Zavala sold the rights to their colonization contracts in October 1830 to a group of northeastern investors, the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company He later lost his right to operate a sawmill by refusing to convert to Roman Catholicism. On hearing of the plea for help by William Barret Travis at the Alamo, Burnet went to Washington-on-the Brazos to recruit help. He remained at the Convention and was elected interim president on March 17, 1836. After the defeat of the Texans in several battles against Mexico, on his orders, the government fled their capitol, going to Harrisburg. It was not a popular decision and inspired the expression, the Runaway Scrape. He narrowly avoided capture by Mexican troops the following month. After the victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, he took custody of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and negotiated the Treaties of Velasco. Many Texans were angered because the treaty allowed Santa Anna to escape execution; some people called for Burnet's arrest for treason. Burnet declined to run for president, and resigned as interim president on October 22, 1836. He served as the Vice-President under Mirabeau B. Lamar and participated in the Battle of Neches. He was defeated in the next presidential election. When Texas was annexed into the United States, Burnet served as the state's first Secretary of State. The first Reconstruction state legislature appointed him to the U. S. Senate, but he was unable to take his seat because Texas had failed to meet Republican political demands. He faced numerous other downturns in his life and died penniless in Galveston. Friends paid for his funeral. His remains were moved from the Episcopal Cemetery to the new Magnolia Cemetery and finally to Lakeview Cemetery in Galveston. The county of Burnet was named in his honor when it was formed in 1852, as was the county seat. In 1936, the State of Texas erected a statue of Burnet in Clarksville. (bio by: H M G) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Hannah Estey Burnet (1800 - 1858)*
 
 Children:
  Jacob George Burnet (____ - 1836)*
  William Estey Burnet (1833 - 1865)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Lakeview Cemetery
Galveston
Galveston County
Texas, USA
Plot: Section C, Block 1, Lot 2
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: lake1
Record added: Jun 03, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6475360
David Gouverneur Burnet
Added by: R. Boas
 
David Gouverneur Burnet
Added by: Screwtape
 
David Gouverneur Burnet
Added by: Alan Brownsten
 
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- Alan Brownsten
 Added: Dec. 7, 2013

- Mellissa Lake Co. Illinois
 Added: Oct. 25, 2013
Happy 225th birthday!
-Anonymous
 Added: Apr. 13, 2013
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