Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long
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Jane Long was one of the earliest Anglo women in Texas and claimed to be the first English-speaking woman to bear a child in Texas. Census records from 1807-1826 shows this claim to be incorrect; however, her independent and determined character easily earned for her the title “Mother of Texas.” Jane Wilkinson was born in Maryland in 1798 where her father died when she was less than a year old. Her mother moved her family to the Mississippi Territory. When Jane was fourteen, her mother died and Jane went to live with her older sister near Natchez. Early in 1815, after a brief courtship, Jane married James Long. Their first child, Ann James, was born in 1817.

James left for Texas in 1818 and Jane joined her husband in 1820. Their third child, Mary James Long, was born in 1821 at Bolivar Point, a peninsula outpost near Galveston Island. Her 12-year old slave, Kian, and her 6-year old daughter were her only attendants because James was gone on an expedition at the time. James died in 1822 but it was some time after his death before Jane learned of this.

After her husband’s death, Jane and her only surviving child, Ann, left Texas for a while, but Jane soon returned to live the rest of her life in Texas. Jane was a strong and enterprising woman who accomplished many things in her 82 years including operating two boarding houses, and developing a thriving plantation. She bought and sold land, raised cattle, and grew cotton with the help of slaves. Family traditions report that she had many admirers and some would-be suitors, including famous Texans like Ben Milam, William Travis, Stephen Austin, Sam Houston and Mirabeau Lamar. However, she rejected all offers of matrimony and died the widow of James Long