“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Refugio in Refugio County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Empresario James Power


Empresario James Power Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Gustafson, June 11, 2010
1. Empresario James Power Marker
Inscription.  Born in Ireland, Colonial James Power came to New Orleans in 1809 and to Texas in 1823. With fellow Irish Empresario James Hewetson (1796-1870), he was awarded contracts to settle Irish Catholic and Mexican families between the Guadalupe and Lavaca Rivers. Their territory was extended in 1830 to the Nueces. Power went to Ireland to recruit colonists. On the return voyage sickness and shipwreck tragically reduced their numbers. In 1835 he urged his colonists to garrison Goliad, and battled staunchly against hostile Indians. He was a fine diplomat and helped secure Indian neutrality during the Texas Revolution. A close friend of General Sam Houston, Power signed both the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In 1838 he was commissioned to conclude a treaty with the Lipan Indians. In 1842 he was briefly imprisoned by a Mexican invasion force. He represented Refugio in the Republic of Texas Senate and at the Annexation Convention of 1845.

Power married twice, to Dolores (d. 1836) and later Tomasa Portilla, Spanish-born daughters of Empresario Felipe Portilla, and had seven children. He died at Live Oak Point, his principal
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home, in 1852, and was reinterred at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Refugio, about 1872.
Erected 1976 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 1482.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWar, Texas Independence. A significant historical year for this entry is 1809.
Location. 28° 17.792′ N, 97° 16.536′ W. Marker is in Refugio, Texas, in Refugio County. Marker is on Commerce Street, on the left when traveling east. In front of courthouse entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 808 Commerce Street, Refugio TX 78377, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sally Scull (here, next to this marker); Refugio County (here, next to this marker); Refugio County Courthouse (here, next to this marker); Colonel A. M. Hobby/Hobby's 8th Texas Infantry Regiment, C.S.A. (here, next to this marker); Dennis M. O'Connor Public Library (within shouting distance of this marker); Amon B. King (within shouting distance of this marker); Irish Immigrants in Refugio (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Yucatan Soldiers' Burial Site (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Refugio.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 30, 2010, by Steve Gustafson of Lufkin, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,325 times since then and 12 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on July 30, 2010, by Steve Gustafson of Lufkin, Texas. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A photo of the marker and the surrounding area in context. • Can you help?

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May. 16, 2021