James Burke of Natchez, Mississippi caught Texas fever in 1837. Burke sold his thriving business and headed to Texas. First clerking for the second congress of The Republic of Texas where Burke learned much about Texas politics. With his knowledge and contacts in congress, he published a daily update of congress’s proceedings. This unnamed publication most likely was the first daily in Texas. He and a brother Andrew Jackson Burke were founders of the First Presbyterian Church of Houston. James Burke was known as “Sunday School Man.” They were both Masons and became successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. James served as a Private in Company B on the Santa Fe Expedition that left Brushy
Creek 13 miles north of Austin on June 18, 1841. He survived the ill-fated
expedition and returned to Brazoria and married Catherine Dart in 1843. He ran
businesses in Austin, Galveston, and Houston. James Burke a “First Footer of the
Republic of Texas” died August 5, 1880.
The above painting is of the original First Presbyterian Church at Main and Capitol
in Houston, Texas 1852 by Thomas Flintoff.