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Wright, Claiborne

by R. H. Detrick, 1996

1810–6 Mar. 1836

"Battle of the Alamo," artistic depiction by Percy Moran, 1912.  Claiborne Wright fought in the defense of the Alamo and died when the Alamo fell to General Antonio Lopez.  From the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Collection. Claiborne Wright, Alamo defender, was born in North Carolina, perhaps the son of Henrietta Claiborne (1754–1810) and William Wright (1752–1827), natives, respectively, of King William County and Fauquier County, Va., who moved to Surry County, N.C., in 1774. Young Claiborne Wright traveled to Texas, possibly to visit a family of the same name who lived at Pecan Point in Red River County. Eventually he settled in Gonzales, Tex., and enlisted as a private in the Texas army. On 29 February 1836 he accompanied a group of thirty-one other Gonzales residents to San Antonio de Bexar to aid in the defense of the Alamo. The force arrived at San Antonio on 1 March and entered the Alamo under the cover of darkness that night. Wright died five days later when the besieged Alamo fell to the armies of General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

On 25 June 1851 the state of Texas awarded Wright's heirs a bounty of 1,920 acres of public land "for his having fallen with Travis in the Alamo." In 1860 the acreage of the land grant was doubled.


Robert F. Cole (Miami, Fla.) to Nathaniel C. Hale (Philadelphia), 10 Jan. 1956 (possession of Dr. Claiborne T. Smith, Ardmore, Pa.).

State of Texas, General Land Office Files (1851, 1860).

Lon Tinkle, The Alamo (1958).

Amelia W. Williams, "A Critical Study of the Seige of the Alamo and the Personnel of Its Defenders," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 37 (1933–34).

Additional Resources:

"Wright, Claiborne." Texas State Historical Association. (accessed January 24, 2014).

Groneman, Bill.  "WRIGHT, CLAIBORNE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed February 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

"Battle of the Alamo." Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (accessed February 20, 2014).

Image Credits:

Moran, Percy, 1862-1935, artist. "Battle of the Alamo / Percy Moran." Photograph. c1912. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (accessed February 20, 2014).


Origin - location: 


Just found the paperwork on the wiki link, and it states, that Sarah E Wright married a Medlin Dunham, Sarah was a daughter of Martha Wright, and she was the only full sibling to Clairborne Wright. It also states, that there were three half siblings, Isaac, William and Elizabeth Coburn. I am quite sure this William J Coburn is my 3rd great grandfather. And since he was born in 1823, then it would be the second husband, to Martha Wright. And the paperwork also says, Martha died around or before Clairborne did..Lisa

Sarah E Wright Dunham was the only FULL BLOODED SISTER to Clairborne Wright. She testified in 1858, in Franklin County, Alabama. In 1884 my 2nd Great Grandfather returned to Texas from Tennessee, as his father, William J Coburn died in 1882. I have been unable to find a will, and possibly, if there was one, it was burned in a Courthouse fire. Isaac, brings his two sons, back to Montague County, and their third Son was born there. They settled in Dundee, Texas, and from court records, he is named Power of Attorney to gather and sell the HEIRS OF CLAIRBORNE WRIGHT land. Isaac, leaves Texas and returns to Tennessee, where he dies and is buried. If Martha Wright, Nee Stigall, was his Mother, who was his father, last name of Coburn, Cobun, etc. Any information connected to this would be most appreciated.

This information is nearly all wrong....where did you footnote that he was a son of Wm. and Henrietta Claiborne Wright? The Alamo has his parentage, and I think it is on Family Search. See Six Months from Tennessee by me for history of the Pecan Point CC.

Searching for information on family connections to the Wright Family. The Coburn family was listed as some of his Heirs. We have still not figured out the connection.

Claiborne Wright was an ancestor, very proud of his bravery, legacy, and sacrifice.

Do you know who the Heirs to his land were? We, being the family of Coburn were some. We have been trying to find out how we were connected, to the Wright Family.

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