Mary Jane Harris Briscoe (1819 – 1903) was the daughter of John Richardson Harris (1790 – 1829) and Jane Birdsall Harris (1791 – 1869). She was the sister of three other children, DeWitt Clinton Harris, Lewis Birdsall Harris and John Birdsall Harris. Her father John R. Harris is credited for being the founder of Harrisburg (now Houston), Texas.
It is easy to think of 1836 as the year that hostilities ceased between Mexico and Texas. Though Texas was an independent republic until 1845, area conflicts continued with Mexico on a fairly regular basis until the conclusion of the Mexican-American War which ended some twelve years later.
“Twin Sister” replicas at San Jacinto Battleground (image in public domain)
The “Twin Sisters” refers to two field pieces (artillery pieces) donated by ladies of Cincinnati, Ohio to the cause of the Texas Revolution. According to an article in the Austin American-Statesman from 1874, they were two identical six pound rifle cannon that were built by a Mr. Tatum at a foundry in Cincinnati and shipped by riverboat to Texas. They were delivered in person by Mr. Tatum himself in time to be used by General Sam Houston in the Battle of San Jacinto. Following the Revolution they became prized relics and were known to have been fired at ceremonial occasions including the fifth anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto and the inauguration of Gen. Houston as President of the Republic of Texas.