Jane Herbert Wilkinson was born in Charles County, Maryland, on July 23, 1798, to William W.M. and Ann (Herbert) Wilkinson. Following the death of her father, Jane moved to Natchez, Mississippi. There, she met Dr. James Long and they were married on May 14, 1818.

After Dr. Long set out on an expedition to Texas, Jane took her two daughters and a servant girl to join him at Nacogdoches. Illness interrupted her journey, and she spent four weeks with her sister. The infant daughter, Rebecca, soon died.

When the Spanish forced her to leave Nacogdoches, Jane joined her husband at Fort Bolivar. He refused to let her accompany him to Goliad and she remained at the Fort to await his return.

Jane had the protection of Dr. Long's men until late in 1821. With the onset of a bitter winter and a shortage of supplies, the men left, leaving her alone, except for her daughter, Ann, and the servant girl, Kian.

On the night of December 21, 1821, Jane Long's third child, Mary James Long, was born. The child was named for the Virgin Mary, who gave birth near that time of year, and for her husband, James. This is the first recorded birth of a child of Anglo American parents in Texas. Jane, the first known woman of English descent to enter Texas, is called the "Mother of Texas."

After her rescue in July, 1822, she returned to Natchez, but returned to Texas as one of Austin's "Old Three Hundred" Colonists, receiving a land grant. She operated a boarding house near Brazoria, then a hotel in Richmond. Jane died on December 30, 1880. She is buried in the Morton Cemetery in Richmond, Texas. In 1936, the Texas Centennial Commission erected a marker at the site of her home.