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
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
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.