Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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BRYAN, MOSES AUSTIN -- Born in Herculaneum, Jefferson County, Missouri, September 25, 1817, son of James and Emily (Austin) Bryan. He was a grandson of Moses Austin, and a nephew of Stephen Fuller Austin. James Bryan died July 16, 1822, leaving a widow and the following children: William Joel, Moses Austin, Guy Morrison and Mary Elizabeth Bryan. His widow was on September 24, 1824 married to James Franklin Berry of Saint Francis County, Missouri. To this union the following children were born: Samuel Stephen, Emily Roseannah, Eliza Margaret and James Elijah Bryan. Of these, Emily Roseannah and James Elijah died in infancy. The others accompanied their parents to Texas in 1831. Moses Austin Bryan arrived at Brazoria, Texas, January 3, 1831 with a Mr. Hunter, several months in advance of his mother and stepfather. Moses Austin and Mr. Hunter reached San Felipe de Austin, January 10th and shortly afterwards became a clerk in the general merchandise business conducted by Stephen F. Austin and Hunter. The year following young Bryan accompanied Stephen F. Austin as his secretary, to Saltillo, where Austin, a member, attended the legislature of Coahuila and Texas.

In 1835 Mr. Bryan became a clerk in the land office of Austin's colony. By this time he had learned to speak Spanish fluently. That year, as secretary to General Austin, he accompanied the troops to Bexar. After the retirement of Austin, Bryan entered the ranks as a private. He witnessed the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington and was Third Sergeant of Captain Moseley Baker's company at San Jacinto. At the same time he was on the staff of Thomas J. Rusk, Secretary of War.

In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 4551 issued to Mr. Bryan October 30, 1837 General Rusk certified: "By an examination of the returns of the army it will be seen that my staff was not full and that Moses Austin Bryan served as Secretary, and that I had a right by law to appoint more Aide-de-camp; that I had in my staff at that time Mr. Bryan, who also served as interperter." Mr. Bryan interpreted a portion of General Santa Anna's statements to General Houston shortly after the Mexican dictator was brought into the camp of the Texas army. Later Mr. Bryan accompanied General Rusk as a member of his staff when he followed General Filesola's retreating army.

In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 4551 it is also certified that Mr. Bryan served in the army from March 5 to May 29, 1836 as a clerk. After receiving his discharge he immediately rejoined the army for on November 4, 1837 he received Bounty Certificate No. 43 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 21 to July 16, 1836. San Jacinto Donation Certificate No. 666 for 640 acres of land was issued to him _______. He received one-fourth of a league of land as a headright from the Mexican Government and on July 12, 1838 he received one-twelfth of a league, the difference between one-fourth of a league given single men by the Mexican Government and one-third of a league authorized by the Republic of Texas, from the Board of Land Commissioners for Brazoria County.

In 1839 President Lamar appointed Mr. Bryan Secretary of Legation to the United States, to serve under Dr. Anson Jones, minister from the Republic of Texas to the United States. He was a member of the Somervell Expedition in 1842 but did not continue on with the Mier Expedition. At the outbreak of the War between the States, he enlisted in the Third Texas Regiment and rose to the rank of Major. He was one of the organizers of the Texas Veterans Association at Houston _______ 1873 and was its first secretary.

In 1840 Major Bryan was married at the home of the bride's parents in Rapides Parish, Louisiana to Adaline Laulette La Mothe, daughter of Polycarpe and Edith (Wells) La Mothe. Mrs. Bryan was born May 3, 1818 and died in May, 1854. The following children were born of this union: (1) Guy M. (2) Stella Louisa, (3) Polycarpe, (4) William Joel. Major Bryan in 1856 was married to Cora Lewis, daughter of Ira Randolph Lewis. Mrs. Bryan was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 12, 1828 and died at Brenham, Texas, June 9, 1889. Major Bryan died March 16, 1895 and the home of his son Judge James Beauregard Bryan at Brenham, March 16, 1895. The two are buried in marked graves in the cemetery in Independence, Washington County.

Children of Moses Austin and Cora (Lewis) Bryan were : (5) Lewis Randolph, (6) James Beauregard, (7) Austin Y., and (8) Stonewall Jackson Bryan.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Third Sergeant
  • Company: Capt. Moseley Baker
  • Battle Account: “Reminiscences of M. A. Bryan” Typescript, Moses Austin Bryan Papers, MC060.

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1817 Sep 25
  • Birthplace: Missouri, Jefferson County, Herculaneum
  • Origin: Missouri
  • Came to Texas: 1831 Jan 3
  • Date of Death: 1895 Mar 16
  • Burial Place: Independence, Texas
  • Bounty Certificate: 43
  • Donation Certificate: 666
  • Wife: 1. Adaline Laulette La Mothe; 2. Cora Lewis
  • Children: Guy M. Bryan; Stella Louisa Bryan; Polycarpe Bryan; William Joel Bryan; Lewis Randolph Bryan; James Beauregard Bryan; Austin Y. Bryan; Stonewall Jackson Bryan