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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LAPHAM, MOSES -- Was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3576 for 320 acres of land. On December 18, 1841 George W. Hockley, Secretary of War issued Bounty Certificate No. 9918 for 320 acres of land in Mr. Lapham's name, due him for his services from June 29 to September 28, 1836.

LAPHAM, MOSES -- Born October 16, 1808, near Smithfield, Rhode Island. He was a son of Amos and Marcy Aldrich Lapham. The children of Amos and Marcy Lapham in order of birth were Thomas; Mary, who married Thomas Bay; Arthur, Oziel, Augustus, Moses, Levi and Marcy Lapham. Marcy died in infancy. Moses was never married. The others married and had children. In 1817 Amos Lapham moved his family to a farm between Urbana and Mechanicsburg, Ohio, and lived there the rest of his life.

Mr. A. L. Heminger of Keosauqua, Iowa, great-grandson of Amos Lapham, has a number of original letters written by Moses Lapham, Thomas H., John P. and Paschal P. Borden from Texas to Amos Lapham in Ohio. Copies of these letters are owned by Mr. Clarence R. Wharton, Houston and much of the material used in this sketch was secured from them.

Moses Lapham arrived at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, May 1, 1828, and remained there for three full years. He studied mathematics, Latin, Greek, French, and other subjects leading to a degree. His brother, Levi, entered the University in November, 1829. At the end of the winter term in March, 1831, the brothers went home. Levi returned to school the middle of April, while Moses prepared to go to Texas. Moses stopped off at Oxford on his way and there made the acquaintance of W. G. Roberts who had arrived the night before from Texas to enter college. He roomed with Levi, and died rather suddenly the following winter. From Mr. Roberts, Moses learned much about Texas and was given letters of introduction to friends and relatives living near Brazoria.

On Mr. Lapham's first trip to Texas he arrived in New Orleans May 8, 1831 and left May 15th for Brazoria. On July 13, 1831 Mr. Lapham wrote from San Felipe to his father and informed him that his letter would be sent by the schooner "Nelson" to New Orleans. He stated that he had arrived in Brazoria "the last of May" and had spent several days at the home of Dr. Cronkrite, about forty miles from Brazoria. Mrs. Cronkrite was a friend of the Lapham family and Moses was interested in Rachel Clover, Mrs. Cronkrite's sister. Arriving at San Felipe he agreed to teach school for three months. He boarded at the home of the Bordens, "a very clever family" and in time became warmly attached to them.

On January 19, 1832 Mr. Lapham wrote from San Felipe to his parents that he had had the tooth ache: "I got Dr. Cronkrite to try to draw it; but broke it off close to the jaw bone. It has pained me worse since than before, but I hope it will soon rot out." He was helping Thomas H. Borden build a frame house in San Felipe.

Mr. Lapham returned Home in the summer of 1832, expecting to return to Texas that fall. However, the family was in need of ready cash to keep Levi in college, so instead of returning to Texas, Moses took the district school. This raised quite a stir in the neighborhood, as one of the directors, who was not present when Moses was elected, claiming that Moses was no fit person to teach, and had forfeited all rights to citizenship because he had hunted on Sunday, but Moses got the school. The following year he taught in Mechanicsburg. He planned to study law, and to that end, bought some books, but he wrote his brother, Levi, that he found Waverly novels far more interesting than the study of law.

From New Orleans November 3, 1835 Mr. Lapham wrote that on the next day he would take passage on a boat for Texas. On January 31, 1836 he was living in Fort Bend (Richmond). On February 15th he was at Quintana "helping to lay out this town". The next letter from Mr. Lapham to his parents was written from the home of Eli Mercer, "on the Colorado river, 30 miles from the mouth". He was at that time in the army and in his letter he told of the campaign of 1836 and of the battle of San Jacinto, in which he participated. In Comptroller's Military Record No. 1508 it is certified that he was a member of Captain Moseley Baker's "San Felipe Company". He received Bounty Certificate No. 3567 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from February 29 to May 30, 1836. On April 21st wrote Mr. Lapham, "I joined our cavalry for that day, (the most of them being unwilling to fight again on horse-back, on account, of not being sustain, by the infantry on the day before) and started, at noon, with five others to destroy and burn a bridge ten miles above, to cut off their retreat and prevent reenforcement, and got back to the company just as the action commenced." Further in the letter he said: "Our number was somewhere about 700 (I have not been able to ascertain exactly; but shall be as all of their names are registered and will be published." The list was published in a pamphlet in June, 1836 but Mr. Lapham's name was not included. This was commented on by Thomas H. Borden in a letter from Mr. Borden to Amos Lapham August 9, 1836. Mr. Borden was then living at Columbia and was getting ready to resume publication of the "Telegraph and Texas Register". "Wonderful changes has taken place since I wrote we here have experienced the devasting effects of a horid and brutal war. Your son has been in the cervice of the cuntry ever cince March last he has been an active spy on all ocations he and 3 others stayed 4 days at the colorado after Houstons Army had left it he was fired on by the Mexicans while there and was thought at one time by his frinds either killed or taken prisoner but he soon made his apearance in the ranks of his company he volunteered his cervice with 4 others (Deaf Smith was one of the party) to go and distroy the Bridge which privvented Santaana from making his escape the Bridge was burned on the morning of the battle and Moses' party got back just in time to partisipate in the Glorious battle of Sanjacinco Moses name is not in Houstons report but we shall name him in our paper he is now in the spy company of the army is a companion of my Brother."

On October 1, 1836 Mr. Lapham at Columbia wrote home that he had on the day before been discharged from the army and would thereafter devote his time to his personal business. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 9918 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from June 29 to September 29, 1836. "I shall leave here (my home at present) early in the morning to go to lay off the town lots of the town of Houston, that you see advertized in the Telegraph. It lies on Buffalo Bayou, eight miles above Harrisburg." On November 21st he was back in Columbia recovering from a sick spell. "I had two chills and fevers just after I wrote the last letters. I think my sickness was occasioned by fatigue and exposure; when I was attacked I was at work laying off the City of Houston, 8 miles from any house, consequently I could get no medicine. I however drank heavy draughts of black pepper and sassafras tea which caused violent persperration. I lost but two or three days work and have enjoyed good health since." -- "Old Mr. Borden is like a father to me and all of his sons as brothers; and they are my only intimates. But by the death of Thomas' wife I have lost a kind friend and an excellent home. We are now engaged in business together and hope will render each other mutual assistance." On March 4, 1837 Mr. Lapham was living at Fort Bend (Richmond). On December 1, 1837 he dated his letter at "Richmond" and among other things wrote: "Deaf Smith, Our Harry Birch, died near this place, day before yesterday, of the consumption. (He died November 30.) He was buried, today, and honored with much ceremony; which I think his important services justly entitled him to."

Mr. Lapham was a deputy surveyor in the ill fated part employed by Samuel A. Maverick of San Antonio to survey land for him and he spent a week at Mr. Maverick's home preparing for the expedition. The party of five, Mr. Maverick, the sixth member, having returned home was October 20, 1838 attacked by Comanche Indians on Leon Creek about four miles from San Antonio and Mr. Lapham, Cornelius Skinner, a Mr. Jones, and one other of the party were killed. The surviving members returned to town and spread the news.

Thirteen prominent men headed by Benjamin Franklin Cage, a San Jacinto veteran, hurriedly left San Antonio to the place where the massacre occurred. The Indians, estimated at a hundred or more, surrounded the Texans and killed Captain Cage, Dr. Henry G. McClung, R. M. Lee, a Mr. O'Blye, Peter Conrad, John Pickering and a Mr. Green, and badly wounded General Richard Dunlap and Major William H. Patton.

Judge J. W. Robinson, who had adjourned court to join in the fight, escaped injury. A searching party on the next day brought in the remains of the dead. On the day following, their remains were interred in a single grave just outside of the Catholic Cemetery, Judge Robinson delivering the funeral oration.

City of Houston, Jany. 10th 1839

Dear Father & Mother

I am still in this muddy city--Joel left this morning for Chocolate and perhaps will go home before he goes to the upper Country--Mr. T. H. Mays arrived here this evening from Bastrop--he says some money could be collected on those six months notes by going to Bastrop although money he says is very scarse in that quarter.

If I go to Washington I shall have to go on my own means, if I can raise any: by pledging my league of land on Yegua--My salary is only 2 thousand dollars a year and that is prommissory notes, which you know is only equal to one thousand in good monty--Col. Bee has been trying to raise some good money for me for several days but I fear he will fail,--if he does I inte(n)d trying to get it myself and wait on the Govt. by pledging my salary and some land--

Miss Hawkins is now being married I presume as it is about 8 O-Clock at night--there are but few (a select party I suppose) invited to the wedding I have not had the honor of seeing her yet--She stops at Whartons--

I think as I have remarked to several in this city she ought to have given we Texian boys, who have "fought bled and died" in defense of her lands a chance, but it seems she brought her intended with her--He is a Mr. Davis, a lawyer by profession, and appears to be a very gentlemanly young man--quite feminine in appearance and delicate--I understand he intends settling in this place--great success to him & her I say May he excell in his profession of the law.

I have been to see Gen. Lamar several times since I arrived here. He is low in funds or he would advance me what is necessary for my trip--The Gen. Talks of buying or rather says he should like to get Hawkin's land joining you for his brother who is going to move but--I gave him your letter relative to the C. House--he says that he gave the collector the right of selecting the place for the Custom House--I think the Gen. is partial to Velasco--

A bill for the location of the seat of Govt. has passed both houses--It is to be some where between the Colorado and Trinity above the San Antonio road -- Perhaps our four leagues on the road will be in the neighborhood of the selected site--if so they will be valuable--

Childress from Tennessee got me to see Gen. Lamar and know if he would be willing to let him have access to Uncle's (Stephen F. Austin) papers as he (Childress) is writing a history of Texas and says he knows many important matters of the history of Texas can only be had from Uncle's papers and he intends incorporating a biographical sketch of all the principal characters of Texas and he told me Uncle's name and character was inseparable from the history of Texas, but the old Gen. says he wants to finish the work he has commenced and is unwilling to give up any thing and told me to send Childress to you and you can give him what you think proper--I have not seen Childress since, but will see him tomorrow and will send him to see Gen. Lamar and may give a letter to you--I think it would be well to let him have some information relative to Uncle's history as he told me he felt capable and willing to do him justice--Childress is the man who drew up the declaration of Independence at Washington and when it passed, stepped up to me and said "Did you remark a clause alluding to your Uncle." I said I did, "well", says he "We thought it was due him"--It all amounts to nothing as no one or but few know the allusion as Uncle's name is not mentioned Childress stands well I believe in the U. States.

There is nothing new here except what you see in the papers Gen. Hamilton is elected the commissioner to effect the loan. I hope he may be able to do it--this is a poor Govt. that can't furnish a Secretary of Legation with funds--

M. S. Bryan

(In margin of first page:)
Mr. Borden sends his respects to all the family--

Mr. James F. Perey

Mr. J. Moses A. Bryan
Jany 10th 1939

Following is a copy of a letter written by Moses Lapham. The original was in possession of Mr. A. L. Heminger, great-grandson of Amos Lapham, Keosagua, Iowa in December, 1935. Amos Lapham was the father of Moses Lapham.

At Mercers, on the Colorado river, 30 miles from the mouth
May 17th 1836

Dear parents & Brothers,

I am ashamed not to have written for so long a time but I have been very busy; I have been in the army since the 23rd of Feb. We have underwent a great deal of suffering; but finally achieved one of the most signal victories that was even recorded in the annals of any nation. I have enjoyed better health than I could have expected, considering the hardships we have endured. - - I have again to write that I have not heard one word from home since I left there; I am very anxious to hear from you all; it seems to me an age since I saw you. I cannot think but that you have often written to me, and entreat you by the most endearing ties of parents and brother to continue to write often hoping that at last some one of your letters may get to me. So the war is at an end, in the part of this country, at least, I think there will be a much better chance of getting letters than there has been.

You have no doubt heard of the war proceedings from the news papers, up to nearby the present date; but as they are very incorrect I will give you a concise general outline of the war, since I joined the Army. Col. Travis was stationed at San Antonio with a little more than 100 men, when Santa Anna about the last of Feb., came on him with a force of 2000 men; he wrote for instance; but the people were so dilatory, that but four companies could be raised to go to his assistance, and they did not reach Gonzales (60 miles this side of San Antonio till Travis was taken. Col. T.- and his men fought like heroes, they were all killed but seven who threw down their arms and begged for quarters, but were brutally killed upon their knees. Col. Fanning was stationed at Labordee (60 miles below San Antonio) with about 400 men; He attempted to retreat when he heard the fate of Travis; but was attacked by near 2000 men, he sustained himself for three hours (in the open prarie) till dark, when he threw up a small entrenchment and lay till morning; then he found himself surrounded by four pieces of cannon. He had no water and his men were suffering for it. The enemy raised a white flag and he entered into a capitulation with the commanding officers. Col. F. and his men were to deliver up their arms and they were to be taken on parole of honor and sent to the U. S. in eight days. But they were stripped of most of their cloaths and their private property, and, on the ninth day, were ordered to be shot by General Santa Anna. They were fired upon by near ten times their number within a few yards; but fortunately some eight or ten escaped and saved themselves by running into the river, which was close by; they came to tell of the disgraceful and worse than savage violation of the flag of truce, and The Mexicans say Travis killed 500 and wounded as many more, and Fanning 300 and also wounded as many as he killed.

On hearing of the defeat of F. we retreated to the Colorado river, and then on that of F. our crazy Gen. Houston, ordered all his army of 1200 men to retreat to the Brassos, and hid the main body in a swamp between a lake and the river and suffered the enemy to cross the Brassos, when he (our crazy Gen) ordered another retreat; but fortunately, the men would not obey it; then he agreed that we should follow the enemy to Harrisburg (a place 20 miles east of the Brassos) where we took their express and found out the situation of that division of the army. We left out baggage a part of the men to guard it near Harrisburg and marched up with the rest to the enemy 10 or 12 miles below. Our cavalry attacked, on the evening of the 20th of April; but the Gen. would not permit the infantry to sustain them and they were obliged to leave the field. Several of our men were wounded, and they killed a number of the enemy. On the next morning the Gen. called a council of the officers and proposed to build a bridge across the Sangacinto Bay which is 200 yards wide; but the officers and men would not hear to it at all but urged an immediate attack. And the Gen. supposing that there had no reinforcement arrived, reluctantly consented to it. The express that we took on the evening of the 19th said Santa Anna had 700 men there and our force amounted to a few more; they had one piece of cannon and we two; we had exchanged several shots the day before. Our encampments were about a mile apart, both in the skirts of timber on the shore of the Bay. At four o'clock P. M. we attacked them in their fortification, by marching right across the open prarie. Our number was somewhere about 700 (I have not been able to ascertain exactly; but shall be as all of their names are registered and will be published). It consisted in part of the marrow bone of Texas; the cowards having fled from the country) and some choice volunteers from the U. S. and a few regulars. The enemy opened their fire at the distance of 300 or 400 yards; but our men marched on the 100 yards farther, when our officers ordered them to fire; but most or them (especially the Texians) know better the range of their rifles, and the military character of their enemy, and rushed eagerly ahead, wholely regardless of the shameful order of our Gen. and officers, until within a hundred yards of the enemy, when they gave a destructive fire; and some of the officers had sense enough to charge which would have been given, order or no order and they rushed on like tigers mounted their breastworks; threw the enemy into utter consternation, and turned the battle into a route, kill until they became glutted with slaughter and then took above 400 prisoners. I joined our cavalry for that day, (the most of them being unwilling to fight again on horseback, on account of not being sustained by the infantry the day before) and started at noon with five others to destroy and burn the bridge ten miles above to cut off their retreat and prevent reinforcement, and got back to the company just as the action commenced. After the route had fairly begun, thirteen of us, on the best horses, pursued about thirty of the cavalry and Santa Anna and his staff officers to the creek where we destroyed the bridge, killed a dozen or more before we got back these and as many more on the bank of the creek; the rest took shelter in thicket along the creek and we guarded it till morning when we took the old fox, Santa Anna prisoner and several officers. There were but two or three escaped to tell the news to the other divisions, when they immediately commenced a precipate retreat, and have been going ever since. Our army is following them to drive them across the Del nort river. The enemy had been reenforced with 500 troops on the night of the 20th which made their numbers according to the statement of the prisoners we took 1164 regular soldiers, beside several 100 volunteers and officer's servants; but it is most probably there were more than they say. We had six or seven killed on the field, and wounded and killed in about, not above twenty. We cannot tell how many of the enemy were killed as they are scattered over the prarie and thicket for several miles, and many were killed swimming the Bay. We suppose between 700 and 1000 and them the veteran and choice troops of Mexico.

Tell Chenney folks that E - - is well. I suspect he has written lately. I have great hope of Texas now; but if we do not get better men at the head of affairs, it will be a long time before we have a good government. Show this letter to Brother Oziel and request him to write to me. Give my love to all our friends.

I am your affecinate child and brother
Moses Lapham

(postmarked New Orleans, La., July 17)
(Addressed to Amos Lapham,
Mechanicsburg, Ohio)
(Stamped "Ship")

Columbia August 9th 1836

Mr. Lapham

Dear Sir

Wonderful changes has taken place since I have wrote we here have experienced the devasting aspects of a horid brutal war Your son has been in the cervice of the cuntry ever cince March last he has been an active spy on all ocations he and 3 others stayed 4 days at the colorado after Houstons army had left it he was fired on by the Mexicans while there and was thought at one time by his friends either killed or taken prisoner but he soon made his apperance in the ranks of his company he volunteered his cervices with 4 others (Deaf Smith was one of the party) to go and distroy the Bridge which prevented Santaana from making his escape the bridge was burned on the morning of the battle and Moses' party got back just in time to partisipate in the glorious battle of Sanjacinto Moses Name is not on Houstons report but we shall name him in our paper he is now in the spy company of the army in a companion of my Brother.

I sent you our paper and shall continue to do it. Our election comes on September for President & vice President and congress men we should be up and a doing now is the time to chose good men I have lost all my personal property buildings fencing all burned and I did not even save my clothes we made out to save some of Moses' I have been lately to Cincinnaty after a printing establishment if you get the first number from the new press it will explain to you our difficulty & trouble in procureing another Please write often direct to the care of E. Hall N. Orleans

With centaments of respect and estem I remain
your distant Friend

Thos H Borden

(Postmarked New Orleans, La., Aug. 17)
(Addressed to Amos Lapham,
Mechanicsburg, Ohio)

(Per Schooner Shenandoah)

Copy of a letter written by Moses Lapham to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Amos Lapham, Mechanicsburg, Ohio. The original was in possession of Mr. A. L. Heniger, Keosagua, Iowa in 1935.

Columbia October 1st 1836

Dear Parents

I took more satisfaction in reading your letter of the 15th August (directed to Borden and me) than any I ever received before. It contained the first inteligence from you I had had since I left home. It came to Mr. Bordens some days ago but I did not get it until day before yesterday; being in the army I arrived on that day, from the army; I have been in the service six months, and shall attend to my own private business now. The last campaign was much more pleasant than the former (as I wrote you in a letter that I sent a few days ago). I have enjoyed good health through the summer. I was in the most healthy part of the country, and was scouting, on horseback almost every day, and traveled over much of the western part of Texas. I am highly pleased with the western part of Texas; the land is generally high and rolling, with an excellent soil and well adapted to the culture of cain, and cotton. It is thought the land near the mountains will produce good wheat, and in fact I saw some tolerably good wheat high up on the War Lupe river.

My friend Thomas I. Borden lost his wife on the 16th ult. She died of a fever, his loss is irreparable. She was a most amiable woman and one of the kindest and most affectionate of wives, she was truly pious without superstition. She had a sensitive heart that felt the sufferings of her fellow beings, and beheld with horror the vice and misery (which is but too common in this country). She had been well educated and her mind was well stored with scientific and historical knowledge. Such being the qualities of this excellent woman and no one being more sensible of her worth than her doting husband her loss will be long regretted and never forgotten.

She left two most sprightly and interesting sons, one five and the other three years old.

I shall leave here (my home at present) early in the morning to go to lay off the town lots of the town of Houston, that you see advertised in the Telegraph. It lies on Buffalo Bayou, eight miles above Harrisburg. I am happy to hear that my letters reached you as I was afraid you were in anxious suspense about my fate. My sincere love and affection are borne home in every breeze, to my kind mother and most indulgent father and best of brothers; and no felicity on earth, that I can conceive, would be so great to me as to become, again, one of that little family circle; yet I believe that my interest is so blended with my stay in this country, at present, that it would be ruinous to it to go home soon. I am desireous to hear from you often and shall not neglect to write. I hope that your letters will come more regular. You may direct them to G. and T. H. Borden & Lapham, Columbia, Texas to the care of as before. They being the editors of the paper, will be attended to better. There will be arrangements made soon to connect our mail with the United States mail and letters will come more direct.

Congress meets day after tomorrow in this place, many of the members are here already. I hope they will be more successful in Manageing the affairs of our government. We are much in want of more efficient laws. The war is a natural consequence of taking off restraints from the citizens of any country, and more peculiarly in Texas, where a large portion of the country has been abandoned. You will learn most of the public news from the paper which I hope you get tolerably regularly now. T. H. Borden says he has written two letters to you lately, and I wrote one not long ago, and as I hope to have an opportunity to answer Levi's that you spoke of and Brother Ozeils, which (if he writes I shall take as a great favor) if I should not fill them with things of much importance, I may have the more interesting to write in them. I send my love to all my Brothers and sisters, and shall be happy to get a letter from any of them, which I will take great care to answer. As I do not live in this country for pleasure or enjoyment, I feel much more anxious to communicate with my friends, than I should if surrounded with society more conjenial to my former interests and similar to my former intimates. Although I take myself as much at ease as possible with the society I am compelled to associate with yet their principles and morals are of the most disgusting.

For these reasons I no doubt feel a greater interest in your letters than you do in mine. I saw Chenney a few days ago he is well and he was in this place since, he appears to be highly pleased with the country and his prospects. He said he would write home soon when I saw him. I remain yours most affectionately


Parents & Brothers
(Postmarked New Orleans, La. Oct. 21)
(Addressed to Amos Lapham,
Mechanicsburg, Ohio)

Copy of a letter written to Amos Lapham, father of Moses Lapham, by John P. Borden. The original letter in 1935 was owned by Mr. A. L. Heminger, great-grandson of Amos Lapham, of Keosagua, Iowa. The place and date of letter was torn off.

Mr. Amos Lapham

Dear Sir

I now take my pen in hand to address you upon a subject which the regard I have for a departed friend alone simulates me to do for while I recount to you the sad news of a deceased son, although painful the task still the reflection that sooner or later this news would reach you; I feel that I ought not to shrirk from the duty.-

Your son Moses Lapham was killed near Bexar on the 20th ult by the Comanche Indians being at that time on a surveying expedition a business in which he had been engaged for about six months previous.

The circumstances of his death as I have just been informed by a letter from a particular friend of mine as well as of his are as follows. The evening of the 20th inst. (letter bears date of 22d Oct) a lamentable occurrence transpired within 3 miles of this place (Bexar) on the Presidio Rio Grande Road in which our mutual friend Moses Lapham was killed. Between the hours of one and two o'clock of the evening of the day before yesterday a party of Comanches were seen and actually chased some of the Mexicans through the suburbs of the place, Capt. B. F. Cage and twelve others went out to where the Indians were supposed to be and (torn) Indians they (torn) did (torn) of the thirteen". Mr. Lapham your son it appears was not of the thirteen above mentioned. He had gone out four or five days previous in company with (those) who had encamped on the Leon Creek Situated within five miles of Bexar where he had been probably waiting for more hands.- "The Indians discovered his camp, went to it and Mr. Lapham and the four men that were with him scattered and went into the bushes, had they remained in the thicket until night they might all have been now alive, but as it was Mr. Lapham was found next day a considerable distance out in the open prarie with an arrow sticking in his body and scalped -- a Mr. Jones that was along with Mr. Lapham was found scalped and otherwise disfigured and the remaining three scalped"- - -"The last sad duties were rendered to the deceased (Mr. Lapham) by Mr. Wm. Lindsey of this city who showed a great sympathy for the deceased." "The friends of the deceased cannot be too thankful to Mr. Lindsey for the part he took in seeing that every attention was paid to the remains of Mr. Lapham."

Having given you the particulars of his death, I now proceed to give you information relative to the property of land the great part unlocated. The land for which he was allowed titled are, so far as I know, one-half league situated on the Colorado & two lots in Bordentown at Fort Bend on the Brazos.

As the deceased came to the country when the country was almost swaying and volunteered in the service of Texas against Mexico for six months, together with the unsettled state of the country just merging into existence he had not much opportunity for acquiring property more than sufficient for support.

The lands due him for service in the army amounts to 1280 acres a part of which I expect he had located a short time before his death -- He had some horses and a few cattle. - -His papers and money I expect he left with a Mr. Maverick to wham I have written for information etc. -- I intend if possible not to let an administrator be appointed until I hear from you, as it would probably be well for one of the family to come here to take charge of the whole business. He must be legally empowered by you to act as administrator or representative of the deceased -- or you can authorize some one here with whom you have some knowledge to act in that capacity should none of the brothers think proper to come here. Mr. Maverick or my brother P. P. Borden perhaps could attend to the business. -- The arduous duties in which I am now engaged will not admit of my attending to it.

Hoping that I shall hear from you soon, and that you may all bear the mournful news with Christian fortitude remembering that death sooner or later is our certain doom, in this world sorrow and afflictions will come. I subscribe myself for your son's sake

Your truly devoted friend JOHN P. BORDEN

(From Texas)
(postmarked New Orleans, La., Nov. 20, Stamped SHIP)
(Addressed to Mr. Amos Lapham,
Mechanicsburg, Ohio.)

The original of the letter given below was in 1935 in possession of Mr. A. L. Heminger, Keosagua, Iowa, great-grandson of Amos Lapham.

Fortbend June 7th 1837

Dear Brother

I promised to answer your letter of Feb. 22nd in the one I wrote to father but have shamefully neglected it until now. I have not received any letters since. My anxiety to hear from home is becoming great. I am in tolerable good health, but very anxious to go to the San Antone Country to spend the summer. I am waiting for Thomas Borden to return from New Orleans. The land Office will not open before Oct. There are some difficulties with the Executive much complaints by the citizens and more in the army. I forbear to make much comment, suffice to say the President appears to be much the same at the head of the cabinet as he was at the head of the army. I hope our government affairs may improve with the next congress; as there is a great want both of talent and honesty in both houses. Cheney and Colver are both well. Cheney left here to go over to Houston City a few days ago. Colver is waiting for me to go to San Antonio with him. He complains that he gets no letter from home. He has written several. We have very warm and dry weather. Corn and cotton are suffering very much with the Drought, but I think it is much health than it would be if it were wetter. Provisions and labor continue very high notwithstanding the money pressure in the South. Lands I think are rather fallen. In your list of marriages you mention the names of nearly all that I can recollect. Perhaps all, save a few who have been lovesick & broken-hearted. So I think it will be best for one to wait til the next stock comes into market. I was at my friend's John P. Borden's wedding a short time since. There were many very fine looking young ladies there who danced well and sung well; but the Southern customs prevented everything like approaching near enought, to hear them converse. And you know that is a sin quo non with me to judge by. Besides, I hear from observation that a man possessing a plantation of Begroes, though he may have been steeped in liquor for many years, and his morals become the most corrupt, yet he has a decided advantage, or as it is termed here "is a better bid" than one who possesses morality and intelligence, that is inferior in point of wealth. But I must return to the wedding, if for nothing more than to give the Colorado people credit for their almost unexampled good behavior, for a Southern country. There was not a single pearson in the whole assembly and it was very large, who appeared the least intoxicated. And had it been in many places here, probably I might not have seen a man who was not intoxicated. Upon the whole I passed the time tolerably agreeably, for it was the first leisure I had had for six months or I might say for twelve for Campaigning can hardly be called leisure.

I am exceedingly anxious to hear from you, think your letters might have been taken on the vessels which were captured, some time ago, by the Mexicans. I hope you will write soon and often. I could have wished to have written something more interesting, but must give the hot weather as an excuse. Urge Ozeil and the rest to write, give my love to them all. I am with sincerest devotion your affectionate Brother

Moses Lapham

(Postmarked Fort Jessup, La. Aug 2)
Addressed to Levi Lapham, Mechanicsburg, Ohio)
(Richmond June 25)

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: Private
  • Company: Capt. Henry Wax Karnes
  • Battle Account: Letter to family, 18376 17 May, transcript in Kemp biography

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1808 Oct 16
  • Birthplace: Rhode Island, Smithfield
  • Origin: Ohio
  • Came to Texas: 1831 May
  • Date of Death: 1838 Oct 20
  • Burial Place: San Antonio, Texas
  • Comments: Destroyed Vince's Bridge
  • Bounty Certificate: 3567
  • Wife: none