Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

Moses Austin Bryan Papers

Manuscript Collection: MC060

Collection Summary

Creator: Bryan, Moses Austin, 1817-1895
Title: Moses Austin Bryan papers
Dates: 1814-1930
Dates: (Bulk: 1836-1889)
Abstract: Correspondence, financial records, legal documents, printed materials, creative works, memorandum and notes, surveyor's field notes, and photographs record the life of Moses Austin Bryan (1817-1895).
Identification: MC060
OCLC Record No.: 49802680
Quantity: 2 boxes (.8 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English and Spanish.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

Moses Austin Bryan was the third son born to James and Emily Austin Bryan, the daughter of Moses Austin and sister of Stephen F. Austin, in Herculaneum, Missouri, on September 25, 1817. After the 1822 death of James Bryan, Emily Austin Bryan married James F. Perry. Emily Perry and her children moved to Potosi, Missouri, where Moses Austin Bryan attended school until the age of eleven. Employed in Perry and W. W. Hunter's store until December 1830, Bryan accompanied Hunter to Texas and worked in the San Felipe store of W. W. Hunter and Stephen F. Austin.

In 1832, at the age of fourteen, Bryan began service as Stephen F. Austin's secretary when he accompanied Austin to Saltillo, Mexico. Bryan and Austin boarded with one of the legislators, Don Jesus de la Grande, and it was there that Moses Austin Bryan learned to speak Spanish. In 1835 Bryan clerked in the Austin colony land office and in the fall again served as Austin's secretary during Austin's brief tenure as commander of the Texas army.

Bryan enlisted in the Texas army as a private shortly after the fall of the Alamo and participated in Houston's retreat. He served at the Battle of San Jacinto as third sergeant in Captain Moseley Baker's company, as an aide-de-camp on the staff of Thomas J. Rusk, and as an interpreter for the meeting between Sam Houston and Antonio López de Santa Anna. In 1839, President Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed Bryan as secretary of legation under Anson Jones, minister from the Republic of Texas to the United States. Bryan served as a member of the 1842 Somervell Expedition. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the Third Texas Regiment, rising to the rank of major. In 1873, Bryan helped organize the Texas Veterans Association and served as its secretary until 1886.

In 1840, Bryan married Adaline La Mothe of Rapides Parish, Louisiana; she died May 30, 1855. They had four sons and two daughters. Bryan married Cora Lewis, daughter of Ira Randolph Lewis, in 1856; they had four sons and one daughter. Moses Austin Bryan died in Brenham at the home of his son, Beauregard, on March 16, 1895, and was buried at Independence, Texas.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, financial records, legal documents, printed materials, creative works, memorandum and notes, surveyor's field notes, and photographs record the life of Moses Austin Bryan (1817-1895). The correspondence documents Bryan's travel to Washington, D.C. as secretary of legation (1839), communications with James F. Perry at Peach Point, Brazoria County, Texas, regarding personal financial matters (1832-1852), and service in the Somervell Expedition (1842). Communications from J. Hampton Kuykendall (13 letters) reveal Bryan's interest in published accounts of Texas history. General correspondence within the Austin-Bryan-Perry family illuminates family business in the 19th century. The financial and legal documents (1814-1903) outline Bryan's expenditures and payments of debt, and include estate and probate documents of Emily M. Bryan Perry. A bound journal illuminates Bryan's financial transactions from 1845-1881. Printed materials include several pamphlets from the Texas Veterans Association (1873-1899). Bryan's record of historical events in early Texas is outlined in a handwritten historical account of 1835-1836 and the typed "Reminiscences" (1889) which speaks of his service with Austin and involvement in the Texas army. The papers also include memorandum and notes and surveyor's field notes. The collection contains four photographs of Texas veterans.


Organized into eight series; arrangement is alphabetical and chronological.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

Abbotts, Lancelot--Photographs
Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836
Baker, W. R. (William Robinson), 1820-1890
Bee, Barnard E., 1787-1854
Borden, Gail, 1801-1874
Brown, John Henry, 1820-1895
Bryan, Moses Austin, 1817-1895--Archives
Crosby, J. F. (Josiah Frazier), 1829-1887
Harris, John W. (John Woods), 1810-1887
Kuykendall, J. Hampton, ca. 1820-1882
Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859
Martin, Wyly
Perry, Emily Austin Bryan, 1795-1851--Estate
Perry, James Franklin, 1790-1853
Robertson, J. B. (Jerome Bonaparte), 1815-1890
Shepard, Chauncey B., 1812-1892--Photographs
Sherman, Sidney, 1805-1873
Smith, Morgan L.
Austin family
Bryan family
Perry family
Texas Veterans Association)
San Jacinto, Battle of, Tex., 1836--Veterans
Somervell Expedition, 1842
Texas--History--Revolution, 1835-1836
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846
Address of Hon. S.B. Maxey, of Texas : by invitation of the Texas Veteran Association
Gaceta del gobierno supremo del estado de Coahuila y Tejas
Letter to the Hon. Henry Clay on the annexation of Texas to the United States
Message of the Governor. Greer County. Executive Office, Austin, January 10, 1883
Proceedings of the Texas Veteran Association at the ... annual reunion
Reminiscences of M. A. Bryan

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], Moses Austin Bryan Papers, MC060, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


The Moses Austin Bryan Papers were donated to the San Jacinto Museum of History Association by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Gervais Bell, Jr. (great-grandson of Moses Austin Bryan) of Houston in 1986, in memory of Lewis Randolph Bryan, Jr., Mary Bryan Bell, and Cora Bryan McRae. The papers were collected from a variety of sources by Bell.

Processing Information

Processed by Melissa Calderwood, 2002.


"Bryan, Moses Austin." The Handbook of Texas Online.

Dixon, Sam Houston and Louis Wiltz Kemp. The Heroes of San Jacinto. Houston: Anson Jones Press, 1932.


Correspondence: Received

box folder
90 1 W. R. Baker 1866, 1872
2 E. T. Barstow 1858 May 10
3 James Ross Brent 1882 February 7
4 John Henry Brown 1846, 1874
5 Cora [Bryan] undated
6 George H. Bryan 1840 January 3
7 Guy M. Bryan 1875-1882, undated
8 Stephen A. Bryan 1863 February
9 Robert F. Clement 1885 August 31
10 J. F. Crosby 1879 April 7
11 George L. Hammeken 1837 August 22
12 John W. Harris 1841, 1866
13 C. Anson Jones 1877 July 16
14 J. Hampton Kuykendall 1857-1858
15 Mirabeau B. Lamar 1838 December 25
16 Mrs. M. A. Lewis 1877 November 3
17 Wyly Martin 1835 September 1
18 James F. Perry 1838-1845
19 Stephen F. Perry 1860 September 5
20 Stephen S. Perry 1860 August
21 J. B. Robertson 1882 March 31

Correspondence: Sent

box folder
90 22 Stephen F. Austin 1836 December 19
23 Brazoria County citizens 1839 July 16
24 John Henry Brown 1889 July
25 Adaline Bryan 1842
26 Guy M. Bryan 1844, 1872
27 William Joel Bryan 1839 April 16
28 James F. Perry 1832-1852
29 C. B. Shepard 1883 February 24
30 Sidney Sherman 1859 July 2
31 Unknown 1842

Correspondence: Third Party, Bryan-Perry Family

box folder
90 32 Henry Austin to James F. Perry 1836 December 26
33 G. Borden, Jr. to Stephen F. Perry 1850 October 16
34 Cora Bryan to Jane Martin undated
35 Guy M. Bryan to Beauregard Bryan 1894 January 12
36 James Perry Bryan to sister [Mary Armintha Bryan] 1857 March 10
37 Stephen A. Bryan to mother [Cora Bryan] 1862 December 25
38 William Joel Bryan to Adaline Bryan 1842 October 26
39 P. J. Fisk to James F. Perry 1841 August 22
40 George L. Hammeken to James F. Perry 1842
41 K. K. Koontz to James F. Perry 1841 February 15
42 James F. Perry to Guy M. Bryan 1853 May 23
43 Stephen S. Perry to [ ] Bryan undated

Correspondence: Third Party, General

box folder
90 44 Barnard Bee 1839 January 14
43 Eliza Chester 1839 January 20
46 John W. Harris 1841-1842
47 I. C. Hill 1883 February 2
48 E. Samuel Howell 1836 March 28
49 Jacob Lewis 1837 September 4
50 L. H. McNeel 1838-1839
51 J. W. Morse 1844 August 25
52 John Parker 1844 May 11
53 R. R. Royall 1835 January 14
54 Morgan L. Smith 1839 January 16
55 D. B. [unk.] 1849 August 10


box folder
901 56 Bill of Sale 1844 April 5
17.1A.F1 Financial Transactions 1845-1881
box folder
90 57 Promissory Note 1825, October 3
58 Receipts, Statements of Account 1814-1868
59 Receipt 1867 May 27


box folder
91 1 Agreements 1842-1866
2 Deeds 1844, 1871
3 Estate and Probate 1851, 1905-1908
4 Fraternal 1878 July 29
5 Interrogatories 1845 April 4
6 Summons 1858 May 31

Printed Materials

box folder
91 7 Broadside, "To the Voters of the Senatorial District Composed of the Counties of Harrisburg, Liberty and Galveston" 1839 August
8 Certificate, Texas Veterans Association undated
9 Circulars 1836, 1851, 1859
10 Clippings, Newspaper 1895, 1930
11 Ephemera undated
12 Gaceta del Gobierno Supremo del Estado de Coahuila y Tejas (Gazette of the Supreme Government of the State of Coahuila and Texas) [Spanish] 1833 December 9
13 Invitation, Texas Veterans Association 1899 April 20-21
14 Lithograph, Portrait of Moses Austin Bryan undated

Printed Materials: Pamphlets: General

box folder
91 15 Letter to the Hon. Henry Clay 1837
16 Message of the Governor 1883 January 10

Printed Materials: Pamphlets: Texas Veterans Association

box folder
91 17 Proceedings of the Convention of Texas Veterans... 1873 May 13-15
18 Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Texas Veterans Association 1874 May 20-21
19 Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Texas Veterans Association 1874 May 20-21
20 Proceedings, Constitution, By-Laws and Addresses of the Texas Veterans 1883 April 20-21
21 Address of the Hon. S. B. Maxey... 1884 April 21
22 Proceedings, Constitution, By-Laws and Addresses of the Texas Veterans 1885 April 20-21
23 Annual Address to the Texas Veterans Association 1886 April 20-21
24 Proceedings, Constitution, By-Laws and Addresses... 1886 April 20-21
25 Proceedings, Constitution and By-Laws of the Annual Reunion... 1887 April 20-21
26 Proceedings, Constitution and By-Laws of the Annual Reunion... 1887 April 20-21
27 Proceedings, Constitution and By-Laws of the Annual Reunion... 1889 April 20-22
28 Proceedings of the Texas Veterans Association at the Annual Reunion 1892 April 20-21
29 Proceedings of the Texas Veterans Association... 1895 April 20-22
30 Proceedings of the Texas Veterans Association... 1899 April 20-21

Creative Works

box folder
91 31 Reminiscences of M. A. Bryan 1835-36 historical account written by Moses Austin Bryan 1889, undated

Memorandum / Notes

box folder
91 32 Various notes 1847-1848, 1853

Surveyors Notes

box folder
91 33 Surveying Field Notes undated

Photographic Materials

box folder
91 34 Photographs: Lancelot Abbotts, Chauncey B. Shepard, Texas Veterans Association Reunion at Brenham, Unidentified group (possibly Texas Veterans Association) 1889, 1891, undated