Clopper, Nicholas (1766–1841)

By: Marilyn M. Sibley

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: December 1, 1994

Nicholas Clopper, early settler responsible for the acquisition of the Twin Sisters, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on November 3, 1766. After unsuccessful business ventures in Pennsylvania and Maryland, he moved to Ohio about 1820. Two years later he moved to Texas to Stephen F. Austin's colony, hoping to recoup his fortunes by trade and land speculation. For the rest of his life he divided his time between Ohio and Texas.

Clopper was one of the first to see the potential of Buffalo Bayou as a trade route between the Brazos area and the sea. He organized the Texas Trading Association in 1827 to conduct trade over the route. In 1826 he purchased the peninsula between Galveston and San Jacinto bays, now known as Morgan's Point. The sand bar blocking the entrance to San Jacinto Bay still bears his name. In 1835 Clopper presided over a meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, which opened a subscription to purchase two cannons, the famous Twin Sisters, for the Texas revolutionaries.

Clopper married Rebecca Chambers in 1790, and they had eleven children. One of his sons, Andrew M., was a courier for President David G. Burnet during the Texas Revolution. Another was lost at sea in 1822 or possibly killed by Karankawa Indians on the Texas coast. Two other sons, Joseph C. and Edward N., came to Texas with Clopper at various times. Clopper died on December 2, 1841. The letters and journals of the family tell much about life and events in Texas at the time.

Edward Nicholas Clopper, An American Family (Cincinnati, 1950). "Clopper Correspondence, 1834–1838," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 13 (October 1909).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Marilyn M. Sibley, “Clopper, Nicholas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994