Cronican, Michael (ca. 1809–1849)

By: Helen B. Frantz

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 26, 2019

Michael Cronican, soldier and newspaperman, was originally from Boston, Massachusetts, where he learned his trade as a printer. He traveled to Texas as a volunteer in Capt. William G. Cooke's company of New Orleans Greys in 1835 and fought in the siege of Bexar, after which he received a furlough as a result of illness and left for New Orleans. His original company was murdered at Goliad during his absence (see GOLIAD MASSACRE). Though sources have called him a veteran of San Jacinto, Cronican did not return to Texas until several days after the battle. He later served as an express rider for the Texas army and received bounty and donation certificates for his military service.

In 1839 Cronican operated the Fayetteville Hotel, located between San Felipe and Houston. He had joined the Masons by 1840, and the records of Temple Lodge No. 4 show him again working as a printer. After Gen. Adrián Woll's attack on San Antonio in September 1842, Cronican joined Capt. Charles K. Reese's company, which took part in the Mier expedition. He escaped the fate of the other soldiers by feigning death to avoid capture and returned to Texas. In June of the next year he helped found the Galveston News, then sold his share to pursue other interests. He and John S. Ford purchased the Texas National Register of Austin in 1845, and the two founded the Austin Texas Democrat a year later. Also in 1846 he and Ford were named public printers by the state legislature, of which body Cronican's brother, James, was a member. Two years later Cronican moved to San Antonio and with James A. Glasscock founded the Western Texian. Cronican died there during the cholera epidemic of 1849, and James was appointed administrator of his estate. In addition to his brother, Cronican was survived by a son. The Northern Standard (see CLARKSVILLE STANDARD), noting his death, characterized Cronican as a warm-hearted man, a printer, and, in his late years, a sprightly editor.

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Joe B. Frantz, Newspapers of the Republic of Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Frontier Times, July 1939, September 1941. Galveston Daily News, October 8, 1895. Clarksville Northern Standard, June 2, 1849.

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Publishers and Executives

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

Helen B. Frantz, “Cronican, Michael,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 26, 2019