Cruger, Jacob W. (1819–1864)

By: A. E. Skinner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 7, 2016

Jacob W. Cruger, early Texas printer, was born in Dansville, New York, in 1819. He moved to Texas in June 1836 with his younger brother, James F. Cruger, and an older friend, Dr. Francis Moore, Jr. After serving in the Army of the Republic of Texas from June 6 to September 22, 1836, Cruger served as a clerk in the War Department, engaged in the mercantile business with his brother, was for a time in 1837 postmaster of Houston, and served as assistant secretary to the Texas Senate. In June 1837 he became a partner with Moore in the ownership and management of the Telegraph and Texas Register, an alliance that lasted fourteen years. Cruger acted as business manager and Moore as editor.

In April 1839 Cruger founded the first daily newspaper in Texas, the Houston Morning Star, which was published from the Telegraph office but was independent of it. Cruger and Moore inherited the current public printing contract when they purchased the Telegraph. When Austin became the capital in 1839 Cruger turned the Morning Star over to his brother James, then founded the Austin Texas Sentinel in 1840, in association with George W. Bonnell. Bonnell and Cruger were also able to secure the new public printing contract. When the Austin paper failed in 1842 because of the removal of the government offices, Cruger returned to Houston and continued his activities there. He and Moore again received the public printing contract in 1844. Joel Miner and Cruger teamed up in the summer of 1845 to publish the Austin New Era, a paper that carried the proceedings of the annexation convention. In April 1851 Cruger sold his interest in the Telegraph to Moore and merged his own Morning Star with it.

Cruger was opposed to Sam Houston's policies, and his papers reflected this opposition. At the beginning of the Civil War he joined the Confederate Army and served as aide-de-camp to Richard Montgomery Gano, whose cavalry detachment ranged through the Trans-Mississippi Division and Indian Territory. Cruger died on November 30, 1864, in Bell County, of a disease contracted during his military service.

C. Richard King, "Public Printing in the Republic of Texas," Texana 6 (Winter 1968). Addie Roy, History of the Telegraph and Texas Register, 1835–1846 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1931). Madeleine B. Stern, Imprints on History: Book Publishers and American Frontiers (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1956).

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Publishers and Executives
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Republic of Texas
  • Antebellum Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

A. E. Skinner, “Cruger, Jacob W.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022,

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December 7, 2016

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