Johnson, Moses (1808–1853)

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

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Moses Johnson, doctor and treasurer of the Republic of Texas, was born in Virginia in 1808. He was an ensign in the Thirty-first Regiment of Infantry in New York in 1832 and was discharged on April 8, 1833. In 1833–34 he studied medicine in Woodstock, New York. He established a medical practice in Knoxville, Illinois, and sometime in the mid-1830s married Olivia Huggins; they had four children. Johnson moved to Texas in the late 1830s. On May 9, 1839, he was given permission by Ashbel Smith to practice medicine and surgery in Harrisburg and Liberty counties until the medical committee should convene. Before December 1840 he moved to Austin, where on December 14 he was elected mayor and on December 22 was appointed justice of the peace. He was a Mason and served as the grand marshal of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1844. On December 14, 1844, he was appointed treasurer of the republic by Anson Jones. He owned the building in which the treasurer's office was housed; it burned in September 1845. In April 1846 he was a member of a Democratic committee that marked the beginnings of the Democratic party in Texas. Johnson was appointed inspector and collector of revenue for the port of Lavaca on April 3, 1848. He died of yellow fever on October 2, 1853. A state historical marker was erected in his honor in Port Lavaca in 1975.

Austin History Center Files. Claude W. Dooley, comp., Why Stop? (Odessa: Lone Star Legends, 1978; 2d ed., with Betty Dooley and the Texas Historical Commission, Houston: Lone Star, 1985). Moses Johnson Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Texas National Register, November 15, 1845. Homer S. Thrall, A Pictorial History of Texas (St. Louis: Thompson, 1879).


  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners

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

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Johnson, Moses,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 18, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

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