Levy, Albert Moses (1800–1848)

By: Natalie Ornish

Type: Biography

Published: August 1, 1995

Updated: May 31, 2016

Albert Moses (Moses A.) Levy, physician, was born to Abraham and Rachel Cornelia (Bernard) Levy in 1800, probably in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Levy family moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 1818. Albert, who was Jewish, married Maria A. Bishop, an Episcopalian, about 1830; they had one child, born in 1832, the year Levy completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. On April 22, 1834, the family moved to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, about 120 miles from Richmond. When Maria died in 1835, Levy left his daughter in Richmond with his younger sister and went to New Orleans, where his older brother, Lewis A., lived. In New Orleans Albert Levy joined the New Orleans Greys and left for Texas. Within two months he was appointed surgeon in chief of the volunteer army of Texas. His army career lasted from October 22, 1835, to February 10, 1836, and included service in the siege of Bexar, where he was wounded. After leaving the army he joined the Texas Navy and served briefly on the Brutus. David G. Burnet, president of the Republic of Texas, signed Levy's papers appointing him a surgeon in the navy in March 1836. On April 17, 1837, Levy's ship, the Independence, was captured by two Mexican brigs-of-war. After three months he escaped and walked back to Texas, where he set up medical practice in Matagorda. The next year he received an appointment to a medical board established by both houses of the Congress of the republic. On April 4, 1838, Levy married Claudinia Olivia Gervais, also an Episcopalian; they had five children. Levy committed suicide in May 1848. The state of Texas honored him with a historical marker in Matagorda, and the city of Houston declared April 30, 1986, Albert Moses Levy Memorial Day, in honor of Jews who participated in the fight for Texas independence.

Pat Ireland Nixon, The Medical Story of Early Texas, 1528–1853 (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lupe Memorial Fund, 1946). Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage Press, 1989).

  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners
  • Peoples
  • Jews
  • Military
  • Soldiers
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Natalie Ornish, “Levy, Albert Moses,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 09, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/levy-albert-moses.

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August 1, 1995
May 31, 2016

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