Moore, R. J. (1844–unknown)

By: Paul M. Lucko

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

R. J. Moore, a black member of the Texas House of Representatives during the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth legislatures from Washington County, was born in 1844 in Navasota, Texas, possibly of mixed racial ancestry. He studied at Hearne Academy and later taught school at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he was postmaster and a Washington County commissioner. Moore attended the Colored Men's Convention (see BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS) at Brenham in 1873, where African Americans discussed their status within the Republican party. Although he was a Republican, Moore received support from the People's party in the election of 1886. He won election to the House of Representatives for terms beginning in 1883, 1885, and 1887 and during his terms at various times sat on the Penitentiaries, Federal Relations, Public Roads, Bridges and Ferries, and Educational Affairs committees. While in the legislature he opposed the convict lease system, showed interest in regulating railroads, supported compulsory school attendance laws, objected to literacy requirements for jurors, and fought racial discrimination. Moore was married and the father of three sons.

J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985). Lawrence D. Rice, The Negro in Texas, 1874–1900 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971).


  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Politics and Government

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

Paul M. Lucko, “Moore, R. J.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 09, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995

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