Morehouse, Edwin (1801–1849)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 1, 1995

Edwin Morehouse, soldier of the Republic of Texas, was born in New York in 1801 and moved westward, first to Clarksville, Pike County, Missouri, and then, in 1826, to Texas. With the outbreak of the Texas Revolution he was granted a major's commission (on November 21, 1835) and returned to New York to raise a battalion of volunteers, which he brought to Texas aboard the brig Mattawamkeag. Morehouse and his 110 troops arrived "much fatigued" at Columbus from Matagorda on April 6, 1836, and there he remained to assist fleeing Texas families and await orders. Gen. Sam Houston ordered him to Fort Bend to assist Wyly Martin in the defense of the lower Brazos crossings, but the Mexican army had turned Martin out of his position before Morehouse arrived. Although it was within the sound of the guns, Morehouse's battalion arrived too late to participate in the battle of San Jacinto. It joined Houston's army, however, and on June 2 the battalion was designated to fire the salute over the newly interred remains of the victims of the Goliad Massacre. The battalion remained in service until it disbanded in May 1837.

On June 22, 1836, Morehouse was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and on August 5, with the reorganization of the army after San Jacinto, he was appointed colonel of the First Regiment of Gen. Thomas J. Rusk's First Brigade, Texas Army Volunteers, the command of which he maintained until the army was disbanded in 1837. On October 3, 1836, he was elected to the Senate of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas to represent Goliad, Refugio, and San Patricio counties; but he resigned his seat on December 22, when Houston nominated him for adjutant general of the Army of the Republic of Texas. In 1838 Morehouse was appointed brigadier general of the Second Brigade of the state militia, made up of men recruited in Harris County. In January and February 1841 he led an expedition of 125 militiamen and 100 Tonkawa and 15 Lipan allies up the Brazos River as far as Comanche Peak, hoping to find hostile Indians in their winter villages. The campaign failed to discover any of the enemy, however. As George B. Erath correctly pointed out, the expedition was "the mistake of military characters, newly arrived in Texas." The Texas Rangers, he observed, had long before learned that the Comanches "were quartered in their villages in the summer time only...and that in cold weather they scattered to hunt and feast on bear and other wild animals." The expedition killed only two of the enemy.

In March 1842 Morehouse, then living in Houston, was called into service as a brigadier general in response to Rafael Vásquez's attack on San Antonio. On March 15 he was ordered to report with his brigade to Gen. Alexander Somervell in San Antonio, but two days later the order was rescinded due to Vásquez's retreat. On October 7, 1844, Morehouse served with James Clinton Neill and Thomas Smith as commissioner to the Comanches and other tribes at a council on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, which concluded a treaty of friendship on October 9. The commissioners and Indians met again at Post No. 2 on Tawakano Creek on September 15, 1845. The commissioners distributed presents and reported that the Indians "left for their homes, assuring us again of their determination to continue friendly." Morehouse died in Houston in 1849.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). George B. Erath, "The Memoirs of George B. Erath, 1813–1891," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 26–27 (January-October 1923; rpts., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1923, Waco: Heritage Society of Waco, 1956). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Morehouse, Edwin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 08, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995