Moreland, Isaac N. (unknown–1842)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 25, 2017

Isaac N. (J. N.) Moreland (Mourland), soldier and jurist of the Republic of Texas, was born in Georgia. He moved in the fall of 1834 to Texas and established himself at Anahuac. Soon thereafter he moved to Liberty, where he served as secretary of the ayuntamiento. On April 17, 1835, he became one of the four signers of the Liberty Resolutions, which called on Texans to respect the laws of Mexico and to refrain from resisting the payment of customs duties. However, Moreland was the author of the Anahuac Resolutions, signed on May 4, 1835 (see ANAHUAC DISTURBANCES). These protested what the citizens of the area considered to be unjust and arbitrary taxation by customs officials. This document was forwarded to the political chief of the jurisdiction and to the governor of Coahuila. Andrew Janeway Yates, Augustus Chapman Allen, and Moreland wrote a letter of protest against the seizure by Mexican navy captain Thomas M. (Mexico) Thompson of a sloop that they had chartered to transport freight to Velasco and Thompson's apparently arbitrary blockade of the mouth of the Brazos River. In October 1835 Moreland joined the Texas army. In a letter to Governor Henry Smith dated November 31, 1835, Col. James W. Fannin, Jr., recommended Moreland for a commission in the Texas army. On December 20, 1835, Gen. Sam Houston appointed Moreland a captain of the First Regiment of Infantry in the regular army and ordered him to Harrisburg to establish a recruiting station. His appointment was approved by the General Council on March 10, 1836. At the battle of San Jacinto, Moreland served with the "Twin Sisters" under Lt. Col. George Washington Hockley, although Moreland later wrote to Mirabeau B. Lamar that he had been "the oldest officer in rank of the Artillery for duty, at the Battle of San Jacinto." A man named Haskell, who signed himself as an army surgeon, wrote from the field that "Capt. Moreland commanded a cannon, and the duty was well performed; the first shot carried away the enemies powder box, and wounded the adjutant general and several others." After San Jacinto, Moreland was assigned to command Fort Travis at Galveston. On July 20, 1836, he was promoted to major, and on October 29, 1836, Sam Houston appointed him commandant of the garrison at Galveston. Moreland was discharged from the army on April 27, 1837, and moved to Houston, where, on May 29, he announced his partnership in the practice of law with David G. Burnet. By 1840 he owned two Houston city lots, a slave, and a gold watch, in addition to 600 acres in Harrisburg County. On January 30, 1840, President Lamar appointed him chief justice of the Second Judicial District, then Harrisburg County, to succeed Benjamin Cromwell Franklin. He held the post until his death, on June 9, 1842. He is buried in an unmarked grave in City Cemetery on West Dallas Avenue, Houston. He was a Mason.

Compiled Index to Elected and Appointed Officials of the Republic of Texas, 1835–1846 (Austin: State Archives, Texas State Library, 1981). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Defenders of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Laurel House, 1989). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Michael R. Green, comp. and ed., Calendar of the Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (Austin: Texas State Library, 1982). Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Telegraph and Texas Register, June 24, 1837, June 15, 1842. 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).

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Moreland, Isaac N.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 01, 2022,

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May 25, 2017

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