Shipman, Moses (1774–1838)

By: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 6, 2020

Moses Daniel Shipman, a native of North Carolina and an Old Three Hundred colonist, the son of Edward Charles and Elizabeth (Merrill) Shipman, was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina on September 22, 1774. He married Mary Robinson of South Carolina on January 19, 1798; they had ten children. The family lived in Buncombe, North Carolina, until March 6, 1814, when they began a series of westward immigrations. James Burleson was a relative, and the father of Edward Burleson, who had moved to Tennessee and encouraged the Shipman family to join their relocation to Texas. The family settled for a year at a time in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas. By 1819 they had moved west to Missouri, where they remained until October 1821, when they started for Texas; they crossed the Red River near Jonesboro on March 9, 1822. After a favorable report by Moses's son Daniel Shipman on the Austin colony, the family moved to the Brazos River area in March 1823 and located in the fork of Mill Creek and the Brazos River near San Felipe. On July 19, 1824, Shipman received title to a sitio of land that later became part of Fort Bend County and a labor of land now in Austin County. In 1825 the family moved from the Austin County location to a league on Oyster Creek twenty miles below the site of present Richmond in Fort Bend County. Shipman welcomed early Baptist preachers into his home, including Joseph L. Bays, who delivered his first sermon in the state at Shipman’s home in 1825. The census of March 1826 listed a household consisting of Shipman, his wife Mary, and their eight children. In April 1834 Shipman attended court under live oak trees at the home of Dr. Pleasant W. Rose. On March 7, 1835, Shipman purchased a part of a league situated on Davidson’s Creek from James H. Bell. In February 1836 he was president of the election at John Owens's home to choose delegates to the Convention of 1836. As the Mexican army of Antonio López de Santa Anna approached the Fort Bend area, Shipman and his family joined their neighbors in the Runaway Scrape. The family had reached Lynchburg when the news of the battle of San Jacinto halted their exodus. On their return home the Shipman family camped one night on the field at San Jacinto, surrounded by hundreds of unburied Mexican corpses. At home the Shipmans found destroyed fences and slaughtered cattle and began to rebuild. Shipman died on January 1, 1838, and was buried in the family cemetery near Arcola, Texas.

Robert Allen, "Among Austin's Original Three Hundred," Voice of the Mexican Border, January 1934. Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). "Reminiscences of Mrs. Dilue Harris," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 4, 7 (October 1900, January 1901, January 1904). Betty Smith Meischen, From Jamestown to Texas: A History of Some Early Pioneers of Austin County the Colonial Capital of Texas (New York: Writer’s Showcase, 2002). Daniel Shipman, Frontier Life: 58 Years in Texas (1879). Andrew Jackson Sowell, History of Fort Bend County (Houston: Coyle, 1904; rpt, Richmond, Texas: Fort Bend County Historical Museum, 1974). J. L. Walter and C. P. Lumpkin, History of the Waco Baptist Association (Waco: Byrne Hill Printing House, 1897). Clarence Wharton, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939).

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, “Shipman, Moses,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 6, 2020

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