March 25, 2016

Isaac Moreland

Isaac Newton (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. 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.

This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.451, -095° 22.733

Founders Memorial Park

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