Samuel E. Died 1889

Malvina Died 1910

Sammie I. Died 1900

James Died 1867


Photo Credit: Rosa G. Gonzales


Samuel E. Moore was a member of the African-American community that settled in the Corpus Christi area because of his closeness to Col. John Marks Davenport Moore.  According to the census records Samuel was a native of Alabama (1870 census) or Georgia (1880 census) and was born about 1817.  Most likely he was born in Georgia like John Marks Moore, and then traveled with John Marks when he went to Alabama to take over a plantation his father put him in charge of at an early age.  Samuel’s daughter Annie Moore Schwein says that her father Samuel was a slave on the plantation that was entrusted to Col. John M. Moore by his father when he was only a teenager (see the full account of Annie Moore Schwein’s recollection under her name at this website).  This property was in Alabama where Col. Moore later founded an iron foundry in which Samuel also worked as a puddler.  According to Annie and also Col. Moore’s obituary, Samuel and John Marks were close friends because of their similar ages.  They had grown up together in the home of John Marks Moore’s father who was a wealthy land owner of Georgia.  They had been close even as children despite the slavery status of Samuel, and according to one story Col. Moore purchased Malvina precisely because Sammie wanted to marry her and Col. Moore wanted to please his friend.  Annie Moore Schwein states that her father ran away from slavery after a fight with a white man and for the next 4 years lived in Texas where he crossed over often into Mexico.  There he could have been a free man because slavery was outlawed in Mexico, but he preferred the states and so found his freedom at the end of the Civil War.  In the late 1850s Samuel rejoined John M. Moore when the colonel came to Corpus Christi to help in a project to dredge a channel prior to the Civil War.  Samuel’s family was reportedly one of many that Col. John M. Moore moved to south Texas if they wished to stay with him and work in the same area where he resided.  While the birth of Annie Moore Schwein is listed as 1856 on her gravestone, the official marriage of Sammie and Malvina did not take place until 1868.  The Nueces County marriage books record the marriage of “Sam Franklin Moore” and “Malvina Garrett” on June 3, 1868 (volume C page 366), performed by John Dix, the Unionist appointed as county judge during the Reconstruction period in Nueces County.  It is unclear if Sam and Malvina were actually married prior to 1856 or if Malvina was previously married and Annie is actually a stepdaughter of Sam.  In the 1870 census Samuel is already listed as married to Malvina.  In this census (p. 163) Samuel is listed officially as “black” while Malvina and daughter Annie are listed as “mulatto”.  Malvina’s obituary states that she was born of Negro and Indian parentage.  In 1870 Samuel is working as a drayman and has a fair estate.  His real estate is listed as worth $400 and his personal estate is valued at $103.  Others living with the Moore family at this time are Jenny Dowd and her son Washington as well as Thomas Randolph and his wife and son.  By the 1880 census (p. 17A) Samuel is still working as a drayman and his household now includes not only his wife and Annie, but Annie’s children.  Malvina is also taking in laundry to help with household expenses.  In the 1900 census Samuel is already deceased, but his widow, daughter Annie Moore Schwein, and Annie’s children live practically next door to the Evans family.  Mrs. George Evans is Cornelia Moore, daughter of Col. John Marks Davenport Moore.  Samuel and Malvina’s daughter Annie Moore Schwein was active in promoting the education of the local African-American youth.  For many years she was a teacher of primary grades in the local schools, and her son-in-law, Dudley J. Smith, was a principal at Solomon Coles school.  Her mother Malvina had been a slave of Forbes Britton who built the residence referred to as Centennial House, and Annie was born in New Braunfels where Britton share a ranching adventure with his friend George Wilkins Kendall of the New Orleans Picayune.  Samuel lies in Old Bayview along with his wife Malvina and his daughter Annie as well as his friend from youth, John Marks Moore.


Research and transcription: Michael A. Howell

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