While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Frank H. Bushick

HARRIS, MOSE C. (1843–1922). Mose C. Harris, journalist and reformer, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 25, 1843. He was a printer on the Louisville Courier Journal before joining a Confederate guerrilla force at the age of eighteen; he was captured by Union troops but was paroled and remained in Washington, D.C., for the duration of the Civil War. In 1872, with a "shirt tail of type and an old Washington hand press," Harris started a paper at Hot Springs, Arkansas. He used his editorial pages so vigorously against both the sporting elements and the complacent officials of that city that a mob dragged him to the railway station, a rope around his neck, and ordered him never to show his face in Hot Springs again. In 1873 he moved to Texas and continued campaigns of uplift and reform in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio. In Austin he assailed particularly the state's agreement with the Capitol Syndicate (see XIT RANCH) to exchange three million acres of land for the construction of the present state Capitol. A legislative investigation failed to sustain his charge that the new building was poorly constructed and unsafe. In the early 1890s Harris, who was called "Major" by those who admired his exploits or sought his favor, moved to San Antonio, where for ten years he published the Texas Republic. The paper was Republican in policy and attacked incompetent politicians and office holders. In San Antonio, Harris and William C. Brann, for a time the editorial writer for the San Antonio Express,engaged in a short-lived editorial duel of wit and personalities. Harris served as deputy collector of internal revenue in the San Antonio division from 1889 to 1893. Later he moved to El Paso, where he died on June 2, 1922.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Frank H. Bushick, "HARRIS, MOSE C.," accessed May 25, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fha88.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...