Penny Dodd

MOORE, MARY POLLY MADDEN HAMILTON (1802–1857). Mary Polly Madden Hamilton Moore, pioneer and land grant holder, was born in Shelby County, Tennessee, in 1802 to John Madden of North Carolina and Martha Jean (Guthrie) Madden of North Carolina. In 1818, when she was about sixteen, Mary Madden married John G. Hamilton. They had eight children together—James Guthrie, Avarilla, Thomas R., Amanda, John Perry, Margaret, Robert M., and Alexander L. According to the original Texas land grant for 1,280 acres issued in March 1838 to John G. Hamilton, the family migrated to the Republic of Texas between 1834 and 1835 to the county of Red River. Caddos and later migrant Cherokee groups had resided in this area of Northeast Texas, but actions by the Republic of Texas against the Cherokees and the Caddo movement into Oklahoma further opened the territory of what was originally Red River County to Anglo settlement. In 1840 the Congress of the Republic of Texas formed Lamar County (which included present-day Delta County and part of Hopkins County) from Red River County.

John G. Hamilton died at the age of thirty-eight in 1841 and left the land to his heirs which included his wife Mary. The land in this area was agriculturally rich due to its location near the South Sulphur River and yielded crops of corn and wheat, as cotton did not become a staple crop until after the Civil War. Mary Hamilton married Marquis DelaFayette Moore in 1841 and had one son, Daniel Fitch Moore. In the 1850 census for Hopkins County, Mary was listed as head of the household, and she owned $200 in property. Mary Polly Madden Hamilton Moore died in Hopkins County in 1857 when she was about fifty-five years old. Two land grants were issued to her heirs, and the Mary Hamilton surveys were noted on Delta County land grant maps. This land had a divisive history of lawsuits and disputes up until the 1960s, including an 1883 case filed in Delta County District Court. 


Land Grant Records, Mary Hamilton Papers, File No. 152, Original Land Grant Collection, Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin.

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Penny Dodd, "MOORE, MARY POLLY MADDEN HAMILTON ," accessed June 18, 2019,

Uploaded on June 28, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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