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 »


Thomas W. Cutrer
Daniel Shipman
Daniel Shipman. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

SHIPMAN, DANIEL (1801–1881). Daniel Shipman, one of the Old Three Hundred, was born in North Carolina on February 20, 1801, the son of Mary (Robinson) and Moses Shipman. The family left South Carolina on March 5, 1814, to follow the frontier. After making crops in North Carolina and Tennessee, they followed their relatives and neighbors, the family of Edward Burleson, to Illinois and then Missouri in 1815. From there, in 1821, they drifted down into Arkansas and then to the Pecan Point region of North Texas, where they arrived on March 19, 1822. Daniel and his friend Charles Isaac Nidever rode south to explore the Brazos River region; they reached the home of Martin Varner in Independence on April 8. After reporting to his father, Shipman joined Stephen F. Austin's colony in the fall of 1823. They received a labor of land at the juncture of the Brazos River and Mill Creek in May or June of 1824. Young Shipman served for a time on a surveying crew under William Selkirk before returning to his father's farm to raise a crop. He fought the Karankawa Indians during the summer of 1825 under Capt. Amos Rawls and later under Capt. Horatio Chriesman, but then quarreled with Austin over a quarter league that he had been promised. He visited the colony of Martín De León, where he intended to acquire a full league. Although he became friendly with De León and his family, Shipman was dissatisfied with the land and the colonists and so returned to the Brazos. In partnership with Nidever, he received a one-league headright now in Brazoria County on May 21, 1827. Shipman married Margaretta Kelly on September 23, 1828, and subsequently settled on Oyster Creek in Fort Bend County.

He served in Capt. Francis W. Johnson's company in the Anahuac Disturbances of 1832 and in Capt. John Byrd's company at the siege of Bexar. He was with Lt. Thomas H. Borden, the company's temporary commander, at the storming of the city in December 1835, and is said to have been at the side of Benjamin R. Milam when he was shot. On August 2, 1836, Shipman and his father enlisted in Byrd's four-month volunteers; Shipman served until the company was disbanded on January 18, 1837. In February 1838 Shipman received half a league and a labor in Harris County as a head of household and an army veteran. By 1840 he owned 2,214 acres of land in Bexar County, an equal amount in Brazoria County, and 288 acres in Harris County. On February 24, 1844, he was elected justice of the peace of Fort Bend County. In 1867 he was a resident of Washington County.

Daniel Shipman Grave
Daniel Shipman Grave. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

After the death of his first wife, Shipman married Eliza Hancock. In 1879 he published Frontier Life: 58 Years in Texas. The book is largely derived from the work of Dudley G. Wooten and other writers, but its early chapters are Shipman's own richly detailed and colorful memoirs. Shipman died near Goliad on March 4, 1881, at the home of his son Daniel, Jr. He and his second wife are buried in the State Cemetery in Austin. His younger brother John was killed on the Mier expedition.


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).

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, Thomas W. Cutrer, "SHIPMAN, DANIEL," accessed August 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsh30.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 4, 2017. 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...