Mourad Whitfield Bumstead was born February 12, 1811 in Hempstead, New York to Jacob Bumstead and Rhoda Martin. He was a fourth great grandson of Connecticut Governor Robert Treat and of Jasper Crane — cofounders of Newark, New Jersey — and a distant cousin of Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Family stories say he was a surveyor and that he traveled to Georgia where he became ill and lost contact with his family. His family moved to Ohio before he recovered, and he was unable to find them and his parents believed he had died until their deaths.
Mourad arrived in Texas in 1831. In June of 1832, he participated in one of the earliest armed resistances to the Mexican authorities when he joined forces with about 200 other Texians with Amos Thames and James Drake under Captain Frank Johnson, the alcalde at San Felipe de Austin. They sought to rescue William B. Travis and his law partner judge Patrick Jack who had been arrested by Colonel Juan Davis Bradburn, commander of the garrison at Anahuac. Colonel Bradburn had already earned the ire of the Texians by, among other things, dismissing the city council at Liberty, declaring martial law in all of East Texas, conscripting labor and supplies to construct the fort and failing to control his disorderly troops — most of whom were reported to be convicts. Bradburn was a Virginia native and veteran of the War of 1812 who married a wealthy Mexican heiress and was serving in the Mexican military.
In 1835, Captain Andrew Briscoe of Anahuac organized the “Liberty Volunteers”. Mourad joined Briscoe and is on his November 21st, 1835 muster roll. Captain Briscoe wrote “Of these men I think there are six or eight who will refuse to follow me into San Antonio. The rest will go, intending to conquer or to die.” Briscoe’s men joined Ben Milam in the battle of Concepcion and the siege of Bexar on October 24th.
Stephen F. Austin was in command in San Antonio. Mourad, Drake and Thames, dissatisfied with his command, joined the company of James Chessher, a long time ferryman over Pine Bayou, who mustered a company of Jefferson and Jasper County volunteers and joined Ben Milam’s forces in the siege. (Members of the company were: David Chessher; William and Adam Byerly; James Drake; Amos Thames; Enoch and Nathaniel Grigsby; William, Moses George and Elisha Allen and Murad W. Bumstead.) Milam led the attack on San Antonio for five days, from December 5 – 9, 1835, when he was killed by a sniper’s bullet. Mourad was discharged from this service on the 13th of that month.
Incorrectly transcribed in the records as “M.W. BRIMSTEAD”, he served at the “SIEGE OF BEXAR / THE STORMING OF SAN ANTONIO”, December 5-10, 1835. Their victory won by the vastly outnumbered men served to impede the progress of Santa Ana’s Mexican Army, giving the Texians more time to prepare for the perilous days ahead. The original muster list is housed at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum where his name is written “MW Bumpsted”.
On May 11, 1848, Mourad married Jane Cravey in Jefferson county. Jane was born July 3, 1829 in Florida, the daughter of Henry Cravey of South Carolina and Mary Sapp of Georgia. Mourad and Jane Bumstead had 10 children. Mourad died May 17, 1887 in Fletcher, Hardin county. His wife, Jane survived him and died July 12, 1912 at their home-place in Fletcher (now Lumberton), Texas.
In 1908, T.J. Russell, a long-time resident of Jefferson County, wrote that “Murad W. Bumstead lived on the west side of Village Creek, near Cook’s ferry“. Later, in the same piece, he wrote “Down on Village creek lived at the old Cook Ferry, Capt. James Chesher; then Murad W. Bumstead on the West side of the creek and near him was Job Foster…” (Village Creek is now a popular stream and recreation area North of Beaumont, Texas that flows into the Neches River.)
Mourad Whitfield Bumstead’s pension application of June 1874
I, M.W. Bumstead, resident of the county of Hardin said state being duly sworn upon my oath do say; that I am 63 years of age and a native of Essex County in the State of New Jersey; that I immigrated into Texas from the city and state of New York in 1831 that continuously since, I have resided in the present territory of the county of Hardin, Texas save, and except a residence of about one year in the present territory of Liberty County; that am identically the same person whose application for pension supported I think by the proofs of witneses James Chessher and Adam and William Byerly, the first of Hardin County since deceased and the latter of Jasper County, Has been heretofore forwarded through Messers C.R. Johnson and Co of Austin to the Comptroller’s office at the state of Texas.
That I served in AD 1832 in an expedition under Frank Johnson against Bradburn in command of the Mexican post of Anahuac; that in AD 1835 with a body of men who left here with Henry Millard I went to San Felipe de Austin where we organized into a company where of the said Henry Millard was elected Captain; that thence proceeding with said Company or a number there of to a point about 15 miles below ….. consolidated with the company of Captain Andrew J. Briscoe that all of the last mentioned Company except to the best of my recollection Amos Thames, James Drake (both of whom are now dead) and myself having become dissatisfied left the army then commanded by Stephen F. Austin I think and Thames, Drake and myself attached ourselves to the company commanded by Capt. James Chessher. Edward Burleson having about that time assumed the command of the forces near San Antonio (in) the place of Austin; that after having participated in the fighting which resulted in the reduction and capitulation of San Antonio, I was on or about December 13th 1835 honorably discharged of said service for which I have since received a bounty of 320 acres and a donation of 620 acres of land from the Republic of Texas.
Further, that —— way in 1836 July, I entered into the service of Texas at Beaumont Texas, under Captain Benjamin Harper and proceeding with his company joined the Texas Army under Rusk I believe on the Coletta (?) near San Antonio, and remaining in said service time that now remembered until I was discharged honorably near the mouth of the Lavaca River at a place called I believe Dimmit’s Landing, that for …. another bounty of 320 acres of land, my discharges and other evidences of my services aforesaid having been heretofore filed in the Archives of Austin are hereby referred to for greater certainty.
And I do further solemnly swear that I have never yet received any pension or part there of due me under the act of August 13, 1870 (of the State of Texas) or any ad amendatory or supplementary thereof.
Mourad W. Bumstead
This foregoing affidavit was subscribed and sworn to before me by Mourad W. Bumstead who is to me well known on the 29th day of June A.D. 1874 and the witnesses J.B. Langham and Cave Johnson who are credible, also subscribed the same or the same time in my presence to certify which I have unto set my pen and seal of office, this date last written.
W. Hubert Clk District Court, Jefferson County
Click here to view the Republic of Texas Claims for Mourad Whitfield Bumstead.