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Theresa McCloud [Moore] (1837?-1887?

Quilt square of tan, brown, and blue fabric representing a meadowlark.
Theresa McCloud Moore, "The Meadowlark"

Josephine Golson in Bailey’s Light records that Theresa McCloud was one of the slaves that gained their freedom from J. H. Polley.

Theresa Moore, a former house slave who left after the emancipation, wrote a letter to Mary Bailey Polley, 4 February 1869, asking her to keep in touch because she missed the family and their “home by the Springs.” It is possible that Theresa McCloud had married, and her name was changed to Theresa Moore. However, this is unconfirmed. Possibly she is one of the persons referred to in this excerpt from J. H. Polley’s estate:

“Whereas my daughters Mary A. Baylor and Susan R. Henderson having each one negro girl slave in their possession belonging to my Estate, it is my will and desire that each of my said daughters retain the possession of the negro girl now in her custody…Should either of my daughters who are now single marry before the first distribution of my estate…it is my will and I direct that she or they…shall receive three hundred head of stock cattle and ten head of horses…and further direct..she shall be entitled to receive into her possession one negro girl belonging to the Estate. It is my will and desire that my negro slaves Theresa and Anna shall be allowed to choose a master or mistress as they may elect among my children…providing that they shall not be at liberty to choose the same person for a master or mistress and provided that Theresa shall be entitled to the first choice.” (January 10, 1862; Filed March 30, 1869)

Terisa McCloud Moore (1837-1887), a Colored female, married to Aaron Lewis Moore (1838-1915), is listed on the death certificate of her son, John R. Moore (1880-1937), a doctor. Aaron Lewis Moore’s death certificate does not list his wife’s name, but they are both buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas.

Her quilt square is “Meadowlark."


This biographical selection is from The Enslaved People of J. H. Polley Plantation, Whitehall, Sutherland Springs, Texas 1836-1865. The collection is the work of independent scholar, Dr. Melinda Creech. Dr. Creech compiled and presents a biographical sketch of each of the enslaved along with a unique historic Texas quilt for each individual since photos of the 28 enslaved are not available. The collection is available to view in person at the Sutherland Springs Historical Museum.

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