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Texas House Speakers Oral History Project -
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Guide to 1st through 10th Speakers

Guide to 1st through 10th Speakers

WILLIAM E. CRUMP
(1809 or 1810–1889)
1st and 4th Speaker
(1846)

Presided over

Part of the 1st Legislature's first session, February 16 to March 3, 1846, and from March 16 to May 1, 1846.

Very little is known about the life of Texas' first speaker of the House, William E. Crump. Born in North Carolina in either 1809 or 1810, he does not appear in any public record until his 1836 marriage in that state to an English immigrant.

Crump apparently moved his family to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and established residence in the Republic of Texas by the early 1840s. He set up a plantation near Bellville along the Brazos River in the Southeast Texas county of Austin. Before Texas statehood, Crump briefly served with the Republic's military, joining Texas forces responding to a Mexican raid on San Antonio in 1842.

Crump won election to the House of Representatives from Austin County the year Texas entered the Union, 1846, and presided over most of Legislature's tumultuous first session. Crump served as speaker from the opening day of the session, on February 16, 1846, until he took a brief leave of absence from March 3 to March 16. He returned to serve again as presiding officer until he resigned from the speakership permanently on May 1, just twelve days before the first session ended.

His departure apparently resulted from his unhappiness with a legislative ruling regarding that year's hotly disputed lieutenant governor's race between the eventual winner, Albert Clinton Horton and Nicholas H. Darnell, a future speaker of the House. In spite of the chaos in leadership, the first House session organized much of the new state government, creating more than thirty counties, state courts, a taxation system, and a militia.

Crump remained in the House as a member through part of the third session, which opened in November 1849. He retired from the Legislature during that session and returned to his plantation, where he became one of the wealthiest men in Austin County. He served for a time as county judge and died on January 3, 1889.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Crump

Books:

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 3. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

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JOHN BROWN
(1787–ca. 1850s)
2nd Speaker
(1846)

Presided over

Part of the 1st Legislature's first session, March 3 to March 9, 1846.

Born in South Carolina in 1787, the 49-year-old John "Red" Brown settled in Texas near Nacogdoches in 1836, the year Texas revolutionaries won independence from Mexico and established the Republic. As is the case with the first speaker, William Crump, scholars know little about Brown's early life. He quickly achieved prominence in Texas, however, winning election as a House member in the Republic's 6th Congress in 1841. Following Texas' annexation by the United States, Brown won election to the state's First Legislature, representing the Nacogdoches district in 1846.

That session, House Speaker William E. Crump requested a leave of absence as speaker, which the House granted on March 3. His peers chose Brown as speaker pro tempore, but the lack of precedent created confusion as to his status and powers. Legislators remained divided as to whether a temporary presiding officer held all the powers of the speaker, an office which itself was just being defined in the early days of statehood. As a result, Brown resigned from the position after only six days. The Legislature then passed a retroactive resolution declaring that Crump had resigned when he left the speakership and that Brown had served not as speaker pro tempore, but as a speaker. Thus, a new election for speaker was required, resulting in the election of Edward Thomas Branch, who served for seven days until Crump's return.

Political parties had not formally organized in the days of the Texas Republic, but Brown helped organize the state Democratic Party the same year as his brief speakership. He returned home, which was now part of a district representing the newly created counties of Van Zandt and Henderson, serving as a Van Zandt County Commissioner. He ran for the House again in 1851, an election in which he at first appeared to have won a term in the 4th Legislature. After serving briefly in that session, a vote recount revealed he had actually lost the race.

Census records show that Brown lived in the Van Zandt area during the 1850 federal census but he does not appear in the 1860 census report. Although no record of his death has been located, scholars believe he probably died in his sixties or early seventies somewhere in Van Zandt County during that decade.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Brown

Books:

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

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EDWARD THOMAS BRANCH
(1811–1861)
3rd Speaker
(1846)

Presided over

Part of the 1st Legislature's first session, March 9 to March 16, 1846.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, on December 6, 1811, Edward Thomas Branch, unintentionally arrived in Texas in 1835, he later said, after being kidnapped on his way to Cuba. Robbers on a Mexican cruiser diverted and boarded his brig, assaulted him and then cast him ashore at Anahuac on the Texas coast.

The year he arrived proved portentous. In 1835, Texas still remained part of Mexico, but issues like the centralization of political power in Mexico City and the future of slavery in Texas sparked a deep rift between Anglo colonists north of the Nueces River and the Mexican government. Revolutionary violence broke out across Texas.

In this atmosphere, Branch settled in Liberty. He quickly entered politics, but lost in the delegate elections to the "Consultation," a meeting of Texas representatives in San Felipe on November 1, 1835, to discuss Anglo and Tejano grievances with the Mexican government. On November 7 the assembly called for the establishment of "a provisional government upon the principles of the Constitution of 1824." Yet, at the same time the delegates declared that Mexican dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna had already dissolved the social compact with Texans and that the provisional government created by the Consultation had the right to declare independence.

Branch remained in Liberty, working as a teacher until the Texas Revolution began in the spring of 1836. He joined the Texas Army and saw action in the decisive Battle of San Jacinto that concluded the rebellion in the favor of Anglo Texans.

With the Republic of Texas established, Liberty County residents elected Branch to the House during the First and Second Congresses, from October 3, 1836–May 24, 1838.

Branch chaired the House Ways and Means Committee, but an 1838 joint session of the Congress appointed him judge of the Fifth Judicial District, which included Nacogdoches. This position also made him a Texas Supreme Court associate justice. The Supreme Court, however, did not meet until January 1840 and Branch resigned from the bench only eight months after the court's first session. He became postmaster in Liberty in 1843.

After the United States annexed Texas, Branch won election to the House of Representatives in the new Legislature in 1846. He became speaker of the House on May 9, 1846, during that first-ever legislative session when the first speaker, William E. Crump, and then Crump's successor, John Brown, stepped down from the post. Branch himself resigned from the speakership after one week, on March 16. Branch died on September 24, 1861.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Branch

Books:

Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836–1846): a Biographical Directory. Compiled and written by Joe E. Ericson. Dallas: Taylor Pub. Co., 1980.

KFT 1725 E742 PCL Stacks
KFT 1725 E742 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
KFT 1725 E742 Center for American History TXC-ZZ Collection. Use in library only. KFT 1725 E742 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.

Biographical directory of the Texan conventions and congresses, 1832–1845. Written by Ernest R. Lindley and Elizabeth LeNoir Jennett. Austin: Texas House of Representatives, 1941.

LAW JK 4831 T468 1941B Law Library Copy 1.
LAW JK 4831 T468 1941B Law Library Copy 2.
JK 4830 A54 1942 PCL Stacks
JK 4830 A54 1941 PCL Stacks
- Q - JK 4830 A54 1941 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 1941 Center for American History TXC-ZZ Collection. Use in library only.

Biographical directory of the Texan conventions and congresses, (1832–1845). Sesquicentennial re-print edition. Written by Ernest R. Lindley, Elizabeth Lenoir Jennett. Crosby, Tex.: Sons of the Republic of Texas, 1986.

JK 4830 A54 1986 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 3. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 4. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Vandale Collection. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Vandale Collection Copy 2. Use in library only.

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

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WILLIAM H. BOURLAND
(1811–1860)
5th Speaker
(1846)

Presided over

Part of the 1st Legislature's regular session, May 1 to May 11, 1846.

Born in Kentucky in 1811, William H. Bourland settled in the Republic of Texas in December 1840. He became a Texas Ranger the next year and led troops in the Battle of Village Creek May 24 of that year. The battle ensued when the Texas government directed the Rangers and volunteers to attack a group of Caddo, Cherokee, and Tonkawa villages along a stream that now forms the city limits of Arlington and Fort Worth, including Lake Arlington.

A total of 69 volunteers participated in the battle against the Indians, who were blamed for blocking the movement of white settlements westward and who had engaged in defensive raids against whites in the area. Even though the engagement was inconclusive, the Anglos withdrew. The Indian villages, which had included 1,000 warriors, were found deserted when another Republic of Texas force returned to Village Creek in 1841. A September 1843 agreement, Bird's Fort Treaty, allowed whites to move into the disputed land while the Indians were removed to a reservation on the upper Brazos River.

Returning from his military career, Bourland entered politics and represented Lamar County from 1843 to 1845 in the Texas House of Representatives. In 1845 he introduced a bill to incorporate the town of Paris, which became the seat of Lamar County. Following Texas' annexation by the United States, Bourland served in the state Legislature. He represented Lamar County from 1846 to 1849.

The state House of Representatives proved chaotic in its first session, with five men serving as speaker during in that opening session. The first speaker, William Crump, presided over the body from February 16 to March 3. John Brown took the gavel upon Crump's departure and presided until March 9. Brown's successor, Edward Thomas Branch, served as speaker for a week, leaving the office on March 16 to accommodate Crump who had returned from a leave of absence. Crump's second turn as speaker was also fleeting as he resigned from the House on May 1, twelve days before the Legislature adjourned. Bourland himself did not remain speaker until the final gavel, stepping down on May 11. It was left to Stephen W. Perkins to bring an end to the proceedings as the first session's fifth speaker. Perkins' two-day reign set a record for the shortest speakership in Texas history.

In between Bourland's service in the First and Second Legislatures, he enlisted in the United States Army as part of the 1st Texas Mounted Volunteers. He reached the rank of major though he saw no combat. In the early 1850s, he moved to Grayson County in North Texas and briefly returned to Legislature, representing Grayson County as a member of the House from 1853 to 1855. Marrying Caroline Willis, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, Bourland moved near her home at the Red River border region of Grayson and Cooke counties, where he died on April 2, 1860.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Bourland

Books:

Biographical directory of the Texan conventions and congresses, 1832–1845. Written by Ernest R. Lindley and Elizabeth LeNoir Jennett. Austin: Texas House of Representatives, 1941.

LAW JK 4831 T468 1941B Law Library Copy 1
LAW JK 4831 T468 1941B Law Library Copy 2
JK 4830 A54 1942 PCL Stacks
JK 4830 A54 1941 PCL Stacks
- Q - JK 4830 A54 1941 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 1941 Center for American History TXC-ZZ Collection. Use in library only.

Biographical directory of the Texan conventions and congresses, (1832–1845). Sesquicentennial re-print edition. Written by Ernest R. Lindley and Elizabeth LeNoir Jennett. Crosby, Tex.: Sons of the Republic of Texas, 1986.

JK 4830 A54 1986 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 3. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 4. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Vandale Collection. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Vandale Collection Copy 2. Use in library only.

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

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STEPHEN W. PERKINS
(1809–1876)
6th Speaker
(1846–1847)

Presided over

Part of the 1st Legislature's regular session, May 11 to May 13, 1846.

Born in Kentucky in 1809, Stephen W. Perkins immigrated to Texas in 1840 and soon presided over a plantation at Bailey's Prairie in Brazoria County. Elected as a member of the House of Representatives in the Ninth Congress, which oversaw the annexation of the Republic of Texas by the United States, Perkins won appointment on April 14, 1845, to a committee that drafted an "Address to the People of Texas." The address made the case in favor of annexation.

Immediately after annexation, Brazoria County elected Perkins to the House of the new state's First Legislature. Perkins presided over the House for two days at the conclusion of the chaotic first session. By 1848, Perkins had risen to the state Senate as a representative of Matagorda and Brazoria counties.

Perkins was elected chief justice of Brazoria County on August 5, 1850, an office he held for 12 years. When he stepped down from the bench, Perkins was a wealthy planter, possessing about $20,000 in wealth (about $408,000 in 2004 dollars), including slaves. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in the Brazoria Volunteers of the Rio Grande Regiment. After the war, and during Union occupation of the state, he was re-elected chief justice on June 25, 1866. However, Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds, commander of Union forces in Texas, removed him from office on April 25, 1869, as "an impediment to reconstruction." Perkins died while visiting his daughter in Coryell County in 1876.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Perkins

Books:

Biographical directory of the Texan conventions and congresses, 1832–1845. Written by Ernest R. Lindley, Elizabeth LeNoir Jennett. Austin: Texas House of Representatives, 1941.

LAW JK 4831 T468 1941B Law Library Copy 1
LAW JK 4831 T468 1941B Law Library Copy 2
JK 4830 A54 1942 PCL Stacks
JK 4830 A54 1941 PCL Stacks
- Q - JK 4830 A54 1941 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 1941 Center for American History TXC-ZZ Collection. Use in library only.

Biographical directory of the Texan conventions and congresses, (1832–1845). Written by Ernest R. Lindley, Elizabeth LeNoir Jennett. Sesquicentennial re-print edition. Crosby, Tex.: Sons of the Republic of Texas, 1986.

JK 4830 A54 1986 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 3. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Copy 4. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Vandale Collection. Use in library only.
JK 4830 A54 Center for American History Vandale Collection Copy 2. Use in library only.

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

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JAMES WILSON HENDERSON
(1817–1880)
7th Speaker
(1847–1849)

Presided over

The 2nd Legislature's regular session, December 13, 1847 to March 20, 1848.

Born in Sumpter County, Tennessee on August 15, 1817, James Wilson Henderson responded to a widely circulated letter from Col. William B. Travis calling for volunteers to battle the Mexican Army at the Alamo in San Antonio. Henderson briefly enrolled in a Kentucky college, but left to lead 50 volunteers serving the army of the fledgling Texas Republic. The group not only arrived too late to fight at the Alamo, but also missed the decisive Battle of San Jacinto that concluded the successful Texas Revolution. The Texas Republic nevertheless commissioned Henderson as a captain.

The government sent Henderson back to the United States to recruit new Anglo soldiers. The Republic recalled him, however, when the Texas Army was disbanded in 1837. Upon his return, Henderson made Harris County his home and became county surveyor in 1840. Henderson studied law and won admission to the bar in 1842.

His law career led to a life as a politician, and Henderson served in the Texas Congress from 1843 to 1845. He served for a time on the Committee on the State of the Republic, which helped engineer the annexation of Texas by the United States. After annexation, he was elected the state House of Representatives. His freshman term in 1847 was the Legislature's second session.

Henderson became the first speaker to preside over an entire session and to climb from that position to other powerful statewide offices. Henderson defeated one of the giants of early Texas politics, Mirabeau b. Lamar, who had served as the Republic of Texas' third president, to become speaker. From that post, he later won election as lieutenant governor in 1851.

When Gov. Peter H. Bell resigned as governor in November 1853 in order to serve in the United States House of Representatives, Henderson became governor. He thus became the first Texan in state history to occupy the three highest offices: speaker of the House, lieutenant governor, and governor. His tenure as governor was brief, lasting a month until Governor-elect Elisha M. Pease took office in December 1853.

Briefly leaving public office, he practiced law until he won election again to the state House in 1855 and 1857. Henderson participated in the state' secession convention in 1861 and served in the Texas home guard, commanding a company at Matagorda Peninsula under Gen. John B. Magruder. After the Civil War, he again practiced law in Houston, where he died in 1880.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Henderson

Books:

Chief executives of Texas: from Stephen F. Austin to John B. Connally, Jr. Written by Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, c1995.

F 385 H39 1995 PCL Stacks
F 385 H39 1995 Center for American History TXC-ZZ Collection. Use in library only.
F 385 H39 1995 Public Affairs Library
LAW F 385 H39 1995 Law Library
Internet copy access limited to users with UT Austin EID.

Governors of Texas. Written by Mike Kingston. Dallas: Dallas Morning News, c1984.

F 385 K56 1984 Center for American History. Use in library only.

Governors who have been: and other public men of Texas. By Norman G. Kittrell. Houston: Dealy-Adey-Elgin, 1921.

LAW F 385 K57 1921 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

The Texas governor. Written by June Rayfield Welch Dallas: G.L.A. Press, c1977

LAW F 385 W45 1977 Law Library

Documents:

Letter of attorney-general Jennings to the governor of Texas relative to the Peters' colony contracts.

TZ 976.407 T312L Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
Letter is addressed to Henderson when he was governor.

Vertical File: Henderson, James Wilson (Center for American History)

The file contains one clipping from either the Houston Post or the Houston Chronicle dated March 29, 1931, that details the raising of a monument in a Houston cemetery to Henderson. The article notes that Henderson served as governor for 28 days in 1853. The story provides a fairly lengthy biographical sketch of Henderson. There is also biographical information on Frank Teich, the German-born artist who designed the Henderson monument. The file also includes:

  • A July 12, 1966 article from the Houston Post, "Historical Group Seeks Descendents of Speakers," concerning efforts to invite Henderson's descendents to the unveiling of a State Historical Survey Monument in Bay City recognizing Ira Ingram. Ingram was the first Speaker of the Texas House in the days of the Republic.
  •  A biographical sketch, "Fourth Governor of Texas Overlooked by Historians," from the May 14, 1936 Austin Times.
  • Four different copies of a 1963 Texas Almanac biographical sketch published by several state newspapers and eventually printed as a booklet by the Dallas Morning News.
  • A clipping from the October 1963 Texas Freemason outlining Henderson's life and describing his activities with the Masons.

CHARLES G. KEENAN
(1813–1870)
8th Speaker
(1849–1851)

Presided over

The 3rd Legislature's regular session, November 5, 1849 to February 11, 1850; the 3rd Legislature's 1st called session, August 12 to September 6, 1850; and the 3rd Legislature's 2nd called session, November 18 to December 3, 1850.

Born on February 28, 1813, in Giles County, Tennessee, Dr. Charles G. Keenan served as an army surgeon during the Second Seminole War in Florida, where he treated Indians. Settling in Texas, Keenan became the first physician to practice in Huntsville. He won election to the state Legislature for three terms. After serving his first term in the Legislature in 1846, he re-enlisted in the Army and for three months participated in the Mexican-American war. His unit was involved in capture of Laredo. Keenan came back home in time to be elected once more to the House for a second term, and he rose to the speakership in 1849 during his third term.

During Keenan's session as speaker, the Legislature was pre-occupied with definitively determining Texas' borders. After the Revolution, Texas had claimed the Rio Grande as its southern and western border. Mexico had rejected those claims, drawing the line further north at the Nueces, but with its defeat at the hands of the United States it accepted the Rio Grande as its boundary with the United States. Texans, however, insisted that the state line also extended northward to the area between the northern Rio Grande and the Arkansas rivers. Texas, in short, claimed territory that belongs to modern-day New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and a small slice of Wyoming.

As part of the Compromise of 1850, in which the United States Congress attempted to resolve the status of slavery in the vast territories just annexed from Mexico, Texas was asked to surrender its northwest claims. In return, the state would receive $10 million earmarked to relieve Texas debts incurred while it was a republic. Keenan presided over two special sessions called by Gov. Peter Bell to settle the boundary issue and on November 25, 1850, the Legislature agreed to the terms offered by the Congress.

Keenan lost in his race for lieutenant governor in 1851 to James W. Henderson. His old seat in the Legislature became open when his successor in the House of Representatives resigned. Keenan briefly campaigned in the special election, but withdrew in order to care for his patients. He did return to the Legislature, this time as a senator, in 1853. He also served as superintendent of the State Asylum for the Insane in the late 1850s and early 1860s. Keenan died in Huntsville on June 15, 1870.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Keenan

Books:

Huntsville and Walker County, Texas, a bicentennial history. Compiled and edited by D'Anne McAdams Crews for the Heritage Committee, Bicentennial Commission of Huntsville. Huntsville, Tex.: Sam Houston State University Press, 1976.

F 394 H9 C749 PCL Stacks
F 394 H9 C749 PCL Stacks Copy 2
F 394 H9 C749 Center for American History. Use in library only.
F 394 H9 C749 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
F 394 H9 C749 Center for American History TXC-ZZ Collection. Use in library only.

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

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DAVID CATCHINGS DICKSON
(1818–1880)
9th Speaker
(1851–1853)

Presided over

The 4th Legislature's regular session, November 3, 1851 to February 16, 1852; and the 4th Legislature's called session, January 10 to February 7, 1853.

Born on February 25, 1818, in Georgetown, Mississippi, David Catchings Dickson attended medical school in Lexington, Kentucky, before moving to Texas in 1841. Establishing himself as a doctor in the town of Anderson, now the county seat in what has become Grimes County in Southeast Texas, Dickson accepted an appointment as surgeon for the Republic of Texas' Army.

Following Texas statehood, Dr. Dickson won elections to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1846, 1848, and 1850. In 1851 he was elected speaker of the House. Texas voters chose him as lieutenant governor in August 1853, making Dickson the second speaker to later preside over the state Senate. In April 1855, the state Democratic Party convention re-nominated Dickson as lieutenant governor.

That June, however, the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic American Party, popularly known as the "Know-Nothing" Party, nominated Dickson for governor. The American Party, attacking the big wave of Irish immigration to the United States since the 1840s and sounding an alarm bell about alleged Catholic corruption of American democracy, made a splashy entrance in Texas and claimed former Texas President, Governor and then-Senator Sam Houston as a supporter. Alarmed at the new party's growing power, the state Democrats held a second convention in late June and rescinded its nomination of Dickson, naming Hardin R. Runnels as its new nominee. Runnels won the lieutenant governor's race even as the Democrat Elisha M. Pease beat Dickson for governor.

Eventually returning to the Democratic Party, Dickson won election again to the Texas House in 1856 in a special election held to fill an unexpired term. He served in a special session that lasted from July to September of that year. After a brief hiatus, he was elected for another House term in 1859 and served in the state Senate from 1861 to 1865.

During his tenure in the Senate, Dickson donned a Confederate uniform and became a captain in the Texas militia during the Civil War. He worked as a financial agent of the state penitentiary from 1866 to 1867, providing medical care to convicts during a severe outbreak of yellow fever. Dickson then returned to his medical practice in Anderson, where he died in 1880.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Dickson

Books:

Compiled index to elected and appointed officials of the Republic of Texas: 1835–1846. Austin: State Archives Division, Texas State Library, 1981.

JK 4830 C656 1981 PCL Stacks
JK 4830 C656 1981 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 C656 1981 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

Documents:

Raglin, Henry Walton, papers, 1836–1884. Center for American History

Note: This collection includes documents related to Dickson as well.

Vertical File: Dickson, David C. (Center for American History)

The file contains a press release from the University of Texas News and Information Service announcing the receipt by the University of the David C. Dickson papers, which have apparently been included in the Ms. Henry Walton Raglin papers at the Center for American History.

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HARDIN RICHARD RUNNELS
(1820–1873)
10th Speaker
(1853–1855)

Presided over

The 5th Legislature's regular session, November 7, 1853 to February 13, 1854.

Born to a wealthy family on August 30, 1820, in Mississippi, Hardin Richard Runnels moved to Texas in 1842 with his mother, three brothers, and his Uncle Hiram G. Runnels. The family originally established a homestead near the Brazos River, but soon moved to Bowie County where they developed a cotton plantation. Runnels represented the county in the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from 1847 to 1855, the last two years also serving as speaker.

During Runnel's tenure as speaker, the Legislature passed laws providing a foundation for the state's public education system. One law established an endowment of about $2 million to fund public schools. The money derived from Texas' land claim settlement with the United States Congress that formed part of the Compromise of 1850. A second law granted large land grants to railway companies as an incentive for railroad construction, but required those companies to set aside alternate tracts of land surrounding these grants to be surveyed and given to the state. The land set aside in this legislation became part of the state's permanent school fund under the Constitution of 1866.

In 1855 the Democratic Party rescinded the nomination for lieutenant governor of David Dickson, who had been nominated by the American or "Know-Nothing" Party for governor. Runnels was nominated as Dickson's replacement by a second state party convention and he won the election for lieutenant governor later that year. Runnels, who by 1860 held 39 slaves and a fortune of about $85,000 (about $1.8 million today), became widely known as a fierce supporter of the Democratic Party, slavery and "state's rights."

Senator Sam Houston hinted that he would run for governor in 1857. Angered by Houston's anti-secession politics and flirtation with the Know-Nothings, elites in the Texas Democratic Party led the state convention in May 1857 to nominate Runnels for governor. Houston then announced that he would run for governor as an independent Democrat. Even though most considered Runnels a poor campaigner, he won the gubernatorial race by a vote of 38,552 to 23,628 and thus became the only person ever to hand Sam Houston an electoral defeat.

As governor, Runnels supported reopening the African slave trade and warned that Texas might be forced to secede from the Union if an anti-slavery candidate ever won the White House. He also signed legislation that established financial support for the University of Texas. Runnels' term was dominated, however, by his perceived failure to respond to Indian attacks on the frontier. Runnels signed a law allowing for the formation of temporary Texas Ranger battalions to fight Indians, but he opposed the formation of permanent military units, saying the state could not afford them. In January 1858 Runnels sent the Texas Rangers out to suppress the Comanches at Antelope Hills and at the battles of the Wichita and Pease rivers, but the Indian warriors remained active. In 1859 the Rangers also fought an inconclusive border war with a band of Mexicans led by Juan Cortina. The same year the state Democrats re-nominated Runnels for governor but Houston this time effectively used Runnels' record on Indian affairs as a campaign issue and defeated the incumbent 36,227 to 27,500.

The Legislature forced Houston to resign in 1861 because of his opposition to secession. Runnels meanwhile served as a member of the 1861 Secession Convention. After Southern defeat in the Civil War, Runnels became a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1866 where he was one of about eleven delegates who were often termed the "aggressive secessionists" or the "irreconcilables." This group opposed granting even minimal civil rights and voting rights to black freedmen and resisted repealing Texas' secession ordinance. When the Texas Historical Society was organized in Houston on May 23, 1870, Runnels was named one of the group's vice presidents. Runnels died on December 25, 1873.

University Holdings Related to Speaker Runnels

Books:

The Texas Governor's Mansion: a history of the house and its occupants. By Jean and Price Daniel and Dorothy Blodgett. Austin: Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center (Liberty), 1984.

F 386 D25 1984B PCL Stacks
F 386 D25 1984B PCL Stacks
F 386 D25 1984B Center for American History. Use in library only.
F 386 D25 1984B Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
F 386 D25 1984B Architecture Lib Special Collections. Use in library only.
LAW F 387 D36 1984 Law Library

Chief executives of Texas: from Stephen F. Austin to John B. Connally, Jr. Written by Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, c1995.

F 385 H39 1995 PCL Stacks
F 385 H39 1995 Center for American History TXC-ZZ Collection. Use in library only.
F 385 H39 1995 Public Affairs Library
LAW F 385 H39 1995 Law Library
Internet copy access limited to users with UT Austin EID. 

Governors of Texas. Written by Mike Kingston. Dallas: Dallas Morning News, c1984.

F 385 K56 1984 Center for American History. Use in library only.

Governors who have been: and other public men of Texas. By Norman G. Kittrell. Houston: Dealy-Adey-Elgin, 1921.

LAW F 385 K57 1921 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1982. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 1982.

JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy 2. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1982 Center for American History Copy. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1982 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1991. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Texas House of Representatives, 1991.

JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History. Use in library only.
JK 4830 P737 1991 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1991 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–1995. Prepared by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: Published by the Council, 1995.

JK 4866 T48 1995 PCL Stacks
JK 4866 T48 1995 Center for American History. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 1995 Law Library

Presiding officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846–2002. Prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council. Austin, Tex.: The Council, 2002.

TXDOC L1400.5 P926O 2002 Center for American History Reference Collection. Use in library only.
LAW JK 4866 P73 2002 Law Library

The Texas governor. Written by June Rayfield Welch Dallas: G.L.A. Press, c1977

LAW F 385 W45 1977 Law Library

Documents:

Message of the Hon. Hardin R. Runnels, Governor of Texas. Austin: John Marshall & Co., 1859.

TZ 353.909 T3 1859 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.

Proceedings at the inauguration of Hardin R. Runnels, Governor of the state of Texas. Austin: John Marshall, 1857.

TZ 353.909 T3 1859 Center for American History TXC-Z Collection. Use in library only.

Vertical File: Runnels, Hardin Richard (Center for American History)

Contains a typed page dated October 28, 1929, noting that Hardin S. Runnels was to be removed from his grave in Bowie County and re-interred at the State Cemetery in Austin. The page includes information on the planned service, including hymns to be sung and a list of pallbearers. Also included in the file are:
  • A January 11, 1970, photo essay from the Texarkana Gazette, "Texas State Historical Survey Committee Marker Dedication," containing several photos of the Runnels family and residence in Texarkana.
  • A photo from an unidentified publication shows the Runnels Monument at the State Cemetery in Austin.
  • Three typewritten biographical sketches, with one attributed to L. W. Kemp and another typed copy of the sketch from Johnson, Texas and Texans.
  • Three copies of a brief biography published as part of the Texas Almanac's series on Texas governors, which ran in the Houston Post September 29, 1958, September 29, 1958, and December 1, 1963.
  • A brief biography of Runnels, which ran in the December 1963 Texas Freemason as part of a series on Texas Masonic governors.
  • A typewritten copy of a letter dated September 20, 1859, from Runnels to a friend, "Bryan," announcing his intention to resist the election of J. H. Reagan by the state Legislature to the United States Senate. Runnels expresses his disgust over Reagan's "pretended nationalism and Demagogueical [sic.] Union saving doctrines."
  • Three letters from Z. H. (Zella) Gaither of Texarkana, Arkansas. Gaither was researching pioneer settlers in the Texarkana area. One letter, sent to UT Archivist Mattie Thatcher and dated January 25, 1929, provides information on the Runnels Red River plantation near Spanish Bluff.
  • An obituary from the May 18, 1953, Dallas Morning News noting the death of Texarkana, Texas, police veteran Hardin Richard Runnels, a descendent of the former speaker and governor, at age 49.

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