Texas Governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton:
An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1865-1866
Andrew Jackson Hamilton served as governor of Texas from June 17, 1865 to August 9, 1866. Hamilton was born on January 28, 1815 in Alabama. He left there in 1846 to practice law in La Grange, Texas. Governor P. Hansbrough Bell appointed "Colossal Jack" Hamilton attorney general in 1849, and he was elected state representative from Travis County in 1851 and 1853. After briefly considering the Know-Nothing party, Hamilton was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1859 as an Independent. He retained his seat after other Southern congressmen had withdrawn. In 1861 Hays, Travis, and Bastrop counties elected him to the state senate, but Hamilton refused to take the oath to the Confederacy and left the state in 1862. President Abraham Lincoln named him military governor of Texas, with headquarters at federally-occupied New Orleans and Brownsville.
In 1865, President Andrew Johnson confirmed Hamilton as provisional governor. Among the problems faced were Indian incursions, general lawlessness, chaotic finances, and the huge number of freedmen, emancipated since June 19, whom he advised to work hard and acquire property. He criticized the Constitutional Convention, which met in early 1866, for its reluctance to grant black suffrage. Hamilton chose not to run for governor in the 1866 election, but supported E.M. Pease, who lost to James Throckmorton. Hamilton did not finish his term, but turned the governor's office over to the secretary of state while he went to Philadelphia to fight President Johnson's plan for Reconstruction. After General Philip Sheridan removed Governor Throckmorton and the Texas Supreme Court, General J.J. Reynolds named Hamilton to the state supreme court. In the Constitutional Convention of 1868-1869, and again in the gubernatorial election of 1869, A.J. Hamilton ran against the leader of the Radical Republicans, E.J. Davis. Hamilton had alienated General Reynolds, who threw his support to Davis, who won by a narrow margin. In 1871 Hamilton participated in the anti-Davis Non-Partisan Taxpayers' Convention. He died in Austin on April 11, 1875.
Types of records are correspondence, petitions, and telegrams, dating from May 1865 to November 1866. Records are of Andrew Jackson Hamilton's term as governor of Texas. Letters relate to the aftermath of the Civil War, the beginning of Reconstruction, and the Constitutional Convention of 1866. Included with the general letters of inquiry are numerous applications and recommendations for appointments to offices, requests for removals from office, inquiries concerning amnesty, petitions for special pardons, reports of conditions in various counties, letters relating to the sale and seizure of cotton, and inquiries concerning the rights of freedmen.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
(Identify the item), Records, Texas Governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Most of these records have no accession information.
Tonia J. Wood, November 1995
Detailed Description of the Records