Texas Governor James W. Throckmorton:
An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1866-1867
James Webb Throckmorton served as governor of Texas from August 9, 1866 to August 8, 1867. The son of a physician, James Throckmorton was born in Tennessee in 1825; as a boy he moved to Arkansas in 1836, then to Fannin County, Texas in 1841, and again to Collin County. In 1844, he left the Rangers to study medicine in Kentucky with his uncle. He served as an army surgeon in the Mexican War, but received a medical discharge. Disliking the practice of medicine, he turned to law and politics. After five years each as a state representative and state senator, he was elected a delegate to the Secession Convention of 1861, where he was one of seven who voted against secession. Although a Unionist, he joined the Confederate army when war came, and was eventually brigadier general in charge of troops guarding the Texas frontier, and Confederate commissioner to the Indians.
After serving as president of the Constitutional Convention of 1866, Throckmorton defeated E.M. Pease in the race for governor, taking office in August 1866. When presidential reconstruction gave way to congressional reconstruction in March 1867, Throckmorton and the U.S. military differed: he disagreed with their deployment of troops in the interior rather than on the frontier; and they accused him of failing to punish crimes against blacks and Unionists. In July General Philip Sheridan removed Throckmorton from the governorship as "an impediment to reconstruction." E.M. Pease was appointed in his place. After fighting against radicalism in the early 1870s, Throckmorton was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1874-1888), where he argued among other things for government encouragement of and government regulation of railroads. He ran for governor twice more, in 1878 and 1890, before he died in McKinney on April 21, 1894.
Types of records are correspondence, petitions, and lists, dating from October 1866 to December 1867. Records are of Governor James Throckmorton's term in office. Although the majority of the records are incoming letters, several outgoing letters are found. Much of the confusion that accompanied the imposition of military rule in reconstructing Texas in March 1867 is reflected in the correspondence. Letters directly to Throckmorton from military authorities exist in abundance, as well as copies of military correspondence forwarded to the governor's office. Letters of Generals Sheridan, Griffin, and Kiddoo concerning the activities of federal troops and the Freedmen's Bureau constitute a large portion of the materials. Other topics deal with applications and recommendations for appointments to office, requests for military protection against Indian depredations, reports of violence, requests to raise companies for frontier protection, letters relating to the physical and financial condition of railroads and reports of vacancies in county offices.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
(Identify the item), Records, Texas Governor James W. Throckmorton. 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