A Guide to the James Reily Letters, 1838-1852
Born to John Reily and Nancy Hunter in Hamilton, Ohio, James Reily (1811-1864) graduated from Miami University in 1829. After studying law at Transylvania University, Reily married Ellen Hart Ross in 1834. A year later, he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in Vicksburg, Mississippi. In 1837, Reily moved with his wife and infant son to Nacogdoches, Texas, where he was appointed a major in the Texas Army and an aide-de-camp to Thomas J. Rusk. After practicing law with Rusk in 1838 and James Love in 1839, he served as a representative for Harris County in the Fifth Congress of the republic from 1840 through 1841. In 1842, Reily was appointed chargé d’affaires of the provisional government in Washington, D. C., by Sam Houston. Following his service in the Mexican War, he was an active member in the Whig and Democratic parties, and was elected as a representative to the Fifth Texas Legislature from 1853 through 1854 and as U. S. consul to St. Petersburg, Russia in August 1856. During the Civil War, Reily enlisted in the 4th Texas regiment of mounted volunteers and was killed in action at the Battle of Camp Bisland in 1864.
Cutrer, Thomas W. "Reily, James."Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 11, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fre26.
The James Reily Letters, 1838-1852, document Reily’s political career in Texas. Written to Henry Raguet, J. W. Copes, and L. R. Marshall, the letters concern the proceedings of the Texas Congress, the provisional capital in Houston, and the sale of land.
This collection is open for research use.
James Reily Letters, 1838-1852, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers