TX-15101 Governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton


The First Republican Governor of Texas

Nicknamed ÒColossal JackÓ because of his imposing stature and his oratorical skill, A.J. Hamilton was born in Alabama. He migrated to Texas about 1846. A lawyer, he served as acting Attorney General of Texas in 1850. His residence once stood one mile east of here while representing Travis County in the 4th Texas Legislature, 1851-53. He donated land for establishing the State Cemetery.

Elected to the U.S. Congress in 1859, Hamilton took a Unionist stand during the secession crisis along with his friend Sam Houston and others. Because of his convictions, he was forced to flee Texas in 1862, during the Civil War (1861-1865). U.S. President Abraham Lincoln commissioned him a Brigadier General and Military Governor of Texas on Nov. 14, 1862. He had little power until he returned to Texas in Jan. 1865, when federal troops occupied Brownsville. He served as provisional Governor, Jun 17, 1865 Ð Aug. 9, 1866, during the turmoil of reconstruction. He was a leader at the constitutional convention of 1868-69, and an Associate Justice of the State Supreme Court, 1868-70. Running as a conservative Republican, he lost the Governorship in 1869 to E.J. Davis.

He married Mary Jane (Bowen) (1826-1915) and had 6 children.

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