HENDERSON, James Pinckney, (1808 - 1858)

Senate Years of Service: 1857-1858
Party: Democrat

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

HENDERSON, James Pinckney, a Senator from Texas; born in Lincolnton, Lincoln County, N.C., March 31, 1808; pursued academic studies in Lincolnton; attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; served in the Carolina Militia and subsequently was elected colonel; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1828 and commenced practice in Lincolnton, N.C.; moved to Mississippi in 1835 and recruited a company for service in behalf of the Republic of Texas; preceded his company to Austin, Tex., in 1836 and was commissioned brigadier general; returned to the United States to recruit volunteers and raised a company at his own expense; appointed by President Sam Houston as Attorney General of the Republic of Texas in 1836, and as Secretary of State in 1837; visited Europe as the diplomatic representative of the Republic of Texas in 1838, and in 1844 visited the United States as special minister to negotiate annexation; member of the State constitutional convention in 1845; elected as the first Governor of the State of Texas in 1846; commissioned major general in the United States Army and served in the Mexican War; appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas J. Rusk and served from November 9, 1857, until his death in Washington, D.C., June 4, 1858; interment in Congressional Cemetery; reinterred in 1930 in the State Cemetery, Austin, Tex.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Winchester, Robert. James Pickney Henderson, Texas' First Governor. San Antonio: Naylor Co., 1971.