RUSK, Thomas Jefferson, (1803 - 1857)

Senate Years of Service: 1846-1857
Party: Democrat

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

RUSK, Thomas Jefferson, a Senator from Texas; born in Pendleton District, S.C., December 5, 1803; self-taught; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Georgia; moved to Nacogdoches, Tex., in 1835; delegate to the convention which declared for the independence of Texas in 1836; first Secretary of War of the new Republic; at the Battle of San Jacinto took command of the forces and retained command until October 1836, when he resumed his duties as Secretary of War; member of the Second Congress of the Republic of Texas; chief justice of the supreme court of Texas 1838-1842; appointed major general of militia of the Republic of Texas in 1843; president of the convention that confirmed the annexation of Texas to the United States in 1845; upon the admission of Texas as a State into the Union was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate; reelected in 1851 and 1857 and served from February 21, 1846, until his death; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Thirty-fifth Congress; chairman, Committee on Enrolled Bills (Thirtieth and Thirty-first Congresses), Committee on the Militia (Thirtieth Congress), Committee on Engrossed Bills (Thirtieth Congress), Committee on Post Office and Post Roads (Thirty-first through Thirty-fourth Congresses); committed suicide at Nacogdoches, Tex., July 29, 1857; interment in Oak Grove Cemetery.


Dictionary of American Biography; Clarke, Mary. Thomas J. Rusk: Soldier, Statesman, Jurist. Austin: Jenkins Publishing Company, 1971; Huston, Cleburne. Towering Texan: A Biography of Thomas J. Rusk. Waco: Texian Press, 1971.