John Henry Brown.

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Franklin and Marshall College, from which he was
graduated aud honored with the valedictory of his
class in 1841 ; studied law in the ofHce of Samuel
M. Barclay, an eminent lawyer of Bedford, and at
the age of twenty-one was admitted to the bar and
began the practice of his profession. In 1845 he
married Miss Susan C. Davis, of Bedford, and in
1846 moved to Texas and located at Galveston.
The Mexican war was then in progress, and, a call
being made for volunteers to rescue the army of
Gen. Taylor from its perilous position on the Kio
Grande, Mr. Hartley volunteered as a private,
and hastened with his company to the seat of hos-
tilities which he reached soon after the battles of
Palo Alto andResaca de laPalma had been fought,
victories for the American arms which enabled
Gen. Taylor to assume the offensive and obviated
any immediate need for the services of the rein-
forcements which were at hand.

On the organization of Col. Johnson's Regiment,
Mr. Hartley was elected a Lieutenant in the com-
pany from Galveston, which, being disbanded dur-
ing the summer, he returned to the Island City and
resumed the practice of law. The statutes of the
State were at that time in much confusion as to
arrangement and the members of the bar greatly
felt the inconvenience occasioned by the want of a
sulflcient digest. Mr. Hartley prepared a synopti-
cal index of the laws for his own use, which became
the basis of his admirable "Digest of the Texas
Laws." This work was begun in 1848, and in the
spring of 1850 was submitted to the legislature,
which authorized the Governor to subscribe for
fifteen hundred copies for the use of the State.
His digest fully met the wants of the profession,
and was justly regarded as a work of great merit
and perfection.

In 1851, he was elected to represent Galveston
County in the legislature and distinguished himself
as a useful and efficient member. It was said of
him that " he was noted for the frankness and inde-
pendence of his bearing and his refusal to enter
into the intrigues and cabals by which legislation is
80 often controlled."
While a member of the legislature he was

appointed reporter of the decisions of the Supreme
Court, and held that office until his death. His
skill as a reporter was recognized as eminent.
His analyses are accurate and thorough and his
syllabi present a clear and concise exposition of
the law. He was especially apt and felicitous in
eliminating distinctive principles and establishing
legal results from complicated relations and views
arising from a combination of facts, and his efforts
greatly aided in the development of the peculiar
system of Texas jurisprudence.

In February, 1854, he was appointed by the
Governor one of the three commissioners author-
ized by the legislature, " to prepare a code amend-
ing, supplying, revising, digesting and arranging
the laws of the State." The other members of the
commission were JohnW. Harris and James Willie,
and in their division of the labor, the preparation
of a " Code of Civil Procedure" was assigned to
Mr. Hartley. To this work he applied himself
with great zeal, and with an ambition that the civil
code of Texas should be superior to that of any
other State in the Union ; and as an adjunct to its
value and merits he prepared a complete system of
forms to be used in all civil proceedings ; but the
State was not prepared to adopt a new civil code,
and its publication was postponed.

The assiduity with which he pursued his labors
upon this work, and which was unremittedly ap-
plied to his duties as court reporter and the de-
mands of his profession, finally undermined a
naturally robust and vigorous constitution. He
became a martyr to his industry and ambition, and
died of apoplexy of the brain at his residence in
the city of Galveston on the 13th of January,

Mr. Hartley was a thorough scholar. Possessed
of a patient fondness for investigation and the
acquisition of knowledge, he had from his early
youth devoted his life to its pursuit, and his mind
was disciplined by a thorough and systematic
training, and expanded by constant intellectual
nourishment. Before he left his native State he
had attracted the attention of Judge Jeremiah
Black, who was at that time Chief Justice of
Pennsylvania, whose friendship he secured and
retained. He had also won the interest and esteem
of Mr. Buchanan, who gave him flattering testi-
monials as a sesame to public confidence in Texas.


O.C Hartley



As a lawyer his philosophical turn of mind led him
to closely investigate the relations of things, and
to study their correct association ; hence his skill
in analysis was acute and his powers of compari-
son of a high order. He was careful in the selec-
tion of his premises, and when conscious of their
correctness, his conclusions were deduced in a clear
and logical train. He had accustomed himself to
look at both sides of a question and, perceiving the
proper line of attack, he was prepared to adopt
the most effectual line of defense.

Nothwithstanding his devotion to his profession,
and his ambition to attain a high position at the
bar, Mr. Hartley took a deep interest in the politi-
cal issues of his day, and sought to measure all
doubtful questions by the authority of the constitu-
tion. He was a good constitutional lawyer and his
patriotism was kindled by a discussion of its inter-
pretation and the merits of its provisions. He was
exemplary in his private and social life. Reared
by a Christian mother, he was early guided into the
walks of piety and at his death was a member of
the Episcopal church. He was one of the few
precocious youths whose after-lives realized the
hopes of parental ambition and the promises of
early years.

He possessed a high sense of honor, and his con-
duct was guided by an enlightened judgment and

sensitive conscience. When the legislature author-
ized the Governor to subscribe for his digest it pre-
scribed that the binding should be " law calf " and
when his publishers remonstrated against that kind
of binding and suggested " law sheep," the usual
material for such works, he insisted that it should be
bound in the material designated by the legislature,
though it was apparent that the requirement was the
result either of ignorance or inadvertence. In his pro-
fessional intercourse he was characterized by fair-
ness and candor; a temper rarely disturbed by pas-
sion and a judgment never betrayed by impulse.
The amenity of his manners and the unobtrusive-
ness of his character, added to a native goodness of
heart, endeared him to all and to none more than
his brethren at the bar.

He was greatly devoted to his family, and his
home life was pure, simple and almost pathetic in
its tenderness. Surviving him and residing at Gal-
veston, Mr. Hartley left a widow and one daughter.
His widow is still living, being now numbered
among the old residents of that city. His daughter,
Miss Jerian Black Hartley, died unmarried in 1894.
His only son died in infancy, so that there are no
descendants now living of this pioneer lawyer, but
his works will preserve his name and memory
as long as there remains an annal of Texas



The history of Texas for the past quarter of a
century could not be truthfully written without a
resume of the career of Hon. George Clark. The
memorable Prohibition campaign of 1887 is still
fresh in the minds of the people. If a vote had
been taken in the earlier part of the campaign, the
pending amendment to the constitution prohibiting
the manufacture or sale Qf malt, spirituous or vinous
liquors in this State would have been adopted and,
under the provisions of that amendment, laws
would have been passed violative of the dearest
and most sacred liberties of the people, domicil-
iary visits inaugurated, and a system of espionage,
spying and perjury established out of touch with
this age and its civilization, necessarily tending to
breed animosities that it would have required years
to allay, and which, in fact, might never have been

allayed. The indications were that the Prohibi-
tionists would carry the State by storm. Politi-
cians are never in finer feather than when they can
parade themselves as fearless and unselfish leaders ;
but, as a matter of fact, the majority of them are the
most subservient of followers, sail-trimmers whose
greatest anxiety is to catch favorable popular
breezes with which to waft themselves into office
and keep themselves there. They regard such a
thing as personal sacriflce in the defense of
opinions very much as a majority of men do
suicide — as an act of insanity. This truth was
never more vividly illustrated than during the prog-
ress of the exciting contest referred to. One
public man of prominence after another, thinking
that the amendment would be adopted, published
open letters favoring it, although by doing



so they abandoned the position they had
previously held. The larger number of lead-
ers who had not taken this step sulked in their
tents, or remained discreetly silent, waiting for the
outcome. At this critical moment Judge Clark
threw himself into the breach, organized the anti-
prohibition forces and in a short time had the oppo-
sition on the run and begging quarter and, when
the sun set upon the day of election, he had led the
way to one of the most remarkable, signal and
brilliant political victories ever won in any State of
the American Union. The question was thoroughly
argued and was decided upon its merits. He was
the hero of the hour — the foremost and most dis-
tinguished figure in the political arena in Texas,
the idol of the people. If he had desired office, he
could have gotten anything within the gift of the
people, but he desired none. It was sufficient to
him to enjoy the calm consciousness of having done
his duty, without the expectation or desire of re-
ceiving any reward whatever. Nor did he there-
after consent to become a candidate until, as the
champion of principles upon whose triumph he
believed depended the prosperity of the country,
he led the forlorn-hope in the Clark-Hogg guber-
natorial campaign of 1892 and conducted a cam-
paign, which led to more temperate action upon
the part of those in power than could otherwise
have been expected. He is now the recognized
leader in Texas in another great contest, that is
being made in the interest of what he believes to be
the maintenance of a sound financial system by
the United States. His purity of purpose and his
learning as a lawyer and exceptional ability as a
statesman are generally recognized throughout
Texas and throughout the country.

He was born in Eutaw, Alabama, July 18, 1841.
His father was James Blair Clark, a native of
Pennsylvania, who was partially reared at Chilli-
cothe, Ohio, when it was the capital of the State,
and in the State of Kentucky by his uncle, Alex-
ander Blair. His mother's maiden name was Mary
Erwin. She was a native of Virginia and was reared
and educated at Mount Sterling, Ky. James
B. Clark and Mary Erwin were married at Mount
Sterling in 1825, and at once emigrated to the State
of Alabama, where the former rose to eminence at
the bar and was for many years Chancellor of the
Middle Division of that State. He died in 1873 and
his wife in 1863. Nine children were born to them,
seven sons and two daughters. George was the
seventh son. He was educated in the private schools
of his native place and entered the University of
Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1857. At the beginning
of the war between the States in 1861 he left college

and joined the Eleventh Alabama Regiment of In-
fantry as a lieutenant and went with his command
to Virginia ; in July of that year joined Gen. Joseph
E. Johnston at Winchester ; was with the army in
its march across the mountains to a junction with
Beauregard but arrived too late to participate in
the first battle of Manassas ; was with the army in
its advance toward Washington in the autumn of
1861 ; went with his command to Yorktown in the
spring of 1862 ; participated in the battles of Seven
Pines, Gaines Mill, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg,
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Wilder-
ness, ^pottsylvania, Hanover, Cold Harbor, Peters-
burg, the Mine, Reams' Station and many other
hot affairs around Petersburg in 1864 and was on
the retreat to Appomatox in April, 1865, but did
not surrender, having joined a squad of cavalry
which broke through Sheridan's line on the morning
of the surrender. He was wounded at Gaines'
Mill on June 27th, 1862, on the third day at Gettys-
burg, in Pickett's charge, and again at Reams'
Station on August 25th, 1864.

After the close of the war he returned home and
began the study of law under his father ; was ad-
mitted to the bar in October, 1866 ; removed to
Texas in January, 1867, and located at Weatherford,
in Parker County ; removed to Waco, his present
home, in December, 1868 ; was a member of the
State Democratic Committee in 1872 ; was appointed
Secretary of State in January, 1874 ; served as
Attorney-General of the State from 1874 to 1876 ;
served as one of the commissioners appointed to
revise and codify the laws of Texas from 1877 to
1879, and was one of the judges of the Court of
Appeals in the years 1879 and 1880, since which
time he has held no public office, but has devoted
his attention to the practice of his profession at

During his term as Attorney-General, apart from
any criminal cases in which he represented the State
on appeal, and which may be found in the Texas
Reports, vols. 40 to 45 inclusive, he represented
the State successfully in many civil causes, among
others in Bledsoe v. The International Railway
Co. (40 Tex. 537),

Keuchler v. Wright, 40 Tex. 600,

The Treasurer v. Wygall, 46 Tex. 447 ,
all involving great interests. His opinions on the
bench may be found in the 7th, 8th and 9th
Court of Appeals Reports, among the more im-
portant of which are: —

Rothschild v. State, 7 Ct. of App. 519 ;

Jennings v. State, 7 Ct. of App. 350 ;

Hull V. State, 7 Ct. of App. 593 ;

Alford V. State, 8 Ct. of App. 545 ;




Kendall v. State, 8 Ct. of App. 569 ;

Guffee V. State, 8 Ct. of App. 187 ;

Albrecht v. State, 8 Ct. of App. 216.
As a lawyer he represents important railway and
commercial interests, and in a recent controversy
between the United States and the State of Texas,
in the Supreme Court, involving the title to Greer
County, Texas, was of counsel for the State and
participated in the argument. Few lawyers in the
State enjoy as large and lucrative a law practice.
He has long ranked among the ablest counselors in
the United States. His services in connection
with the codification of the statutes of the State
were invaluable. It was the first work of the kind
that was undertaken. The result of the labors of
the commission were the Revised Statutes of 1879.
The work was so thoroughly done, that, when the
legislature provided a few years since for a revision
of the laws of the State, the commissioners were
instructed not to change the general arrangement,
nor even the verbiage used by the former codifiers,
where such action was not rendered imperative by
later amendments to old, or the enactment of new,
laws. No greater compliment could have been

paid to Judge Clark and his colleagues. As
Attorney-General and as one of the judges of the
Court of Appeals he fully sustained the high repu-
tation with which he came to those positions.
Before those important public offices were con-
ferred upon him he had become well known to the
people of Texas. In the dark days that followed
the war between the States, he was an earnest
worker for the re-establishment of honest, constitu-
tional government, and took a prominent part in
the great popular struggle that resulted in the
overthrow of the Davis regime and the restoration
of the control of the State to the citizens of Texas.
Asa soldier, public servant, lawyer and citizen, he
has come fully up to every responsibility, and has
responded to every duty. As a member of an honor-
able profession, he has pursued it with zeal and
has devoted to it the full strength of his mind.
The people of Texas fully appreciate his high
character and important services. They have a
very warm spot in their heart of hearts for George
Clark and will not forget what he has done until
they grow to be grateful only for services they
expect to receive.



The State of South Carolina, in proportion to her
limits and population, has contributed as much, if
not more, towards developing and making the State
of Texas what she is to-day, as any of her sister

To the judiciary she has sent James Collinsworth,
the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court under
the Eepublic ; Hon. Thomas J. Rusk, first Chief
Justice of the Appellate Court under the State
government and for so long a while her distin-
guished United States Senator ; Hon. John Hemp-
hill, who later filled the same position (from 1846
to 1858) and who, like his predecessor. Gen. Rusk,
represented his State in the United State Senate ;
then there was Hon. A. S. Lipscomb, also the
venerable and esteemed O. M. Roberts and Hon.
Charles S. West, the subject of this sketch, all
conspicuous examples of gallant sons of the
" Palmetto State " who have adorned the bench of
their adopted State of Texas.

The father of Judge West, John Charles West,

was a native of North Carolina, who at an early age
emigrated to Camden, South Carolina, where he
was teller in the old Camden Bank and for two
terms sheriff of Kershaw district (now county).
He was universally esteemed and respected. On
his mother's side Judge West was connected with
the Thorntons, Eccles, Copers, Clarks and other
old South Carolina families. His mother, Nancy
Clark Eccles, was a woman of more than ordinary
culture and education and possessed literary ability
of the higher order.

In the fall of 1846 young West left Jefferson
College, Pennsylvania, and became a student of
South Carolina College, then presided over by the
celebrated orator, Hon. W. C. Preston. He gradu-
ated therefrom in 1848. During the years 1849-5(>
he was in very needy circumstances and for a living
taught a small school for the Boykin family at
their Pleasant Hill home, near Camden ; at the
same time studied law under Hon. James Chestnut,
afterwards a United States senator from South



Carolina, who became young West's personal
and valued friend. Judge West received his
license to practice law in South Carolina
on the law and equity sides of the docket,
respectively, the former May 13th, 1851, and the
latter May 12th, 1852, and began the practice
at Camden, but with very moderate success.
About the last of November, 1852, he left his
native State and came to Texas, reaching the State
November 2, of that year, and located at Austin,
which was ever after his home. He reached Austin
with but $7.50 in his pocket and that was bor-
rowed money, In 1854 he formed a law-partner-
ship with Col. H. P. Brewster. He was in 1855,
when twenty-six years of age, elected to the
legislature from the Austin district, and took a
prominent part in the discussion of the issues of
those days. In 1856 Hon. John Hancock and
Judge West formed what was afterwards the well-
known law firm of Hancock & West and did a
large law business, handling heavy land litigation,
railroad and other corporation cases. The firm
continued up to and during the period of the late
war and until 1882, when Judge West became an
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He was
comparatively little in public life, eschewed politics
and confined himself closely to his profession. He
was for a short while Secretary of State, under
Governor F. R. Lubbock. In the constitutional
convention of 1875 he represented Travis and a
number of adjoining counties, comprising one dis-
trict, and served on important committees. Under
the act approved July 28th, 1876, Governor Coke
appointed Judge West as one of the five commis-
sioners to revise the laws of the State and he was
chosen chairman of the body. During the late
war he served with distinction in the Adjutant-
General's department, with the rank of Captain on
the staff of Gen. P. O. Hebert and, later, on
the staff of Gen. Magruder at the battle of

Galveston and received special official mention for
gallant conduct. During the latter years of the
war he served on the staff of Gen. E. Kirby
Smith and was with him at Jenkin's Ferry on the
Sabine river in Arkansas and with Gen. Wm. E.
Scurry when that commander was killed in this
battle. For gallantry in this battle, Capt. West
was promoted to the rank of Major and was
assigned to duty in the Trans-Mississippi depart-
ment as Judge Advocate-General, which position
he ably filled until the downfall of the Confed-
eracy. He then returned to his law practice at
Austin and in 1874 was admitted to the bar of the
United States Supreme Court and argued before
that body some very heavy and important cases.
In 1859 Judge West married Miss Florence R.
Duval, daughter of Judge Thomas H. Duval, for
many years United States District Judge for the
Western District of Texas.

Her grandfather was Hon. W. P. Duval, first
Governor of PMorida and the " Ralph Ringwood "
of his friend Washington Irving's tales of Brace-
bridge Hall.

Mrs. West was an accomplished woman, a
charming vocalist and an ornament to society.
Judge West was not a member of any religious
sect or order, but was a regular attendant of the
Protestant Episcopal Church and filled before the
late war the otflce of vestryman of St. David's
Church at Austin, Texas. He was a generous and
kind-hearted gentleman and a just judge. Owing
to ill health he resigned his seat on the bench,
September 24th, 1885. He died at his home in
Austin, October 22, 1885. Mrs. West died No-
vember 19th, 1881. They left three sons: Robt.
G. West, an able lawyer of the Austin and Texas
bar and member of the firm of Cochran & West ;
Duval West, at present Assistant United States
District Attorney for the Western District of Texas ;
and William.



Willard Richardson was a native of Massachu-
setts, born in that State, June 24th, 1802. His
father was Zacharia Richardson, a retired capitalist
of Taunton, Mass. When fourteen years of age
the subject of this memoir and a brother ran away
from home in a spirit of boyish adventure, went

South and landed at Charleston, S. C, in the midst
of a yellow fever epidemic to which his brother
speedily succumbed. Young Richardson shortly
thereafter left the plague-stricken city and went to
Newberry district, where he taught school in the
hope of earning sufficient money to complete bis




education. His manly struggle to attain this
worthy end attracted the attention and won for
him the friendship of Judge O'Neill, who supplied
him the means to complete his course in the State
college at Columbia.

He then accompanied Prof. Stafford to Tusca-
loosa, Ala., as an assistant teacher, and devoted his
first earnings to the reimbursement of his friend,
Judge O'Neill, for whom he ever afterward cher-
ished sentiments of the warmest gratitude and
esteem. Emigrating to Texas, in 1837, he pro-
ceeded to the West and employed himself in locat-
ing and surveying lands. He afterwards went to
Houston and established a school for young men.
Some time there after, Dr. Francis Moore, editor of
The Telegraph, who was regarded as one of the
most finished newspaper writers then in the State,
wished to spend a summer in the North and induced
Mr. Richardson to assume editorial control of the
paper. The versatility, force and literary excel-
lence of his writings immediately attracted atten-
tion, and probably the expression of public
appreciation of his efforts had much to do with
inducing him to adopt journalism as a profession.
He bent every energy to the upbuilding of the
paper and, prudent, cool and persevering, never
lost faith in the future of the city and in the
country nor in the ultimate success of his own
efforts. He was not content to keep abreast of
the times but sought to anticipate the general
march of progress and development, and move in

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 36 of 135)