Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
GENERAL VOLNEY ERSKINE HOWARD1
Z. T. FULMORE
The subject of this sketch was born in Oxford county, Maine,
October 22, 1809.
He had the usual experiences of a bright, ambitious New Eng-
land boy. In the intervals of labor on the farm, he attended
school near his home and finally entered Bloomfield Academy, and
afterwards Waterfield College. His excellent record while at col-
lege so won the admiration of an uncle who was practicing law
in Mississippi that he was invited to study law and go into part-
nership with him. In 1832, young Howard left home and went
to Mississippi, but upon his arrival there learned that his uncle
had just died. He at once began the study of law, was soon ad-
mitted to the bar, and began practice at Brandon. He rapidly
rose to distinction. In 1836, he was elected a member of the leg-
islature, and, in the same year, was selected to carry the electoral
vote of the state to Washington. While in that city, he was
married to Catherine Elizabeth Gooch, a native of Massachusetts,
and a young lady of rare literary accomplishments. Upon his
return to Mississippi, he was appointed reporter of the supreme
court, and the eleven volumes of Howard's Mississippi reports
attest his industry and capacity. It was during this time that
he purchased the Mississippian and made it the leading Demo-
cratic newspaper of the Southwest. In 1840, he was nominated
as the candidate of the Democratic party for a seat in the United
States congress and, although he ran 1000 votes ahead of his
ticket, he was defeated by his Whig opponent, Governor Tucker.
During his legislative career, the Union Bank monopolized the
politics of Mississippi. He voted against the bill by which the
state guaranteed the bank's issue, and while he pledged himself
to abide by the action of the legislature, he predicted the in-
solvency of the bank and the repudiation of the state's obligation
by the friends of the bill, in the event of its passage, a predic-
1For most of the data in this article I am indebted to Volney E. Howard
of Los Angeles, California.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101054/. Accessed May 23, 2015.