Early Texas Politics:
The Henderson Administration
RALPH A. WOOSTER*
THE COMPLETION OF THE TEXAS ANNEXATION PROCESS AND ELEC-
tion of new state officers late in 1845 marked both the closing
chapter in the history of the Republic and the opening chapter in
the political history of the state of Texas. The official proclamation
of November lo by President Anson Jones-declaring that the people
had approved both the terms of annexation and the new constitution
drafted by the Convention of 1845 and providing for new elections-
set Monday, December 15, 1845, as the date when voters would select
officers of the new state government.
Even before President Jones's November i o proclamation, interest
had been generated in the coming election for state officers. In early
September, J. Pinckney Henderson of San Augustine had announced
as a candidate for governor, with Colonel Albert C. Horton, a wealthy
Matagorda County planter, listed as his running mate for lieutenant
governor." In announcing Henderson's candidacy most Texas news-
papers spoke of his long service to the Republic as a soldier, cabinet
officer, diplomat, and more recently as an active participant in the
Convention of 1845. A native of North Carolina, Henderson was a
law partner of Thomas J. Rusk and Kenneth L. Anderson, last vice
president of the Republic. Many had assumed that Anderson, an
able lawyer and capable administrator, would himself be a candidate
for governor, but shortly after his return home from the last session
of the Texas Congress, he suddenly became ill and died. Henderson
*Mr. Wooster is professor of history at Lamar State College, a Fellow of the Asso-
ciation, and the author of The People in Power and The Secession Conventions of the
1Proclamation Papers of the Republic of Texas, 1845 (Archives, Texas State Library,
Austin). Herbert Gambrell, Anson Jones: The Last President of Texas (reprint; Austin,
2Texas National Register (Washington), September 4, 1845; Morning Star (Houston),
September 6, 1845; Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), September io, 1845.
8For biographical studies see Elizabeth Yates Morris, "James Pinckney Henderson"
(M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1931); Robert Glenn Winchester, "James Pinckney
Henderson" (M.A. thesis, Texas A.&I., 1952); and F. B. Sexton, "J. Pinckney Hender-
son," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, I (January, 1898), 187-203.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/. Accessed March 4, 2015.