eHera /. PiHckHcy Ienderson
J. Pinckney Henderson, the one hundredth anniversary of
whose inauguration as the first governor of Texas will be cele-
brated early next year, February 19, 1946, was at the time of
his death, in 1858, the acknowledged leader of the Texas bar.
His career was one of the most distinguished and useful in the
entire annals of Texas. While the story of his life reads like
best-seller fiction, it is, in fact, important and authentic history.
Born in Lincoln County, North Carolina, March 31, 1808, the
son of Lawson Henderson and Elizabeth Carruth, he was pre-
pared for college at the Lincoln Academy, attended the Uni-
versity of North Carolina, and began the practice of law in
his native state.
Coming to Texas in 1836 at the head of volunteer troops,
which he had organized and equipped at his own expense, to
fight for the independence of our people, he was commissioned,
by the government ad interim, brigadier general in the army.
A few months later, upon the organization of the permanent
government of the Republic of Texas, President Sam Houston
appointed him attorney-general of the young nation; and in
December, 1836, upon the death of Stephen F. Austin, he was
named secretary of state. His administration of the foreign
affairs of the republic, an important part of the work of the
government in the early years, was marked by vision and skill.
In the latter part of 1837 he was named envoy extraordinary
and minister plenipotentiary to England and to France, and
through his exertions both of these great governments entered
into cordial treaty relations with the new nation.
His eminent talents and noble bearing and the fidelity and zeal with
which he urged the claims of his country to a place among the nations
engaged for him a warm personal consideration. His appeals for the
recognition of that independence which Texas had so nobly achieved fell
in stirring strains upon the proud ears of the great statesmen and diplo-
matists who at that time adorned the courts of St. James and St. Cloud.
It is said that in Paris he was looked upon as a new apparition of Amer-
ican glory, as another Franklin, fresh from the cradle of liberty.
In 1843 General Henderson was made special minister pleni-
potentiary to the United States, being sent to Washington to
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/. Accessed April 20, 2015.