The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 52
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Southwester Historical Quarterly
His wife and son surviving, his dignity unimpaired, his reputation
flourishing, and his kindred and friends in safety, it may even be
thought an additional felicity that he was thus withdrawn. What-
ever in him was the object of love, of admiration, remains, and
will remain in the minds of men transmitted in the records of
The Hon. John Birdsall died in this city on yesterday, July
22, of a fever. The deceased was born in New York: he was a
member of the Senate of that State for several years, and filled
other important and very responsible stations. Feeble health
compelled him to seek a more genial clime, and in the spring of
1837, he removed to Texas. He came with a high reputation as
a Jurist and Statesman, and his fame has been constantly aug-
menting. Under the late administration, he held the post of
Attorney General, and subsequently was appointed Chief Justice
of the Republic. Last winter he resumed the practice at the Bar.
It was impossible to be in the society of Judge Birdsall but
for a few minutes, without perceiving that he was no ordinary
man. His manners were unusually dignified, bland and uniform.
Courteous and candid in his intercourse with all persons, his at-
tachment to his intimate friends was marked for its unwavering
firmness. The most distinguishing traits of his mind were per-
haps the soundness of his judgment and the purity of his motives.
At the Bar, and in political discussions, he was far above all
sophistry and attempts at victory by dextrous rather than solid
argument. Truth and justice were alone his aim; and in the
support of his principles, he never descended to any personal at-
tack on those who thought differently from himself.
Judge Birdsall was much younger than would be supposed by
those who remember the great dignity of his manners: he was
scarcely in the prime of his life, being about forty-two years of age.
He has gone down to the grave with a spotless name. "Finis
vitae ejus nobis luctuosus, amicis tristis, extraenis etiam ignotisque
non sine cura fuit."
The funeral of the Hon. John Birdsall was attended on yes-
terday by a large concourse of citizens, who had assembled to pay
the last sad duties to one whom, those who knew him best, de-
plored the most. The body was taken to the Capitol, where the
funeral service was performed, and an address, enumerating the
many virtues of the deceased, and impressing upon the minds of
the community the loss they had sustained, was delivered by Col.
A. S. Thruston, which, though all that the most devoted friend
could desire, still left the half untold. After the services, the
hearse and the procession, escorted by the Milam Guards, pro-
ceeded on the way to Harrisburg, at which place, we believe, is
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/58/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.