The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 159
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The Reconstruction Courts of Texas, 1867-1873
strued according to the rules of grammar."40 Strangely enough
he had retired before the Semicolon decision was handed down.
He attended the 1845 Constitutional Convention where he is
reported to have declared that, "The whole contrivance of courts
of judicature is a fraud upon the community ... and an inven-
tion of the darker ages of the world and productive of the greatest
injury."" Perhaps in later years he changed his mind about courts.
He was a Unionist but supported Hamilton in the 1868 Consti-
tutional Convention and won the undying gratitude of Oran M.
Roberts through his assistance in Roberts' attempt to gain his
seat in the United States Senate to which he had been elected in
1866. Judge Roberts in after years wrote that:
The [Texas] delegation [in 18671 was cordially received by the
President [Johnson] and heads of departments whenever they visited
them on business or to pay their respects. They were attended often
by Judge Lemuel D. Evans of Texas, who never failed to give them
what assistance he could, by introducing them and otherwise. He
had been in the North during the war, and it can be attested by
every Texan who met with him during the time that he showed
himself the true friend of Texas and Texans upon all occasions.42
Judge Wesley Ogden, who became presiding judge upon Evans'
retirement, was born in New York and came to Texas in 1849.
After his retirement from the bench he practiced law in San An-
4oLynch, The Bench and Bar of Texas, iio. The biographical sketch of Judge
Evans given by Lynch is almost entirely devoted to a quotation of remarks made
by Evans in the Constitutional Convention of 1845 in support of a constitutional
provision for trial by arbitration from which the statements above quoted in the
text are taken, together with some argument by Lynch against an arbitration
system. The sketch probably does not do Judge Evans justice. As a moderate
Unionist, his services were of value to the state as is attested by Judge Oran M.
Roberts. After leaving the Supreme Court bench, Evans served as United States
marshal at Galveston until his death in 1877.
41J. H. Davenport, History of the Supreme Court of the State of Texas (Austin,
1917), 96; George E. Shelley, "The Semicolon Court of Texas," Southwestern His-
torical Quarterly, XLVIII, 449-451. The last named paper was written by the late
George E. Shelley, a prominent member of the Austin Bar, and contains an in-
teresting and detailed account of the Semicolon Court, which term is used by
Shelley to designate both the Military Court and the one organized under the
Constitution of 1869. It seems to the present writer that Taylor vs. Murphy,
Texas Reports, L, 291, has reference only to decisions of the Military Court.
Shelley apparently considers that it applies to decisions by both the Military and
the Semicolon courts. In this connection, see also, Mikulenka vs. Mikulenka,
Southwestern Reporter, CLXVIII, Second Series, 517.
42Wooten, Comprehensive History of Texas, II, 161.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/201/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.