The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 23
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The Delegates to the Convention of 1875
The mean age and the average age of the delegates was forty-
five years. N. H. Darnell of Tarrant County was the oldest at sixty-
eight;' and only three others, Buckner Abernathy of Camp
County, Bennett Blake of Nacogdoches County, and S. B. Kil-
lough of Robertson County, were over sixty years of age. Five
of them were under thirty, E. W. Brady of Grimes County, J. R.
Fleming of Comanche County, L. H. McCabe of Fort Bend
County, S. H. Russell of Harrison County, and R. B. Rentfro of
Montgomery County, the latter the youngest at twenty-three years.
Eighty of the delegates were immigrants from east of the Sabine
River. Nineteen came from Tennessee, the breeding ground of
Texas delegates, twelve from Kentucky, ten from Alabama, seven
from Georgia, six from Virginia, five from North Carolina, four
from South Carolina, three from Mississippi, and two each from
Missouri and Maryland. Southern states, thus, supplied some
seventy-two of the ninety delegates. Four of them were native
Texans, R. B. Rentfro, L. S. Ross, S. H. Russell, and P. R. Scott.
Seven had immigrated from Italy, Ireland, and the German
There were five Negroes, all Republicans, that served in the
Convention, David Abner of Harrison County, Bird Davis of
Wharton County, L. H. McCabe of Fort Bend County, W.
Reynolds of Waller County, and John Mitchell of Burleson
County. A sixth was elected, M. H. Goddin of Walker County,
but he resigned after one day of service and was replaced after
a special election by A. T. McKinney of Walker County, a white
man.' The Texas Negro historian, John Mason Brewer, included
5McKay, following the Dallas Herald, August 21, 1875, reported his age as
seventy, Seven Decades, 75-76.
'Henderson reported that "there are in the Convention, from Tennessee 27, Ala-
bama 9, Kentucky 11, North Carolina 5, Georgia 7, Virginia 5, Mississippi 3, South
Carolina 3, Missouri 2, Maryland 2, Connecticut 1, Louisiana 1, Indiana 1, Penn-
sylvania 1, Vermont 1, New York 1, Prussia 2, Italy 1, Germany 1, Massachusetts
1, Ireland 2, and four native Texans." Directory, 3. His compilation is based on
the place of nativity rather than the place from which they came to Texas.
7McKay, Debates in the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875 (Austin, 1930),
22-23. A copy of Henderson's Directory in the Eugene C. Barker Texas His-
tory Center at Austin lists only four Negroes among the delegates (p. 3); but a
copy of the same Directory from the papers of Bennett Blake of Nacogdoches, a
delegate, which is presently in the East Texas Collection of the Stephen F. Austin
State College Library, makes the unequivocal statement that five of them actually
served in the Convention (p. 3).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/41/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.