The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 436
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Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly
from St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Kentucky, 1833, then joined
his family in Florida, where for two years he served as territorial secre-
tary. He emigrated to Austin in 1845 and during the next decade
served, successively, as a reporter of the state supreme court, as secre-
tary of state, as a state judge, and as a federal judge from 1857 to 1880.2
DuVal wrote the diary extract that follows in a pocket-sized, leather-
bound book labelled "1857." It revolves around the many members of
his family living in the area, the circle of Travis County lawyers and em-
ployees of the United States District Court that DuVal headed, and the
usually inaccurate war news that made its way to the Confederate fron-
tier. The document also portrays the benchless judge as a baby-sitter,
flutist, and subsistence farmer, as a devoted husband and avid fisher-
man, and as a wry and wistful commentator on local and national
events who, in a March 6, 1863, diary entry, sarcastically referred to the
Confederate war effort as "our glorious cause."
An important context of DuVal's life and observations is the Union-
ism that survived in Austin throughout the war. Travis County had
been one of only eighteen Texas counties to reject disunion in the 1861
referendum on secession.' Although the number of Austin Union
men-at least those who maintained their Unionism publicly-
dwindled as the war dragged on, the remaining Unionists allegedly
held a "night festival" when they received news of a Confederate de-
feat, betrayed looks of 'joy . .. upon their countenances" after the fall
of Fort Donelson in 1862, and paid war taxes "only upon compulsion."'
As indicated in DuVal's diary, Union sentiment and war-weariness also
flourished elsewhere in the state. He applauded the publication of the
incendiary antiwar broadside "Common Sense" just weeks before he
departed from Texas, and he noted with a touch of satisfaction that
Texas troops were deserting in large numbers in South Texas and
Louisiana. Just after DuVal left Texas late in 1863, one Texas general
estimated that at least a thousand deserters and draft evaders were in
the North Texas "brush," and that if they failed to "come out peaceably,
2Bessie Berry Grabowskn, The DuVal Family of Virginia, 1701 Descendants of Daniel DuVal,
Huguenot, and Allied Famzhilies (Richmond, Va: Dietz Printing Co, 1931), 229-234, J. Frank
Doble, John C DuVal Fust Texas Man of Letters, Hl Life and Some of Ills Unpublished Wriztngs
(Dallas. Southwest Review, 1939), 9-26, James E Winston, "Kentucky and the Independence
of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XVI (July, 1912), 27-62, James D. Lynch, The Bench
and Bar of Texas (St. Louis, Mo.. Nixon-Jones Printing Co., 1885), 16o- 161
SWalter L. Buenger, Secession and the Union in n Texas (Austin University of Texas Press, 1984),
174 The population of Travis County in 186o was 8,o8o (including 3,137 slaves), while Austin
contributed 3,494 (including 977 slaves) to that total Population of the United States in i86o Com-
paled From the Oringnal Returns of the Ezghth Census (Washington: Government Printing Office,
' Frank Brown, Annals of Tiavs County and of the Czty of Austin (From the Earhliest Times to the Close
of 1875), Austin Travis County Collection, Austin Public Library, ch. 23, p 53, Texas Republican
(Marshall), July 12, 1862 (quotations)
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/500/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.