Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999 Page: 34
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
persons in Colorado County swore Johnson's oath, and were, thereby, restored to the elec-
torate. The freedmen, who of course had nothing to be pardoned for, were excluded.53
The county's first officials after the dissolution of the Confederate government
were appointed by Texas provisional governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton. Hamilton made
his appointments for Colorado County on August 9, 1865. He made John D. Gillmore county
judge, James B. Good sheriff, Jasper N. Binkley, Gerhard Frels, Phineas M. Garrett, and
Calvin York commissioners, John C. Miller county clerk, Edward Musgrove Glenn district
clerk, and William B. Dewees treasurer. None of the new officials were what would come
to be called carpetbaggers. All had lived in Colorado County before the war. Garrett had
owned a considerable number of slaves and a large plantation. Good had been an officer in
the Confederate army. The others were all over thirty years old when the war opened, and
could have avoided military service because of their ages.54
But, when the second slate of post-war county officials was elected, on June
25, 1866, the German vote began to make a difference. Though black voters had not yet
been registered, principally because a profusion of candidates split the non-German vote,
German-backed candidates won most county-wide races. The Germans supported Gillmore
for county judge. Two other candidates split the non-German vote, and Gillmore was re-
turned to office. Four candidates ran for sheriff. Johann Baptist Leyendecker got 90% of the
votes in the two German boxes; and though he got only 38% of the votes county-wide, he
outpolled his three opponents. Seven men ran for county treasurer. The German votes were
split between Charles Schmidt and Simon Thulemeyer, who finished tied atop the field. In
a runoff on July 14, Schmidt won the office. In a three-man field for county clerk, the
Germans supported the incumbent, Miller. He was narrowly defeated by George Millan
McCormick, a Confederate veteran who won on the strength of his vote totals in Columbus
and Oakland. For district clerk, German and non-German alike strongly supported Alexander
Lookup, and he won easily. He, and John S. Hancock, who was elected assessor-collector
with the backing of the Germans, were the only local candidates who received a majority of
the votes cast. Twelve candidates ran for the four at-large seats on the commissioners court.
In these races, evidently, the Germans did not understand that they could vote for more than
one candidate. The Frelsburg Germans concentrated their votes on Mathias Malsch, a
Frelsburg store keeper, and despite little or no support elsewhere, he was elected. The
Bernardo-area Germans supported Alexander Dunlavy, who won a seat by securing a great
many votes in Columbus. The Columbus vote also carried George W. Breeding to victory.
53 Galveston Daily News, July 14, 1865. Though Johnson's amnesty proclamation excluded fourteen
categories of persons, few people in Colorado County fell into them.
54 Records of the Secretary of State, Election Registers, 1865, Archives and Records Division, Texas
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999, periodical, January 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151405/m1/34/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.