Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


BURROUGHS, JAMES M. (1824–?). James M. Burroughs, politician and lawyer, was born in Alabama in 1824. He moved to Texas in 1844 and represented Harris County in the Convention of 1845. He served in the Texas House from 1846 to 1848 and in the Senate from 1855 to 1858. In the Secession Convention (1861) he was a member of the foreign relations committee. Afterwards, he served as a scout and as a major in the artillery of the Confederate Army. During his service in the military, Burroughs was recognized for heroism by general orders of the army. In July 1866 he attended a convention at Navasota and was elected to the United States Congress but was not seated because of the radical Reconstruction policy of the Congress. In 1868 he was a delegate to the Democratic national convention in New York. He subsequently practiced law in Houston and in Galveston, where he was living in the mid-1890s. He served as vice president and later president of the Galveston Wharf Company (see GALVESTON WHARVES). One of Burroughs's acquaintances described him as a hard-fighting lawyer and an "unreconstructed rebel."


Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Norman Kittrell, Governors Who Have Been and Other Public Men of Texas (Houston: Dealy-Adey-Elgin, 1921). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "BURROUGHS, JAMES M.," accessed December 17, 2018,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on February 4, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox