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BURLEY, D. W.

BURLEY, D. W. (ca. 1844–?). D. W. Burley, who represented Robertson, Leon, and Freestone counties in the Twelfth Texas Legislature, was born in Virginia around 1844. He was a free black before the end of slavery and in 1864 was a captain in a battalion of black soldiers that defended St. Louis from Confederate raiders. He arrived in Texas in 1865 and later organized a debating society for blacks. He won election to the Texas House of Representatives in 1870 and was one of twelve black legislators to serve in that body. Burley was a Radical Republican, but he displeased some other radicals when he supported an effort to subsidize the Southern Pacific Railroad. He served only one term.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Alwyn Barr, "Black Legislators of Reconstruction Texas," Civil War History 32 (December 1986).
Paul M. Lucko

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Handbook of Texas Online, Paul M. Lucko, "Burley, D. W.," accessed August 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbume.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.