Paul M. Lucko

REYNOLDS, WILLIAM (1831–?). William Reynolds, one of five black delegates to the state Constitutional Convention of 1875, was born in January 1831, probably in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a free man when he came to Texas around 1854. He was teaching school at Hempstead by the early 1870s. In 1873 he served as the presiding officer for elections in a Waller County precinct; he represented the county at the 1875 constitutional convention. Described by one source as the "most active of the Negro delegates" at the convention, Reynolds sat on the Executive Department Committee and unsuccessfully attempted to win approval for a measure that would have guaranteed 30,000 acres of state-owned lands for an agricultural and mechanical college for blacks. Reynolds also fought occupation taxes and opposed real and personal property qualifications as requirements for voting in general elections. During 1878 he served on a committee to purchase a poor farm for Waller County. The 1880 and 1900 federal census reports described Reynolds as a mulatto, a schoolteacher, and the father of two daughters. He was married to a woman the census records refer to as "M. A." He probably died between 1900 and 1910.

J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985). Waller County Historical Survey Committee, A History of Waller County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1973).

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, Paul M. Lucko, "REYNOLDS, WILLIAM," accessed July 16, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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