- Get Involved
WATROUS, BENJAMIN O.
WATROUS, BENJAMIN O. (ca. 1831–?). Benjamin O. Watrous, minister and delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1868–69, was born in McMinn County, Tennessee, about 1831. He was known as Ben Carter while a young slave but took the name Watrous after his new owner, Daniel Watrous, of Alabama. He was a wheelwright by trade. Watrous had lived in Texas for twelve years before Washington County voters chose him as a delegate to the constitutional convention, where he served on the Committee on State Affairs. He introduced resolutions requiring a belief in God as a qualification for public office and prohibiting exclusion from office on the basis of race. Watrous voted against a proposal to divide Texas into more than one state and was one of five black delegates to sign the Constitution of 1869. He also served as a member of the state central committee of the Republican party in 1868; he was defeated by Matthew Gaines in 1869 when he ran for the state Senate.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Harrel Budd, The Negro in Politics in Texas, 1867–1898 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1925). Carl H. Moneyhon, Republicanism in Reconstruction Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985).
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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
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, "WATROUS, BENJAMIN O.," accessed September 23, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwaar.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.