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Handbook of Texas Online

Presidents and Governors

The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to present its sixth quarterly history quiz. In preparation for the upcoming gubernatorial election, we are focusing this quiz on the fifty most recent chief executives of Texas. As in the past, this is an open-book quiz, designed both to challenge and educate. You are encouraged to consult The Handbook of Texas Online or our printed versions of the Handbook and the new Portable Handbook of Texas. (Do not be bashful. The online Handbook received over two million page-views in the month of March, a new record.) These three sources will be considered authoritative, in case of disputes, which have been known to develop occasionally within the historical community!

You may submit your answers conveniently online by including your name and e-mail address below. If you prefer historical "snail mail" or Pony Express, feel free to submit your answers to our office c/o Texas State Historical Association, History Quiz, 2.306 Sid Richardson Hall, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712. As prizes for our winners, in addition to bragging rights, we are offering two $50 gift certificates for TSHA publications or memberships. One prize will go to the first entry received that is 100 percent correct (e-mail entries usually win this one). Another will be chosen at random from all other 100 percent correct entries received by July 22.

The Questions

Question 1:

From Colony to Republic. The five individuals below planted the seeds of the new republic. One of these Texas patriots was born in New Jersey in 1788. His father had served in the Continental Congress and as surgeon general of the United States. His brother Isaac was the first elected mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. This Texas leader fought in revolutionary battles with Miranda in Chile and Venezuela early in the century before settling in Texas in 1826. He received an empresario grant from the Mexican government, but later sold his rights to a group of investors. While head of the new Texas government, he and his family were almost captured by Juan Almonte at New Washington. Which Texas leader is it?

a. Stephen F. Austin, empresario and colonial leader, 1821-35
b. Henry Smith, provisional governor, November 1835-January 1836
c. James W. Robinson, provisional governor, January-March 1836
d. David G. Burnet, president ad interim, March-October 1836
e. Samuel Houston, president (# 1 and # 3), 1836-38 and 1841-44, and governor (# 7), 1859-61 (and three-term U.S. senator, 1845-59)

Question 2:

From Republic to State. One of our next five leaders was born in North Carolina in 1808, and studied law at the University of North Carolina. He helped recruit North Carolina volunteers to serve in the Texas army. He served as secretary of state of the republic after the death of Stephen F. Austin in December 1836. He later served as minister to England and France, helping to gain recognition of the new republic. After practicing law in San Augustine, he helped negotiate the annexation treaty with the United States. During the Mexican War, he took a leave from office to lead the Second Texas Regiment at the battle of Monterrey. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1857 until his death in 1858. Which leader is it?

a. Mirabeau B. Lamar, president (# 2), 1838-41
b. Anson Jones, president (# 4), 1844-46
c. James Pinckney Henderson, governor (# 1), 1846-47
d. George Thomas Wood, governor (# 2), 1847-49
e. Peter Hansborough Bell, governor (# 3), 1849-53

Question 3:

Winds of War. The next five governed during the period leading up to the Civil War, along with Sam Houston, who was forced from office in 1861 due to his opposition to secession. One of the five governors below was born in 1812 in Enfield, Connecticut. He came to Texas in 1835 and fought in the battle of Gonzales, the first battle of the Texas Revolution. He attended the March 1836 convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos and helped write part of the Texas constitution. He was an outstanding governor who helped establish a system of public education and the permanent school fund. He supervised the building campaign that led to the completion of the Governor's Mansion, the General Land Office, and a new capitol. Which leader is it?

a. James Wilson Henderson, governor (# 4), November-December 1853
b. Elisha Marshall Pease, governor (# 5 and 13), 1853-57 and 1867-69
c. Hardin Richard Runnels, governor (# 6), 1857-59
d. Edward Clark, governor (# 8), March-November 1861
e. Francis Richard Lubbock, governor (# 9), 1861-63

Question 4:

Reconstruction. The next five governors were faced with the daunting task of rebuilding Texas after the Civil War. One of these was born in 1829 near Williamsburg, Virginia, and received a law degree from William and Mary College in 1848. He moved to Waco in 1850. He served in the Fifteenth Texas Infantry during the Civil War. The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) was opened during his term. He was elected to the first of three terms in the U.S. Senate in 1876, where he was known by his colleagues as "Old Brains." Which governor is it?

a. Pendleton Murrah, governor (# 10), 1863-65
b. Andrew Jackson Hamilton, appointed provisional governor (# 11), 1865-66
c. James Webb Throckmorton, governor (# 12), 1866-67
d. Edmund Jackson Davis, appointed governor (# 14), 1870-74
e. Richard Coke, governor (# 15), 1874-76

Question 5:

The End of the Nineteenth Century. One of the next five governors was born in Rusk, Texas, in 1851, the first native Texan to serve as governor. His father, a brigadier general in the Civil War, died at the head of his command in 1862, and his mother died the following year. He and two older brothers were left with two older sisters to run the family plantation. He served as attorney general of the state prior to being elected governor, helping recover over 1.5 million acres of state lands. While governor, he did much to strengthen public law enforcement and helped establish the Railroad Commission. He was also quite interested in the history of Texas, and helped launch the state archives. Which leader is it?

a. Richard Bennett Hubbard, governor (# 16), 1876-79
b. Oran Milo Roberts, governor (# 17), 1879-83
c. John Ireland, governor (# 18), 1883-87
d. Lawrence Sullivan Ross, governor (# 19), 1887-91
e. James Stephen Hogg, governor (# 20), 1891-95

Question 6:

A New Century. Texas entered the twentieth century "by storm," with the tragic hurricane in Galveston in September 1900 and the discovery of oil at Spindletop in January 1901. One of the five governors below was born in South Carolina on July 4, 1846. He joined the Confederate Army as a private at age 15 and was wounded at the battle of Spotsylvania in 1864. He came to Texas in 1866 and taught school in Weatherford while he studied law. He served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. His campaign for governor was supported by Edward House, a major force in Texas politics and later a close advisor to Woodrow Wilson. Which governor is it?

a. Charles A. Culberson, governor (# 21), 1895-99
b. Joseph Draper Sayers, governor (# 22), 1899-1903
c. Samuel W. T. Lanham, governor (# 23), 1903-07
d. Thomas Mitchell Campbell, governor (# 24), 1907-11
e. Oscar Branch Colquitt, governor (# 25), 1911-15

Question 7:

Early Twentieth Century. The period from 1915 to 1931 was a colorful one in Texas gubernatorial history. One of the five governors below was born in Moscow, Texas, in 1878. He built a successful career as a newspaper editor with the Houston Post prior to entering public office, and acquired the paper some years later. After first serving as lieutenant governor, he became governor upon the impeachment of his predecessor. He was reelected with a strong majority. As governor, he did much to promote education and highways. His wife served as commander of the Women's Army Corps during World War II. His son also later served as lieutenant governor. Which Texas leader is it?

a. James E. Ferguson, Jr., governor (# 26), 1915-17
b. William Pettus Hobby, governor (#27), 1917-21
c. Pat Morris Neff, governor (# 28), 1921-25
d. Miriam Amanda Ferguson, governor (# 29 and # 32), 1925-27 and 1933-35
e. Daniel James Moody, Jr., governor (# 30), 1927-31

Question 8:

The Depression and World War II. The next five governors faced the challenges of both the Great Depression and World War II. One of them was born in 1888 in a log cabin in Mason County in the Texas Hill Country. After an early career in banking, he served as county governor and county judge, and was then elected lieutenant governor. He first became governor upon the resignation of his predecessor, who left to become U.S. senator. He was later reelected as governor, and was regarded as an able administrator, returning the state to a surplus in the treasury. He lost his last political race, for U.S. Senator in 1948, to Lyndon Baines Johnson by a vote of 494,191 to 494,104. Which governor is it?

a. Ross Shaw Sterling, governor (# 31), 1931-33
b. James V Allred, governor (# 33), 1935-39
c. Wilbert Lee O'Daniel, governor (# 34), 1939-41
d. Coke Robert Stevenson, governor (# 35), 1941-47
e. Beauford Halbert Jester, governor (# 36), 1947-49

Question 9:

Expansion Years. One of the next five governors was born in 1907 in Lufkin, Texas, but spent his early childhood at Magnolia Hills, the family home near Woodville. He had a distinguished record in the U.S. Army during World War II, receiving five battle stars and the Bronze Star. Like the governors in questions 7 and 8, he also served as lieutenant governor before assuming the governor's office. In his case, however, his predecessor died in office. He is another accomplished leader, who was willing to challenge his own Democratic party. He may be best known for his role in defending the state claims to the Tidelands, which related to Texas claims of offshore waters. Which governor is it?

a. Robert Allan Shivers, governor (# 37), 1949-57
b. Marion Price Daniel, governor (# 38), 1957-63
c. John Bowden Connally, Jr., governor (# 39), 1963-69
d. Preston Earnest Smith, governor (# 40), 1969-73
e. Dolph Briscoe, Jr., governor (# 41), 1973-79

Question 10:

The Most Recent Five. Although all five of the most recent governors are quite accomplished (including a U.S. president), none receives a separate article in The Handbook of Texas because of the association's longstanding policy of not devoting separate biographies to living individuals (a policy that has helped preserve the overall quality and historical objectivity of the Handbook). One of the five individuals below was the first Republican governor since Reconstruction. He was born in 1917 in Dallas, and was the founder of a successful offshore drilling company. He served as deputy secretary of defense during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Which governor is it?

a. William Perry Clements, governor (# 42 and # 44), 1979-83 and 1987-91
b. Mark Wells White, Jr., governor (# 43), 1983-87
c. Ann W. Richards, governor (# 45), 1991-95
d. George Walker Bush, governor (# 46), 1995-2001
e. James Richard Perry, governor (# 47), 2001-present