Elisha Marshall Pease

Elisha Marshall Pease

Enfield, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
Death 26 Aug 1883 (aged 71)
Lampasas, Lampasas County, Texas, USA
Burial Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
Plot Section 4, Plot 102
Memorial ID 6989 · View Source
Suggest Edits

5th & 13th Governor of Texas. Born in Enfield, Connecticut, he studied at Westfield Academy in Massachusetts. He held several minor positions in Connecticut, including that of clerk in the post office in Hartford. In 1834 he starting looking for new opportunities and traveled west. He arrived in Texas in early 1835, settling in Mina. He studied law and became quite involved with the developing Texas Revolution. He hoped for conciliation with Mexico even while becoming secretary of a committee of safety in Mina; however, he changed his position and participated in the first battle of the revolution at Gonzales. He became secretary to the General Council of the Provisional Government and attended the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March of 1836. During this convention, he helped write part of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. He became chief clerk of the navy and treasury departments, successively, of the ad interim government. He also served as clerk of the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives. He was one of the major contributors in writing the new nation's criminal code. In the fall of 1836, he turned down the position of postmaster general in order to return to his study of law. Passing the bar in April 1837, Pease became the republic's first comptroller of public accounts. He then took up the practice of law at Brazoria and soon became successful and respected in his profession. After annexation, he represented Brazoria County in the first three legislatures and authored the Probate Code of 1846. In 1851 he made an unsuccessful run for the governorship. Two years later he won the office and was reelected in 1855. Among his achievements was to persuade the legislature to establish a system of public education and a state university. His administration did establish the permanent school fund and his vision laid the groundwork for future achievement. He also worked to encourage railroad construction in Texas, to put the state penitentiary on a self-supporting basis, and to establish reservations to civilize and educate the state's Indian population. In addition, he supervised the building campaign that led to the completion of the Governor's Mansion, the General Land Office building, the State Orphan's Home (now the Corsicana State Home), and a new Capital building. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was the settlement of the public debt of the state, by which he made available funds for the establishment of a hospital for the mentally ill and schools for the deaf and blind ,all of which he had recommended to the legislature. Upon his retirement from office in 1857, the state was in excellent financial condition. In 1859 Pease aligned himself with the Unionist faction in Texas politics. He remained active in this movement into the early months of the Civil War, during which he was quietly loyal to the Union. In 1866 he lost a bid to become governor again in the first election of the Reconstruction era. Early in 1867 he helped organize the Republican party in Texas. Later that year, the incumbent Governor was removed for office and Pease was appointed in his place. His efforts to reorganize the state government and bring accountability to its actions were met by conflict within the Republican ranks and bitterness toward the chief executive by the former Confederate majority in the state. He resigned from the governorship in 1869 because of differences over Reconstruction policies that he considered radical and despotic. During the remainder of his life, he remained interested in political affairs of the state, and was president of the non-partisan Tax-payers' Convention of 1871. In 1872, he was chairman of the Texas delegation to the national Liberal Republican convention. In 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Pease to the collector of customs at Galveston. In the closing years of his life Pease practiced law in Austin, engaged in various business ventures, and lived a quiet life with his family. He died from an attack of apoplexy and was buried in Austin.

Bio by: H M G

Family Members




How famous was Elisha Marshall Pease?

Current rating:

27 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Nov 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6989
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Elisha Marshall Pease (3 Jan 1812–26 Aug 1883), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6989, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .