Lemuel Dale Evans

Lemuel Dale Evans

Tennessee, USA
Death 1 Jul 1877 (aged 67)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Plot Range 16, Site 140
Memorial ID 7374178 · View Source
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US Congressman. A prominent figure in early Texas history, his Congressional service was but one phase of a controversial career. Evans was born in Tennessee, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1840. Moving to Marshall, Texas in 1843, he strongly supported annexation and was a member of the 1845 State Convention that brought Texas into the Union. It was on this occasion that he established himself as something of a political lone wolf, for he advocated that local legal disputes should be settled through a system of citizens' tribunals rather than traditional courts; his ideas were ignored. For the next several years Evans served as a district court judge and was involved in the sectional wrangling between East and West Texas, arguing that while the East (where he lived) generated most of the state's tax revenue, the West had the lion's share of elected officials. In 1853 he unsuccessfully ran for Governor on a platform that suggested the possibility of dividing Texas into two states. He then joined the anti-immigrant American Party (the "Know-Nothings") and won election to a single term in the US House of Representatives, serving from 1855 to 1857. The currency of the "Know-Nothings" was brief and he was defeated for reelection by John H. Reagan, a States' Rights Democrat. A Unionist, Evans joined Governor Sam Houston in opposing Texas secession, and at the start of the Civil War he left the state rather than support the Confederacy. He traveled to Washington, DC and was appointed a special agent, charged with monitoring the import of munitions from Mexico to Texas, but it was concluded he was too high-profile for such undercover activity; he resigned the commission early in 1862. After the war he returned to East Texas to take part in Reconstruction efforts. From 1870 to 1873 Evans was Presiding Justice (formerly Chief Justice) of the State Supreme Court, the so-called "Semicolon Court" that was derided - and ultimately replaced - for its unpopular decisions; during that time he also made another failed bid for the Governor's office (1872), running as a Republican. His last post was as a US Marshal in Galveston. He died on a business trip to Washington and was buried at Congressional Cemetery.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 22 Apr 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7374178
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lemuel Dale Evans (8 Jan 1810–1 Jul 1877), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7374178, citing Congressional Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .