Trees Planted by the Water: Early African American Legislators



.14th Texas Legislature


14th Texas Legislature Jan 13, 1874- Wikipedia
Fourteenth Legislature, Regular Session, General Laws PDF
Fourteenth Legislature, Regular Session, Special Laws PDF
Fourteenth Legislature, Second Session, General Laws PDF
Fourteenth Legislature, Second Session, Special Laws PDF

Portal to Texas Histor

14th (1874-75) Legislature African American Legislators

Walter Moses Burton  
David Abner, Sr. John Mitchell
Jacob E. Freeman Thomas Beck
Edward Brown Meshack R. Roberts





14th Regular Session Jan 13, 1874 May 04, 1874    
14th 2nd Regular Session Jan 12, 1875 Mar 15, 1875    
"After the election of Democrat Richard Cokeqv as governor in late 1873, the Fourteenth Legislature (1874-75) considered his proposals for a new constitution, but rejected a draft prepared by a joint legislative committee and approved instead a call for a constitutional convention, which the voters adopted. The convention convened in Austin on September 6, 1875, and wrote a new document, which was ratified in February 1876.

The Constitution of 1876qv restored the traditional biennial regular sessions and four-year overlapping senatorial terms and continued the ten-year apportionment periods of the 1866 and 1869 charters and the five-year residence requirement for senators from 1866. Among the changes were a higher age requirement for senators (twenty-six), Senate membership fixed at thirty-one, and election of senators from single-member districts with no county entitled to more than one senator. The size of the House was permitted to rise to a maximum of 150, beginning with ninety-three members and increasing by one additional representative for each 15,000 incremental gain in population. Similar to the 1845 charter, representatives were to be elected from equally populated districts "as nearly as may be." For the first time legislative compensation, which was lowered from 1866 and 1869 levels, was set in the constitution, requiring an amendment for changes. A few modifications were made in the rules and procedures, the most important of which was the requirement that before a bill can be considered on the floor, it must be referred to and reported from a committee. Also, the governor, for the first time, set the legislative agenda for special sessions. A striking feature of the new document was the number of restrictions placed on legislative power, many of them fiscal. Maximum property tax rates were included for the first time, and debt was limited, although not so severely as the 1845 constitution, but the most onerous were the flat prohibitions (exceptions requiring constitutional permission) on fiscal and other aid by the state or local governments to individuals, associations, or corporations. Other limitations included a long list of subjects on which local or special laws were forbidden and an unenforceable attempt to turn the legislature into one of granted rather than plenary powers by listing topics on which the legislature was allowed to legislate".

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," (accessed July 24, 2006).