Legislative Reference Library of Texas About the library Site Index

Legislative Reference Library of Texas
your partner in legislative research

Legislative clips Legislative clips archive Texas media links Current articles Texshare databases New books New & Noteworthy
Legislative Archive System Index to Sections Affected Conference committee reports Constitutional amendments Vetoes State budget Redistricting information Signed copies of bills Statutory revision Texas law timeline Water law timeline Statute publication dates Legislative intent guide
Texas Legislators: Past & Present Governors of Texas Lt. Governors and Speakers Senate Presidents Pro Tempore Senate & House seniority Member statistics Chief Elected Officials Texas legislators on Twitter
Sessions and years Bill statistics Member statistics Bill effective dates Legislative deadlines Session summaries Special sessions Legislative staff lists
Today's meetings Meetings by date Standing committees Committees by session Committee search Legislative reports Committee minutes Standing committee appointments
Library catalog House & Senate Journals House & Senate Rules Parliamentary resources General and Special Laws of Texas Codes of 1856 Paschal's Digest Penal Code revision research guide Code of Criminal Procedure guide Deceptive Trade Practices Act Impeachment of O.P. Carrillo Gubernatorial inauguration materials Water resources research guide School finance litigation archive
Frequently Asked Questions Contacting your legislator Texas bill status State agency hotlines & citizen   assistance Texas legislative agencies &   process Other libraries Public policy resources

LRL Home - Legislators and Leaders - Texas Legislators: Past & Present - Member profileprinter friendly versionreturn to screen view

Benjamin Williams Benjamin Franklin Williams
Full Name: Benjamin Franklin Williams
Date of birth: 1819
Date of death: 1886

Terms of Service top
Chamber District Dates of Service Legislatures Party City/County Note Counties in District
H 53 Jan 13, 1885 - Jan 11, 1887 19th (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)   Republican Richmond / Fort Bend   Fort Bend, Waller
H 37 Jan 14, 1879 - Jan 11, 1881 16th (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14)   Republican East Bernard / Wharton   Fort Bend, Waller, Wharton
H 25 Feb 9, 1870 - Jan 14, 1873 12th (15) (16) (17)   Radical Republican Columbus / Colorado   Colorado, Lavaca
(1) Errata, postoffice Richmond. Biennial Report of the Secretary of State of the State of Texas: List of Senators and Representatives.
(2) Hempstead is county seat of Waller County; Hempstead became Waller county seat in May 1873. Handbook of Texas Online.
(3) Richmond is the county seat of Fort Bend County. In December 1837, when Fort Bend County was formed, Richmond became its seat of government. Handbook of Texas Online.
(4) Waller County. House Journal.
(5) Home address, Hempstead; home county, Fort Bend. Members of the Texas Congress 1836-1845; Members of the Texas Legislature 1846-2004, 2005.
(6) Postoffice Richmond. Rules of Order of the House of Representatives of the Nineteenth Legislature, 1885.
(7) Home county, Fort Bend. Texas House of Representatives: a Pictorial Roster 1846-1992, 1992.
(8) Included in roster of members of the 16th Legislature as a Republican, p. 1, 1/14/1879. Galveston Daily News.
(9) The town of East Bernard was originally located on the east side of the San Bernard River, in Fort Bend county. By 1869, most of the town was located on the west side of the river, in Wharton county. Handbook of Texas Online.
(10) Home post office, East Bernard; home county, Fort Bend. Members of the Texas Congress 1836-1845; Members of the Texas Legislature 1846-2004, 2005.
(11) Home county, Fort Bend. Texas House of Representatives: a Pictorial Roster 1846-1992, 1992.
(12) Home post office, East Bernard; home county Wharton. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80, 1879.
(13) Roster lists party as Democrat. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80, 1879.
(14) Regular Republicans carried Fort Bend County and B.F. Williams was elected, p. 129. Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898, 2016.
(15) Williams qualified and took the oath of office on 2/9/1870, p. 7. House Journal.
(16) Party affiliation, Radical. Texas Almanac for . . . and Emigrant's Guide to Texas.
(17) Listed as member of Radical Republican Association, established 6/4/1870, p. 26. Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898, 2016.
 
Biographical Notes and Resources top
Resolutions and Journal entries
  • 79th Legislature, R.S., HR 589, paying tribute to African American legislators and constitutional convention delegates of 1868-1900. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary.
  • 81st Legislature, R.S., HCR 81, paying tribute to African American legislators and constitutional convention delegates. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary.
  • 20th Legislature, R.S., House receives the "sad intelligence" of the deaths of Hon. A.M. Taylor of Red River county and Hon. B.F. Williams of Fort Bend county; House resolution adopted 1/20/1887, p. 97. Resolutions - Memorial.
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Portrait and biographical sketch, Benjamin Franklin (B.F.) Williams. Born Brunswick County, Virginia, ca. 1819 or 1825; died Kendleton, Texas, date unknown. Forever Free: Nineteenth Century African-American Legislators and Constitutional Convention Delegates of Texas, 2002.
  • WILLIAMS, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1819-?). Handbook of Texas Online.
  • Biographical sketch. Personnel of the Texas State Government for 1885, 19th Legislature, 1885.
  • Biographical sketch, p. 262. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80, 1879.
  • Portrait and biographical sketch, pp. xviii, 3. Williams was minister of Wesley Methodist Chapel in Austin, "which forbade blacks from attending if they were not Republicans." Included in list of eleven African-American delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1868-1869, Appendix A. Birth year 1825, death year 1886, Appendix D. Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898, 2016.
  • Other Resources
  • Biographical information, nominated for Speaker of the House in 12th Legislature, p. 56 and footnote 31, p. 77. Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times, 1981.
  • One of nine African-American delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1868-1869 (the Reconstruction Convention), p. 731. D.W. Burley and Sheppard Mullens not included in list of African-American delegates. East Texas: Its History and Its Makers, 1940.
  • "In its statistics of the House of Representatives, the State Journal says . . . The tallest member is Hon. B.F. Williams, of Colorado, who measures six feet two inches. The shortest is Hon. Wm. Schlotman, of Washington, five feet, three inches. The heavy man is Hon. J.W. Lane, Democrat, of Dallas, who carries 240 pounds without seeming to mind it." 5/29/1870, p. 2. Galveston Daily News.
  • Mentioned in Chapter VI, "Black Belt Politics." The Negro in Texas, 1874-1900, 1971.
  • Constitutional Convention 1868-1869 and resignation, Radical conventions 1868, pp. 20, 26, 29. Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants: a History of the Negro in Texas Politics from Reconstruction to Disfranchisement, 1935.
  • Mentioned, pp. 147-156. Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans During Reconstruction, 1981.
  • Photographs
  • Photograph. Benjamin Williams, 19th Legislature, State Preservation Board
  • Composite Photographs on Display in the Capitol
  • 19th session composite photo of House members (House chamber vestibule, west wall. 2W.V1). State Preservation Board.
  • Committee Informationtop
    19th R.S. - 1885
    Finance  
    Indian Affairs  
    Privileges and Elections  
    16th R.S. - 1879
    Counties and County Boundaries  
    12th Adjourned - 1871
    Comptroller Misconduct  
    Comptroller's and Treasurer's Offices, Examine  
    Internal Improvements  
    Printing and Contingent Expenses  
    12th R.S. - 1871
    House Employees, Regulate Pay of  
    Internal Improvements  
    Printing and Contingent Expenses  
    Rules  
    12th 1st C.S. - 1870
    Alleged Illegal Sale of Newspapers by Officers of the House, Select  
    Claims and Accounts  
    Conduct of Comptroller A. Bledsoe, Select Committee  
    House Officer and Employee Compensation, Select  
    Internal Improvement  
    12th Provisional - 1870
    Fourteenth and Fifteenth U.S. Constitutional Amendments, Passage of  
     

    This website is a work in progress. Information on this website is provided as a public service by the Legislative Reference Library. The Legislative Reference Library makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy and makes no warranty in regard to its use. Users assume all risk of reliance on the information included on this site.

    Have a question, comment or contribution? Email the Library or call 512-463-1252.

    Many photos in Texas Legislators: Past and Present are used with permission of the Texas State Preservation Board. For permission to reproduce these photos, please contact the Texas State Preservation Board graphics coordinator at 512-475-3060.