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

Walter Burton Walter Burton
Full Name: Walter Moses Burton
Date of birth: August 9, 1840
Date of death: June 4, 1913

Terms of Service top
Chamber District Dates of Service Legislatures Party City/County Note Counties in District
S 17 Jan 11, 1881 - Jan 9, 1883 17th (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)   Republican Richmond / Fort Bend   Fort Bend, Waller, Wharton
S 17 Apr 18, 1876 - Jan 11, 1881 16th   15th (6)   Republican Richmond / Fort Bend   Fort Bend, Waller, Wharton
S 13 Feb 20, 1874 - Apr 18, 1876 14th (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)   Radical Republican Richmond / Fort Bend   Austin, Fort Bend, Wharton
(1) 2-year term; entire Senate went up for reelection in 1882 due to redistricting. Act passed May 3, 1882, 17th Legislature, C.S., ch. 13, Apportionment Laws of Texas, 1836-1950, 1950.
(2) "The entire radical ticket is elected," p. 1, 11/18/1880. Galveston Daily News.
(3) Included on roster of members of the 17th Legislature as a republican, p. 1, 11/17/1880. Galveston Daily News.
(4) Included on roster of members of the 17th Legislature as a Republican, p. 3. Pocket Directory of the Seventeenth Legislature of Texas . . ., 1881.
(5) 17th Legislature - Second Day, 1/12/1881, p. 3. "Senator W.M. Burton, of the Seventeenth Senatorial District, came forward and the oath of office was administered to him by the President." Senate Journal.
(6) 15th Legislature - 4/18/1876, p. 1. All Senators listed in roll call as "Senators elect [who] answered to their names, presented their credentials, and took the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution"; in Drawing of Senatorial Terms 4/27/1876, p. 98, drew "long term" (four years). Senate Journal.
(7) Entire Senate went up for reelection due to Senatorial redistricting. Ordinance adopted by Constitutional Convention of the State of Texas, 1875. Remained in effect from its passage until first reapportionment after 1880 Census. University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History. Apportionment Laws of Texas, 1836-1950, 1950.
(8) Included on roster of members of the 14th Legislature as a Republican. Directory of the Members and Officers of the Fourteenth Legislature of the State of Texas . . ., 1874.
(9) Burton, in election contest over Z. Hunt 2/20/1874, sworn the same day. Hunt never seated, p. 344. Senate Journal.
(10) Roster of members elect lists party as Radical, p. [a], 14th Legislature, Part 1. Senate Journal.
(11) Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections, Examination of the contested election of the 13th District (Z. Hunt and W. Burton), Jan. 19-Feb. 20, 1874. Protest against the seating of W. Burton presented, 1/19/1874, p. 50. Report of committee recommending that Z. Hunt be seated, 2/11/1874, pp. 255-259. Dissenting report from committee recommending that W. Burton be seated, 2/12/1874, pp. 272-279. Consideration of special order concerning election contest and adoption of resolution to seat W. Burton, 2/19/1874-2/20/1874, pp. 339-344. Senate Journal.
(12) "Because of the adoption of the new constitution [of 1876], any member of the 14th Legislature who wished to continue to serve had to run for reelection," p. 220. The Texas Senate: Volume II, Civil War to the Eve of Reform, 1861-1889, 1999.
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.
  • 85th Legislature, R.S., HR452, celebrating Black History Month and honoring the leadership and vision of African American lawmakers. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary.
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Portrait and biographical sketch. Forever Free: Nineteenth Century African-American Legislators and Constitutional Convention Delegates of Texas, 2002.
  • Biographical sketch in "State Senators elect: personal sketches completed - seventeen lawyers, seven grangers, two doctors, one editor and four colored politicians - the political structure of the new Senate of Texas," 3/3/1876, p. 2. Galveston Daily News.
  • Biographical sketch, including excerpt of speech by Burton on race, referred to as "the most thoroughly eloquent and effective . . . ever made in the Texas Legislature"; also "designated as the best-dressed man in the Senate." Chapter VI, "Black Belt Politics," pp. 104-106. The Negro in Texas, 1874-1900, 1971.
  • Senator Burton Holds His Own, p. 81; Biography, W.M. Burton, pp. 86-87. Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants: a History of the Negro in Texas Politics from Reconstruction to Disfranchisement, 1935.
  • Biography, pp. 29-30. "Politically he is a Republican." Sketches of Legislators and State Officers, Fifteenth Legislature, 1876-1878, 1876.
  • Biography, William Matthew Burton, pp. 244-245. Born 8/9/1840. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80, 1879.
  • Biographical sketch, pp. 198-200. The Texas Senate: Volume II, Civil War to the Eve of Reform, 1861-1889, 1999.
  • Biographical sketch, Walter M. Burton, pp. 44-45. Birth year 1829, death year 1913, Appendix D. Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898, 2016.
  • BURTON, WALTER MOSES (1829?-1913). "He left the Senate in 1882." Handbook of Texas Online.
  • Other Resources
  • Interment at Morton Cemetery. Born 8/8/1840. Fort Bend County Cemeteries, Cemeteries of Texas, 2000.
  • Interment in Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Fort Bend County. Name listed on historical marker: Walter Moses Burton; name on grave marker: Walter Burton. Find a Grave.
  • Sheriff and tax collector for Fort Bend County, pp. 181-182, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County. HeritageQuest Online.
  • Biographical information, p. 54. History of the Republican Party in Texas 1865-1965, 1965.
  • Interment at Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Texas. Political Graveyard: a Database of Historic Cemeteries.
  • Mentioned, pp. 147-156. Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans During Reconstruction, 1981.
  • Photographs
  • Photograph. Walter Burton, 14th Legislature, State Preservation Board
  • Photograph. Walter Burton, 15th Legislature, State Preservation Board
  • Composite Photographs on Display in the Capitol
  • 14th session composite photo of Senate and House members (Ground floor elevator vestibule, east wall. GW.V3). State Preservation Board.
  • 15th session composite photo of Senate members (Senate Sergeant-at-arms office, west wall. 2E.10A). State Preservation Board.
  • 17th session composite photo of Senate members (Senate chamber vestibule, west wall. 2E.V1). State Preservation Board.
  • 17th session composite photo of Senate members (Texas State Library and Archives Commission). Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
  • Committee Informationtop
    17th R.S. - 1881
    Agricultural Affairs  
    Contingent Expenses  
    Counties and County Boundaries  
    Judicial Districts  
    Public Roads, Bridges and Ferries  
    Stock and Stock Raising  
    16th R.S. - 1879
    Educational Affairs  
    Public Roads, Bridges and Ferries  
    15th R.S. - 1876
    Agricultural Affairs  
    Counties and County Boundaries  

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