Legislative Reference Library

Texas Legislators: Past & Present

Walter Moses Burton

W.M. Burton
Full Name: Walter Moses Burton
Birth date: August 9, 1840
Death date: June 4, 1913

Terms of Service

  • Senate, 17th (1) (4) (5) (7) (11) Legislature
    1/12/1881 - 1/9/1883
    Republican
  • Senate, 16th (6) & 15th (10) Legislatures
    4/18/1876 - 1/11/1881
    Republican
  • Senate, 14th (2) (3) (8) (9) (12) (13) Legislature
    2/20/1874 - 4/18/1876
    Radical Republican
(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) 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.
(3) Republican. Directory of the Members and Officers of the Fourteenth Legislature of the State of Texas . . . 1874.
(4) Republican, 11/17/1880, p. 2. Galveston Daily News .
(5) "The entire radical ticket is elected," 11/18/1880, p. 1. Galveston Daily News .
(6) Republican, 1/14/1879, p. 1. Galveston Daily News .
(7) Republican. Pocket Directory of the Seventeenth Legislature of Texas 1881.
(8) Roster of members elect lists party as Radical, p. [a], 14th Legislature, Part 1. Senate Journal .
(9) Burton, in election contest over Z. Hunt 2/20/1874, sworn the same day. Hunt never seated, p. 344. Senate Journal .
(10) 15th Legislature - All Senators except District 7 listed in roll call as Senators elect, oath of office administered, 4/18/1876, p. 1; Drawing of Senatorial Terms, 4/27/1876, p. 98, drew "long term" (four years). Senate Journal . April 14, 1876
April 27, 1876
(11) 17th Legislature, Regular Session - Oath of office administered to Senator W.M. Burton, 1/12/1881, p. 3. Senate Journal .
(12) 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 .
(13) "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

Resolutions and Journal entries

Photographs

Other Resources

  • Walter Moses Burton, birth date 8/9/1840, death date 6/4/1915, burial in Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Fort Bend County. Name listed on historical marker: Walter Moses Burton; name on grave marker: Walter Burton. Find a Grave .
  • 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 .
  • BURTON, WALTER MOSES (1829?-1913). "He left the Senate in 1882." Handbook of Texas Online .
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Biographical sketch, pp. 29-30. "Politically he is a Republican." Sketches of Legislators and State Officers, Fifteenth Legislature, 1876-1878 1876.
  • "Reconstructing a Legacy: The Trials and Accomplishments of Black Legislators in Post-Civil War Texas," by Michael Hurd, July 2021, pp. 68-71. Texas Highways .
  • Biographical sketch, William Matthew Burton, pp. 244-245. Born 8/9/1840. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80 1879.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mentioned, pp. 147-156. Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans During Reconstruction 1981.
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