Legislative Reference Library

Texas Legislators: Past & Present

Matthew Gaines

Matthew Gaines
Full Name: Matthew Washington Gaines
Birth date: August 4, 1840
Death date: June 11, 1900

Terms of Service

  • Senate, 13th (1) (2) (6) & 12th (3) (4) (5) Legislatures
    2/8/1870 - 1/13/1874
    Radical Republican
(1) Entire Senate went up for reelection due to Senatorial redistricting. Act passed Apr. 24, 1873 [presented to Governor May 1, 1873 and became law without his signature], 13th Legislature, R.S., ch. 35, Apportionment Laws of Texas, 1836-1950 1950.
(2) Republican. Directory of the Members of the Thirteenth Legislature of the State of Texas 1873.
(3) Name listed Mathew Gaines. House Journal .
(4) 12th Legislature, 1st C.S. - Drawing for Terms of Office, 5/2/1870, pp. 51-52. Drew 6-year term. Senate Journal .
(5) Party affiliation, Radical. Roster of members, 12th Legislature, 1870. Texas Almanac for . . . and Emigrant's Guide to Texas .
(6) "Returning radicals [to the 13th Legislature] were Thomas H. Baker, Webster Flanagan, S.W. Ford, Albert J. Fountain, Matthew Gaines, Phidello W. Hall, Henry Rawson, George T. Ruby, William A. Saylor, and Robert P. Tendick," p. 145. The Texas Senate: Volume II, Civil War to the Eve of Reform, 1861-1889 1999.

Biographical Notes and Resources

Selected Newspaper articles

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 .
  • 77th Legislature, R.S., HR 753. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary .
  • 81st Legislature, R.S., HCR 81, paying tribute to African American legislators and constitutional convention delegates. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary .
  • 85th Legislature, R.S., HR 452, celebrating Black History Month and honoring the leadership and vision of African American lawmakers. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary .
  • Memorial of Seth Shepard protesting the seating of Matthew Gaines, 3/17/1874, pp. 567-570, 14th Legislature, First Session. Senate Journal .
  • Presentation of Matthew Gaines' credentials; election contest with Seth Shepard referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections, 3/20/1874, p. 600, Fourteenth Legislature, First Session. Senate Journal .
  • Shepard in election contest over Matthew Gaines 3/25/1874, sworn 3/26/1874. Gaines never seated, pp. 645-646. Senate Journal .


Other Resources

  • Portrait and biographical sketch: "Matt Gaines: Reconstruction politician," pp. 48-81. Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times 1981.
  • Mentioned in Black Texans: a History of African Americans in Texas, 1528-1995 1996.
  • Portrait and biographical sketch, Matthew (Matt) Gaines. Born Pineville, near Alexandria, Louisiana, 8/4/1840 or 1842, died Giddings, Texas, 6/11/1900. Forever Free: Nineteenth Century African-American Legislators and Constitutional Convention Delegates of Texas 2002.
  • Mentioned in footnote 5, p. 264, Gideon Lincecum, 1793-1874: a Biography, by Lois Wood Burkhalter. "During the Reconstruction, Negroes found their military and political services in demand by the Texas Republican Party." Google Books .
  • GAINES, MATTHEW (1840-1900). Handbook of Texas Online .
  • Portrait, biographical information, and statements concerning the Matthew Gaines memorial at Texas A&M. Matthew Gaines Memorial Homepage .
  • Listing of Matthew Gaines' grandchildren provided by Ronnie Jackson, Jr., grandson of Monzella Brown; origin of paperwork unknown. Matthew Gaines Working File .
  • Portrait, description of Senate speech, biographical sketch, and list of legislation authored by Gaines. Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants: a History of the Negro in Texas Politics from Reconstruction to Disfranchisement 1935.
  • Mentioned in Chapter VI, "Black Belt Politics." The Negro in Texas, 1874-1900 1971.
  • Biographical sketch, background, and oratory of Matthew Washington Gaines, pp. 102-105. The Texas Senate: Volume II, Civil War to the Eve of Reform, 1861-1889 1999.
  • Portrait, biographical sketch, and "Matthew Gaines: The Militant," pp. 19, 169-179. Birth date 8/4/1840; death date 6/11/1900. 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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