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Sexton, Franklin Barlow, 1828-1900 (1828-1900) | SHSU Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Sexton, Franklin Barlow, 1828-1900 (1828-1900)


Historical Note:

Franklin Barlow Sexton (1828-1900) was an only child born to Dr. and Mrs. Samuel Sexton in New Harmony, Indiana. The family moved to Texas in 1838 and settled in San Augustine County. It was here that Dr. Sexton passed away when Barlow was thirteen years old.

Sexton enrolled in the Wesleyan College after an apprenticeship as a printer’s devil at a printing establishment. He studied law in the offices of J.P Henderson and O.M. Roberts and being admitted to the bar in 1848, was allowed to practice before turning twenty-one. Sexton practiced law successfully and became a prominent lawyer, while also being a prosperous planter. In the 1850s Sexton was elected as a Democratic member to the Texas Legislature. He went on to marry Eliza Richardson, daughter of an early Texas settler, and had twelve children. His daughter, Loulie, married Harry F. Estill, a very popular and well-respected President of the Sam Houston State University who served in that office for 28 years.

Sexton was elected as president of the State Democratic Convention in April of 1860. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Sexton served time as a soldier in the Confederate Army. On November 6, 1862 he was selected as a representative of the Fourth Congressional District in the First Confederate House of Representatives. He served on various committees including: Commerce, War, Military and Tax. Sexton had very strong views on issues regarding taxation and opposed the idea of taxing agricultural products. He was reelected in August of 1863. This made him one of two Texans to have served on both terms of the Confederate Congress. He was revered as one of the hardest working members of Congress.

When the war ended Sexton continued practicing law in San Augustine, and then later moved with his family to Marshall. Here he worked as an attorney for the T. & P.  Railway. Sexton remained actively involved in politics and was selected as a delegate to the national Democratic convention in 1876. After the passing of his wife, he went to live with a daughter in El Paso. He died there on May 15, 1900 and was buried in Marshall. Some of his thoughts, activities and ideals are preserved in his Civil War Diary that was published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in 1935.




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