REAGAN, John Henninger (1818-1905)

REAGAN, JOHN HENNINGER, a Representative and a Senator from Texas; born in Sevierville, Sevier County, Tenn., October 8, 1818; attended the common schools and private academies; moved to Texas in 1839, joined the republic's army, and participated in campaigns against the Cherokee Indians; deputy State surveyor of the public lands 1839-1843; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1848 and practiced in Buffalo and Palestine, Tex.; member, State house of representatives 1847-1849; judge of the district court 1852-1857, when he resigned; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1857-March 3, 1861); elected to the secession convention of Texas in 1861; deputy to the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy; postmaster general of the Confederacy from 1861 until the close of the war; also appointed Acting Secretary of the Treasury of the Confederacy for a short time preceding the close of the war; imprisoned at Fort Warren for several months after the war; member of the State constitutional convention in 1875; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1875-March 3, 1887); had been reelected to the Fiftieth Congress but resigned March 4, 1887, to become Senator; chairman, Committee on Commerce (Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, Forty-eighth, and Forty-ninth Congresses); elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1887, until June 10, 1891, when he resigned; returned to Texas and was appointed a member of the railroad commission of the State and served as chairman 1897-1903; died in Palestine, Anderson County, Tex., March 6, 1905; interment in East Hill Cemetery.

Dallas Historical Society
Dallas, TX
Papers: Miscellaneous articles, items, and photographs.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: February 17, 188?. 1 letter.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1 item (1877); and 1 letter (May 13, 1880) in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: May 2, 1865. 1 item. Order from Jefferson Davis.

Tennessee State Library and Archives
Nashville, TN
Papers: Correspondence in George Washington Gordon and William Tecumsah Avery papers, 1791-1946. On microfilm. Finding aid.

Texas State Library
Archives Division
Austin, TX
Papers: 1847-1905. 25 folders. Includes correspondence, biographical sketch, and newspaper clippings.

University of Texas
Center for American History
Austin, TX
Papers: 1847-1931. Ca. 2 feet. In part, photocopies. Papers produced by and related to Reagan, concerning personal, business, and political matters. Includes correspondence, legal documents, notes, bills of sale, pamphlets, receipts, broadsides, and clippings concerning Reagan's connection with the Peters' Colony settlers in their efforts to secure title to their holdings, the Sierra Land and Cattle Company of New Mexico Territory, state politics, and the Confederate treasury; his positions on prohibition and the graduated income tax; and his efforts to secure passage of a bill to establish the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Texas Railroad Commission, and efforts to develop Gulf Coast shipping. Also includes a thesis on Reagan by Benjamin H. Good and a literary production by Ruth A. White related to the Railroad Commission. Finding aid.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: Miscellaneous items. Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: In S. Griswold Flagg collection, 1825-1928.

  • Avillo, Philip J., Jr. "John H. Reagan: Unionist or Secessionist?'' East Texas Historical Journal 13 (Spring 1975): 23-33.
  • McGraw, William. Professional Politicians. Washington: Imperial Press, 1940.
  • Procter, Ben H. Not Without Honor: The Life of John H. Reagan. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962.
  • Reagan, John H. Memoirs, with Special Reference to Secession and the Civil War. Edited by Walter F. McCaleb. 1906. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1973.
  • Welch, June Rayfield. "John Reagan Was Postmaster General of the Confederacy.'' In The Texas Senator, pp. 30-39. Dallas: G.L.A. Press, 1978.