Pendleton Murrah

Pendleton Murrah (1824/1826 – August 4, 1865) was the tenth Governor of Texas. His term in office coincided with the American Civil War.

Pendleton Murrah
Pendleton murrah.jpg
10th Governor of Texas
In office
November 5, 1863 – June 17, 1865
LieutenantFletcher Summerfield Stockdale
Preceded byFrancis Lubbock
Succeeded byAndrew Jackson Hamilton
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born1824 (1824) or 1826 (1826)
Died (aged about 40)
Monterrey, Mexico
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseSue Taylor


Murrah's birth date and birth location vary from source to source. Some have him born in 1824;[1] others give his birth year as 1826.[2] According to his 1850 and 1860 entries in the U.S. Census, Murrah was a native of Alabama. His birthplace is sometimes listed as South Carolina, but more recent sources[citation needed] indicate he was born in Bibb County and was the illegitimate son of Peggy Murrah, a daughter of Charles and Avarilla Jones Murrah. He was raised and educated in a Baptist orphanage, and graduated from Brown University in 1848. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar. He moved to Texas and opened a law practice in Marshall.

After losing a race in 1855, Murrah won election to the Texas House of Representatives in 1857, and also served on the executive committee of the Texas Democratic Party. In 1861 he declined to run for a seat in the Confederate Congress because of ill health, probably tuberculosis, but his health recovered sufficiently that he accepted a commission in the 14th Texas Infantry, a Confederate Army unit commanded by former governor Edward Clark. Murrah soon resigned his commission, but he won the gubernatorial election in 1863, and served until the fall of the Confederacy.

As governor during the American Civil War, Murrah emphatically supported the Confederate cause, although he ended up in a controversy over the conscription of Texas militia troops into the Confederate Army. Still, even after Robert E. Lee surrendered in 1865, he encouraged Texans to continue the fight.

When he learned that Union Army forces were en route to Texas, Murrah fled to Mexico with other Confederate leaders. Lieutenant Governor Fletcher Summerfield Stockdale filled the vacant post, acting as governor for five days, until provisional governor Andrew J. Hamilton assumed office in August 1865.[3]

The trip to Mexico took a toll on Murrah's health, and he died in Monterrey on August 4, 1865. His grave is located in the Panteon Municipal of Monterrey, Mexico.


Charles Murrah, the grandfather of Pendleton Murrah, was born in 1775 in Warren County, North Carolina. He traced his ancestry through his parents Charles and his Margaret (Peggy) Murrah, and through them to his grandparents Lodowick and Mira Ann Jeter Murrah of Caroline County, Virginia.

In 1850 Murrah married Sue Ellen Taylor, daughter of a prominent Texas plantation owner. According to the 1860 census, they had no children.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Texas Biographical Dictionary
  2. ^ American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection
  3. ^ "STOCKDALE, FLETCHER SUMMERFIELD," Handbook of Texas Online [1], accessed May 19, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Texas
Succeeded by