William Henry Pope (Texas politician)

William Henry Pope (February 15, 1847 – February 15, 1913) was an American soldier, lawyer, and State Senator from Texas district 3. Pope was influential in writing and passing Texas Jim Crow laws and described himself as the "Jim Crow Senator".

William Henry Pope
President pro tempore of the Texas Senate
In office
January 11, 1887 – March 9, 1887
Preceded byConstantine Kilgore
Succeeded byCaleb Garrison
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
January 10, 1883 – January 10, 1893
Preceded byRichard M. Wynne
Succeeded byE.L. Agnew
Personal details
Born(1847-02-15)February 15, 1847
Washington, Georgia, U.S.
DiedFebruary 15, 1913(1913-02-15) (aged 66)
Waco, Texas, U.S.
Resting placeMarshall, Texas
Political partyDemocratic
Fannie Stedman
(m. 1872)
Alma materMarshall University
University of Virginia
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Personal life


William Henry Pope was born on February 15, 1847, in Washington, Georgia, to Alexander and Sarah "Willie" Pope. Him and his family moved to Marshall, Texas, in 1858. He attended Marshall University before enrolling in the Confederate Army in the winter of 1863. He served as a scout for in Terry's Texas Rangers until the end of the American Civil War. He then studied law at the University of Virginia.[1] In 1872, he married Fannie Stedman, whom he had 4 children with.



Pope died on his 66th birthday on February 15, 1913, in a Waco hospital of uremic poisoning, his resting place is in Marshall, Texas.[1]

Political career


Pope was first elected as Harris county attorney in 1869, he failed to be reelected in 1870. He was reelected as Harris county attorney in 1876 and 1878. He then served 10 years in the Texas Senate representing district 3. He often referred to himself as a "Jim Crow Senator". In 1889, Pope authored a law that required African Americans and White Americans to sit in separate coaches. He also appointed by Governor Lawrence Ross to serve as a special agent to the United States Congress to push agendas, he was in Washington, D.C., for 4 years. In 1902, Pope was elected judge of the Fifty-eighth Judicial District.[1] He was affiliated with the Democratic Party.[2]


  1. ^ a b c WILLIAMSON, ROBERT LEE (15 June 2010). "POPE, WILLIAM HENRY". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Legislative Reference Library | Legislators and Leaders | Member profile". lrl.texas.gov. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
Preceded by Texas State Senator
from District 3 (Marshall)

Succeeded by