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James H. Denison (1812-1873)

Missing portrait
The Library has been unable to locate a portrait of James H. Denison. If you have information regarding this or other missing portraits, please contact Tarlton's Archives and Special Collections department at .

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1870

James H. Denison was born March 3, 1812 in Bethel, Windsor County, Vermont, son of Rachel and Joseph A. Denison. He graduated from Kenyon College in 1832, where one of his classmates was future United States Supreme Court Justice David Davis. He traveled from New York to Texas in December 1839 and received a conditional land certificate on December 30. He went into a law partnership with attorney Henry P. Brewster in Matagorda in 1841. He interrupted his practice, however, to serve in the campaigns against Rafael Vásquez and Adrián Woll. He represented Matagorda County in the Seventh Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1842. In 1846 he went into a partnership with Alexander H. Phillips of Victoria and D. C. Van Derlip of Bexar. He married Elizabeth A. Royall April 2, 1848 in Matagorda County, Texas. Denison was living at Indianola in January 1854. By 1860, he is shown as practicing law in San Antonio. He was living there when General Reynolds appointed him to the Texas Supreme Court. He died in San Antonio February 6, 1873.

Tarlton Law Library is grateful to Stephen Pate, Trustee of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, for his extensive research.

Extended bibliography

Speer, Ocie. Texas Jurists 62 (Austin, Texas: the author, 1936).

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 48, page 449
Volume 54, page 110
Volume 60, page 18
Volume 65, page 104, 105