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Chauncey Brewer Sabin (1824-1890)

Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court, 1870

Chauncey Brewer Sabin was born August 6, 1824 in Oneonta, New York. Following his graduation from Delaware Literary Institute in 1840, he read law, and was admitted to the bar in Albany in 1846. He practiced law in Albany until the following year.

In late 1847 Sabin moved to Houston, Texas and practiced law there until the Civil War began. He was married in 1850, and the marriage produced at least two children. In 1863 Sabin, a Unionist, left Texas and resided in New York until the end of the war. He returned to Houston in 1865. On August 15, 1867 Sabin was appointed judge of the Third Judicial District by Gen. Charles Griffin during the period when Texas came under federal military control. He resigned the position in mid-1868 and went to Washington, where he lobbied on behalf of the Fifteenth Amendment which granted voting rights to citizens regardless of race or previous position of servitude. He returned to Houston in 1870 and then relocated to Galveston.

On March 9, 1870 the newly elected Gov. Edmund J. Davis appointed Sabin an associate justice of the supreme court, but Sabin resigned from that position almost immediately. As a result, there is no record of service for him in that capacity. Shortly thereafter he was appointed judge of the Eighteenth Judicial District. He served in that position less than a year before becoming Galveston city attorney. In 1873 he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives during the Thirteenth Legislature. In 1874 he was appointed postmaster of Galveston; he held the post for the next nine years. In 1884 he was appointed a federal judge of the Eastern District of Texas; he held that post until his death. He died March 30, 1890 and was buried at St. Mary's Cathedral in Galveston.


Campbell, Randolph B. Sabin, Chauncey, Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001).

Line of Succession of Supreme Court of Texas Justices. Unpublished document compiled by the Supreme Court Clerk (as of 01/11/02).

Extended bibliography

Bentley, H. L. The Texas Legal Directory 39 (Austin, Texas: Democratic Stateman Office, 1877).

Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas 97 (New York, New York: Southern Publishing Co., 1880).

Speer, Ocie. Texas Jurists 64, 486 (Austin, Texas: the author, 1936).

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 48, page 458
Volume 59, page 420
Volume 60, page 18
Volume 62, page 153