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Anthony B. Shelby (?)

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Republic, 1840-1841

Little is known about Anthony B. Shelby. He lived in Galveston and from January 1840 to January 1841 served as district judge of the First Judicial District, which included Galveston and Houston. This appointment automatically made him an associate justice of the supreme court of the Republic. He sat on the court's January 1840 term, where he wrote four opinions. Shelby's place on the court had been contested by Thomas Johnson, who also claimed the seat. Johnson subsequently resigned the position.

In early 1840, during Shelby's tenure on the bench, the Galveston Daily Courier ran a story that outraged him. Shelby had one of the paper's founders, George H. French, as well as the paper's editor, arrested. French was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $1,000. The editor received ten days in jail and a fine of $200. When citizens of Houston and Galveston became enraged, Judge Thomas Johnson stepped in and remanded the sentences.

Notable Opinions

Shelby authored four opinions: Board of Land Comm'rs v. Weede, Dallam 361 (Tex. 1840); Winfried v. Yates, Dallam 363 (Tex. 1840); Patton v. Robert Mills & Co., Dallam 364 (Tex. 1840); and Andrews v. Andrews, Dallam 375 (Tex. 1840).


Joe E. Ericson, Judges of the Republic of Texas 254.

Diana J. Kleiner, Galveston Daily Courier. Handbook of Texas Online (last updated October 9, 2001).

Paulsen, James W. The Judges of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, 65 Texas Law Review 237-468 (December 1986).

Extended bibliography

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 34, page 305
Volume 46, page 229n
Volume 49, page 378
Volume 60, page 17
Volume 67, page 123

Additional information available in Texas Bar Journal as follow:
Volume 3, page 245