ANDREW JACKSON HAMILTON was born in Huntsville, Alabama. After being admitted to the Bar in Alabama, he moved to LaGrange, Texas and opened a law office. He was appointed Attorney General of Texas in 1849, served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was appointed Military Governor of Texas by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. A Unionist, he was considered a traitor to the state and escaped through Mexico to Washington, DC, where he was commissioned a Brigadier-General of Volunteers in the Union Army. Appointed provisional governor of Texas by President Andrew Johnson following the war, Hamilton managed the difficult task of reconstruction. In 1866 he called a Constitutional Convention that declared the Ordinance of Secession null and void, repudiated the state’s war debt, and consented to a division of Texas into one or more new states. Elections were held the day that the new Constitution was ratified by the citizens of Texas, and Hamilton lost the gubernatorial race. He returned to his law practice but was appointed Associate Justice of the state Supreme Court shortly thereafter. In 1869 he mounted another unsuccessful campaign for governor. He died in Austin and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 9. New York: James T. White & Company.