JAMES WEBB THROCKMORTON was born in Sparta, Tennessee. His family moved to Arkansas when he was eleven and to Texas five years later. At the age of nineteen Throckmorton traveled to Princeton, Kentucky to study medicine with his uncle. He also studied law and was admitted to the Bar. He volunteered to serve in the Mexican War as a private and was later commissioned a surgeon. He served in the Texas legislature prior to the Civil War. Although he opposed secession from the Union, he raised troops to serve in the Confederate Army, in which he ultimately rose to the rank of Brigadier-General of Texas troops. He was elected governor under the new state Constitution adopted after the Civil War ended. During his administration, Texas was placed under military rule as part of the Congressional Reconstruction Plan. In addition, the famous cattle drives northward from Texas began while Throckmorton was in office. One year after taking office, he was removed as an “impediment to reconstruction” by the Union military commander in Texas, following which he returned to the practice of law, which he had favored over medicine. He went on to win election to four non-consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He later made unsuccessful bids for the governorship and the U.S. Senate. He died in McKinney, Texas, on April 21, 1894.
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.