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MUNDINE, TITUS HOWARD

MUNDINE, TITUS HOWARD (1826–1873). Titus Howard Mundine, legislator, Unionist, and early Republican party leader, son of John Chapman and Elizabeth (Yourie) Mundine, was born in Shelby County, Alabama, on December 9, 1826. He moved to Tennessee in 1843, to Arkansas in 1844, and to a farm near Brenham, Texas, in 1845. From 1847 until 1857 he ran a store in Brenham. Then, having married Catherine B. Merrill, he moved to Lexington in Burleson County and continued in the merchandising business. He was moderately prosperous, with three slaves and property valued at $15,000 in 1860. Mundine began his political career in 1857 by supporting Sam Houston's unsuccessful bid for the governorship. Two years later he again supported Houston and at the same time ran successfully for a seat in the House of Representatives of the Eighth Legislature. On April 21, 1860, he served as a vice president at the San Jacinto Battle Ground Assembly that put forward Sam Houston as a candidate for the presidency. When Houston was not nominated, Mundine actively supported the Constitutional Union party ticket.

Mundine's Unionist convictions remained strong in 1861 and led him, as a member of the legislature, to sign the "Address to the People of Texas" opposing secession. At the close of the Civil War provisional governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton recognized Mundine's Unionism by appointing him chief justice of Burleson County. He served from September 1865 until mid-1866. In the presidential Reconstruction elections of June 25, 1866, he ran successfully for the state Senate. Mundine's support for the Union in this era was not popular with many in Burleson County. In December 1867 he wrote to provisional governor Elisha M. Pease asking for a position in Galveston because the people in his area "will not patronize me under any circumstances." As congressional Reconstruction progressed, however, Mundine's political fortunes improved. He was elected as a Republican to the Constitutional Convention of 1868–69 to represent Burleson County. Although generally regarded as a member of the conservative faction of his party, Mundine shocked the convention on July 8, 1868, by proposing to enfranchise women as well as blacks. His resolution read: "Every person, without distinction of sex, who shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years . . . shall be deemed a qualified elector." After a good deal of what one reporter called "squabbling and fun," a motion to reject was defeated, and the resolution was sent to the Committee on State Affairs. It was never reported out of the committee, although according to newspapers Mundine continued to champion his "favorite measure." Mundine may have been the first man in a position of power to propose woman suffrage in Texas.

After his service in the constitutional convention of 1868–69, he turned his attention to manufacturing. In August 1870 the Texas legislature incorporated the New Anhold Manufacturing Company to produce cotton and woolen fabrics and other articles at a factory to be built on Mundine's property in Burleson County. He was the only incorporator named in the act. Apparently this project, like most of its type in that era, came to nothing. Mundine was a huge man whose 300 pounds occasioned much comment. For example, the editors of a contemporary book on the Eighth Legislature in 1860 could not resist writing that his views "had much WEIGHT." Titus Mundine died in Lexington on July 3, 1873. His widow and four children were still there in 1880.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

William DeRyee and R. E. Moore, The Texas Album of the Eighth Legislature, 1860 (Austin: Miner, Lambert, and Perry, 1860). Journal of the Reconstruction Convention (Austin: Tracy, Siemering, 1870). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. E. W. Winkler, Platforms of Political Parties in Texas (Austin: University of Texas, 1916).

Randolph B. Campbell

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Randolph B. Campbell, "MUNDINE, TITUS HOWARD," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmuvf), accessed November 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on December 29, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.