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SHAW, JAMES B.

SHAW, JAMES B. (ca. 1820–?). James B. Shaw, state comptroller, was born in Ireland about 1820. After graduating from the University of Dublin, he immigrated to the United States, settled temporarily in New Orleans, and moved to Texas in 1837. He served a short term as a private in the Texas army, was made chief clerk of the Treasury Department in 1838, and in 1839 was elected comptroller, a position which he held until 1859. Shaw frequently served as acting secretary of the treasury during Sam Houston's second administration. In December 1850 Shaw was sent to Washington, D.C., to collect the $5,000,000 payment of the federal government resulting from the Compromise of 1850 and the sale by Texas of parts of present New Mexico and Colorado. In 1857 he again represented Texas in Washington in the final disposition of the money set aside for payment of Texas's revenue debt. In 1853, preparatory to marrying a woman from New Orleans, Shaw established a 200-acre estate named Woodlawn on Shoal Creek west of Austin. The main house was built by Abner H. Cook, builder of the Governor's Mansion. The woman in New Orleans married another man, but Shaw finished his Austin home anyway and soon found someone else to marry. He and his wife had a daughter who died at the age of two. After the death of his wife a few months later, Shaw moved to Galveston and entered the banking business. He sold the Woodlawn estate to Elisha M. Pease in 1859, and the home became known as the Pease Mansion. The property around the main house was later developed as a residential subdivision called Enfield. Shaw probably died in Galveston in the late 1870s or early 1880s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Jacob DeCordova, Texas, Her Resources and Her Public Men (Philadelphia: Crozet, 1858; rpt., Waco: Texian Press, 1969). Samuel Gideon, Historic and Picturesque Austin (Austin: Steck, 1936). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Amelia Williams and Bernhardt Wall, Following General Sam Houston from 1793 to 1863 (Austin: Steck, 1935). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Seymour V. Connor

Citation

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

Seymour V. Connor, "SHAW, JAMES B.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsh10), accessed October 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.