On this day in 1838, James Collinsworth fell or jumped off a boat in Galveston Bay and drowned. Collinsworth, born in Tennessee in 1806, was a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Texas, along with Mirabeau B. Lamar and Peter W. Grayson. Collinsworth served as a district attorney in Tennessee, where he was a political ally of Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, but moved to Texas by 1835. He represented Brazoria at the Convention of 1836 and was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Collinsworth later served as Houston's aide-de-camp, in the Senate of the republic, and as the first chief justice of the republic. He also helped organize the Texas Railroad, Navigation, and Banking Company and was a charter member of the Philosophical Society of Texas. His death, which occurred less than two weeks after the announcement of his candidacy for president, was generally presumed to have been a suicide, and his body lay in state in the capitol in Houston. In 1876 the legislature named Collingsworth County in his honor, though the act establishing the county misspelled his name.
On this day in 1919, the Longview Race Riot broke out. It was the second of twenty-five racial disturbances across America during what came to be known as the Red Summer. Riots occurred in Chicago, Houston, Little Rock, Washington, New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, and other cities. The Longview riot began with a July 10, 1919, article in the Chicago Defender, a sensationalistic nationwide black newspaper, that described the murder of a black resident of Longview. A series of incidents that began the following day led to injuries among both whites and blacks and the destruction of a number of blacks' homes. Governor William Hobby ordered Texas Rangers and National Guard troops to the scene and declared martial law. Twenty-one black men and nine white men were arrested. Nobody was ever tried. Tension subsided by the following week, and the governor lifted martial law at noon on July 18.