Anderson, Thomas Scott (ca. 1830–1868)

By: Mary Jayne Walsh

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

T. Scott Anderson, attorney and Texas secretary of state, was born in Tennessee between 1827 and 1830 and moved to Texas in 1852. He began a law career in Austin, where he advertised his services in the local newspaper. In 1852 he served on the Provisional Railroad Association of Travis County. He was at one time a law partner of Horace Cone in Houston. Anderson served as secretary of state under Governor Hardin R. Runnels, beginning on December 22, 1857. In the gubernatorial election of 1859 Runnels lost to Sam Houston, and Anderson resigned his position on December 27 of that year. While Anderson was secretary of state, he married Mary McNeill Harper, on January 30, 1858. Shortly after their marriage the couple moved to Dallas, where they lived until 1860, when they moved to Columbus. Anderson served as a Colorado County delegate to the Secession Convention in Austin in 1861. On August 21 of that year Captain Anderson, now in the Texas State Militia, was mustered into the Confederate Army in Colorado County, with a rank of colonel. Anderson's Second Texas Regiment, a division of the Third Texas Cavalry, saw action in the Arkansas valley as well as in Tennessee, before Anderson assumed command of the Confederate Military Prison, Camp Ford, near Tyler. Once the war ended he moved back to Colorado County, to Eagle Lake, a town easily accessible to Galveston by train. He made frequent trips to the seaside city, at that time a thriving cultural and business center. Anderson died on September 25, 1868, at his home in Eagle Lake and was buried near the graves of Confederate soldiers who had died while encamped there.

C. L. Greenwood Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, 1861 (Austin: Texas Library and Historical Commission and Texas State Library, 1912). C. W. Raines, Year Book for Texas (2 vols., Austin: Gammel-Statesman, 1902, 1903). The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: GPO, 1880–1901). Ralph A. Wooster, "An Analysis of the Membership of the Texas Secession Convention," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 62 (January 1959).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Mary Jayne Walsh, “Anderson, Thomas Scott,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994