Alexander Asberry, a black Republican party member who served in the Twenty-first Legislature of 1889, was born on November 2, 1861, in Wilderville, Texas, the son of William and Julia Asberry. He attended Hearne Academy in Robertson County and eventually engaged in the grocery business. Although he failed to win election to the state House of Representatives in 1884, Robertson County voters elected him in 1888, the same year he served as a delegate to the national Republican convention. While in the legislature, Asberry, a resident of Calvert, served on the County Government and County Finances and the Mining and Minerals committees. He expressed interest in legislation designed to make railroad companies liable for livestock killed by their trains and opposed racial segregation on railroad passenger cars. He also supported replacing the convict lease system with state prison farms.
He was defeated in the election of 1890 but again served as a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1892. He lost the election for the state legislature in 1896 by only twenty-one votes. It is rumored that when he attempted to contest the election an unfriendly White judge shot him instead of hearing his case. A committee in the Twenty-fifth Legislature also rejected the challenge, ruling that Asberry had failed to follow proper contesting procedures. Asberry was a deacon in the Baptist Church; he died sometime before February 19, 1903, when a Robertson County court probated his estate.
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J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Lewis E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Representative Men of Texas (Austin: City Printing, 1887; 3d ed., San Antonio: Maverick, 1892). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985).
Politics and Government
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Paul M. Lucko,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 28, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994
Most Recent Revision Date:
September 29, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: