Burnley, Albert Triplett (1800–1861)

By: Seymour V. Connor

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Albert Triplett Burnley, Republic of Texas loan commissioner, lawyer, and businessman, was born in Hanover County, Virginia, on April 15, 1800. As a businessman, he resided at various times in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C. In 1827 he married Frances Ann Bibb, daughter of Kentucky chief justice George M. Bibb, with whom he studied law and later bought land in Texas. Burnley bought coal mines in Kentucky and subsequently had a commission business in New Orleans. As an adherent of the Texas cause he accepted a commission from Sam Houston in April 1837 to negotiate a loan, not to exceed $5,000,000, on the bonds of the republic. Burnley was not successful in securing the loan in the United States, and after withdrawal of the annexation proposition in October 1838, he attempted similar negotiations in Europe, where he advertised and aroused interest in the republic. He was recommissioned by Mirabeau B. Lamar in February 1839 and worked with James Hamilton. In December 1840 Burnley left London to take the Treaty for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade to Texas for ratification. This diplomatic activity was to support the plan of Hamilton and Burnley to make a loan of $5,000,000 in England. Burnley arrived in Texas after the adjournment of the Congress so the treaty had to wait another year for ratification. Burnley's work as loan commissioner unofficially ended in February 1841. He spent about six months of each year on his plantations in Mississippi and in Brazoria County, Texas, where he was a nonresident owner. In 1850 he moved to Washington, D. C., where he had established a Whig newspaper, the Republic, as an official organ of the Taylor administration sometime earlier. In 1854 he returned to Frankfort, Kentucky, where he died on May 13, 1861.

Martha A. Burnley, "Albert Triplett Burnley," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 14 (October 1910). Herbert Rook Edwards, "Diplomatic Relations between France and the Republic of Texas, 1836–1845," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 20 (January 1917). 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).

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

Seymour V. Connor, “Burnley, Albert Triplett,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/burnley-albert-triplett.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994