Cunningham, Abel Seymour (1810–1860)

By: Craig H. Roell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 18, 2020

Abel Seymour Cunningham, a Republic of Texas congressman and participant in the Texas Revolution and the Mexican War, was born on December 8, 1810, in Hardy County, Virginia. He moved to Texas in 1835 and settled in Victoria County. During the Texas Revolution he volunteered as a private in the army and served from April 1 to July 12, 1836, in a Captain Smith's company of cavalry. In the spring of 1842 he served in Capt. John T. Price's company under Col. Clark L. Owen in the expedition to crush the invasion of Texas by Rafael Vásquez. Cunningham represented Victoria County in the House of the Ninth Congress of the republic from December 2, 1844, to June 28, 1845, and was a member of the annexation convention that summer. He joined Col. Benjamin McCulloch's rangers in 1846, after the outbreak of the Mexican War. In the 1840s he was a Victoria alderman and joined the Victoria bar. He was kept on retainer by the board to represent the city in land cases before the Texas Supreme Court. Cunningham was married to Martha McGrew. He died on March 28, 1860, in Victoria.

Roy Grimes, ed., 300 Years in Victoria County (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1968; rpt., Austin: Nortex, 1985). Victor Marion Rose, History of Victoria (Laredo, 1883; rpt., Victoria, Texas: Book Mart, 1961). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

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

Craig H. Roell, “Cunningham, Abel Seymour,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 24, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 18, 2020