Duval, William Pope (1784–1854)

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: May 29, 2020

William Pope Duval, lawyer and congressman, the son of William and Anne (Pope) Duval, was born at Mount Comfort, Virginia, in 1784 and spent several years on the Kentucky frontier. In 1804 he was admitted to the bar and married Nancy Hynes. They had eight children. In 1812 Duval participated in Indian campaigns as a captain of mounted rangers. From 1813 to 1815 he represented Kentucky in the House of Representatives of the Thirteenth Congress, after which he resumed his law practice at Bardstown, Kentucky. President Monroe appointed Duval a United States judge in Florida Territory on May 18, 1821, and from 1822 to 1834 Duval served as civil governor there. In this post, he accomplished the removal of the Seminole Indians to South Florida. From 1839 to 1842 he was a senator in the Florida legislature. In 1845 he served as a commissioner to settle the disputed northern boundary of Florida. Duval was first grand master of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Florida. Two of his sons, Burr H. and John C. Duval, participated in the Texas Revolution. Another son, Thomas H. Duval, moved to Austin in 1845 or early 1846. William P. Duval followed his sons to Texas in 1848 and settled at Galveston to practice law. Sam Houston was among his clients. Duval died in Washington, D.C., on March 19, 1854, while there on legal business. He was buried in the Congressional Cemetery.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1928. Dictionary of American Biography. National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 11. Roy L. Swift, Civilizers: The DuVals of Texas from Virginia through Kentucky and Florida (Austin: Eakin Press, 1992). 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).


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law

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

Anonymous, “Duval, William Pope,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 20, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/duval-william-pope.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 29, 2020