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Hale, William G. (1822–1876)

Seymour V. Connor Biography Entry

William G. Hale, attorney, son of David and Sara Josepha (Buell) Hale, was born in Newport, New Hampshire, on October 9, 1822, two weeks after his father's death. His mother was the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. He graduated from Harvard University in 1842 and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1845. He moved to Texas in 1846, formed a partnership with Ebenezer Allen, and practiced law in Galveston, specializing in land suits. Hale was attorney for the Peters colony, handled much of the litigation in Cameron County, and had among his clients several of the former clients of Judge John C. Watrous, a connection that caused Hale to be accused of being special counsel for the land speculators with whom Watrous was said to be involved. About 1873 Hale moved to New Orleans, where he was counsel for the Mixed Commission on British and American Claims. Although an unexplained obituary notice was printed in the Dallas Weekly Herald (see DALLAS TIMES HERALD) on January 10, 1874, Hale apparently died in New Orleans about January 18, 1876.

Ruth E. Finley, The Lady of Godey's: Sarah Josepha Hale (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1931). William G. Hale Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. 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
  • Land Law and Real Estate Law

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

Seymour V. Connor, “Hale, William G.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 10, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995