Haynes, John Leal (1821–1888)

By: Alwyn Barr

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: August 1, 2020

John Leal Haynes, military and political leader, was born on July 3, 1821, in Bedford County, Virginia. In the early 1840s he became the editor of the Lexington, Mississippi, Advertiser. He volunteered for service in the Mexican War and rose to the rank of lieutenant. Subsequently he lived in the frontier towns of Camargo, Tamaulipas, and Rio Grande City, Texas. After service during 1850 as Starr county clerk, he was in the state House of Representatives from 1857 to 1861. Governor Sam Houston appointed him quartermaster of state troops on the frontier in 1860. During the Civil War Haynes became an officer in Col. Edmund J. Davis's First Texas Cavalry (U.S.). He was promoted to colonel of the Second Texas Cavalry (U.S.) when it was organized in 1863 and commanded the consolidated regiment formed from both units in 1864. Between 1865 and 1868 he lived in Austin and served as internal revenue collector. He campaigned unsuccessfully for Congress in 1869 as a supporter of Andrew J. Hamilton. Haynes was collector of customs at Galveston in 1869–70 and at Brownsville from 1872 to 1884. He was active continuously in the Republican party during the Reconstruction era: he helped lead the conservative faction in the late 1860s, supported the regular party in the 1870s, and ran for lieutenant governor on the "straight-out" Republican ticket in 1884. Haynes was married and had one daughter and four sons. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Masonic order. He died in Laredo on April 2, 1888, and was buried in the Protestant cemetery in that city.

Galveston Daily News, April 3, 1888. 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). E. W. Winkler, Platforms of Political Parties in Texas (Austin: University of Texas, 1916).

Time Periods:

  • Civil War

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

Alwyn Barr, “Haynes, John Leal,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 17, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/haynes-john-leal.

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August 1, 2020

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