Holland, James Kemp (1822–1898)

By: Carolyn Hyman

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 12, 2015

James Kemp Holland, Texas legislator, son of Spearman Holland, was born in Paris, Tennessee, on March 10, 1822. His family lived for some time in Holly Springs, Mississippi, before settling in Harrison County, Texas, in 1842. After serving during the Mexican War, Holland followed his father in politics by representing Panola and Rusk counties in the Third Texas Legislature from November 1849 to November 1851. He was United States marshal for eastern Texas in 1851 but returned to politics as a senator in the Fifth Texas Legislature, where he represented Panola and Shelby counties and served from November 1853 to November 1855. On March 22, 1854, he married Samuella Andrews, daughter of John Day Andrews, in Houston.

Holland declined nomination to the Secession Convention but represented Brazos, Grimes, and Montgomery counties in the Ninth Texas Legislature in 1863 and served as a colonel on Governor Pendleton Murrah's staff during the Civil War. In October 1865 his wife died of illness just weeks after the deaths of their son John and daughter Nannie. Holland was a delegate to the National Union Convention at Philadelphia in 1866. He moved to Austin in the 1880s and made the first report ever presented in the legislature on the University of Texas. He was killed in a fall from a buggy while riding in Tehuacana, Texas, on May 26, 1898. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Navasota, Texas.

E. L. Blair, Early History of Grimes County (Austin, 1930). Frank Brown, Annals of Travis County and the City of Austin (MS, Frank Brown Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). Annie J. Holland, "A Texas Volunteer in the Mexican War," Texas Magazine, March 1913. James K. Holland, "Diary of a Texan Volunteer in the Mexican War," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 30 (July 1926). Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, October 18, 1865. Legislative Reference Library of Texas: James K. Holland (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=4927&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=holland~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee= ), accessed February 18, 2015.


  • Third Legislature (1849-1850)
  • Fifth Legislature (1853-1854)
  • Ninth Legislature (1861-1863)
  • House
  • Senate

Time Periods:

  • Civil War

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

Carolyn Hyman, “Holland, James Kemp,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 09, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/holland-james-kemp.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 12, 2015

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: