Lawhon, David E. (1811–1884)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: March 1, 1995

David E. Lawhon, soldier, judge, and publisher of the Nacogdoches Texian and Emigrant's Guide, was born in Morgan or Roan County, Tennessee, on June 15, 1811. He learned the printer's trade and during his early life worked in several different cities. Lawhon and his brother, Dr. John C. Lawhon, moved to Texas from Natchitoches, Louisiana, about November 1, 1835. Soon after he arrived in Nacogdoches, Lawhon volunteered for service in the Texas army, but when it was discovered that he was a printer, local officials convinced him that he could render better service to the Texas cause in the printing business than in the army. William G. Logan, a merchant who had purchased a newspaper printing press that Milton Slocum had brought to Nacogdoches in 1829, persuaded Lawhon to publish a newspaper. The first issue of the Texian and Emigrant's Guide appeared on November 28, 1835. Lawhon also printed war proclamations and legal blanks during the winter of 1835–36. He continued to publish the Texian and Emigrant's Guide until January or February 1836; sometime thereafter he joined the army and was severely wounded. After the Texas Revolution he married Nancy Carr, with whom he had six children. Around 1839 the family settled in Jefferson County, where Lawhon went into stock raising. He served eight years as county judge, then moved to Bastrop County around 1860. He later moved to Williamson County, where he died on February 14, 1884.

Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Lawhon Family Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). Taylor Daily Press, March 1, 1939.
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Publishers and Executives
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Lawhon, David E.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995