The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Robertson, James Harvey (1853–1912)

Seymour V. Connor Biography Entry

James Harvey Robertson, attorney, politician, and judge, son of J. R. and Mary (Hunt) Robertson, was born in Roane County, Tennessee, on May 2, 1853. He followed his brother, John W. Robertson, to Austin, Texas, in June 1874 and was admitted to the bar in 1875. He married Susie Marsh Townsend of Austin; they had six children. In September 1876 Robertson established a law practice at Round Rock, and in 1882 he represented Williamson County in the House of the Eighteenth Legislature. In 1884 he returned to Austin, where he became district attorney of Travis County, a post he held until 1890. James Stephen Hogg appointed him district judge in May 1891; Robertson resigned the judgeship in 1895 and worked as Hogg's law partner until 1902. From 1907 to 1911 he represented Travis County in the House of the Thirtieth, Thirty-first, and Thirty-second legislatures. He was author of the Robertson Insurance Law, which required insurance companies doing business in Texas to invest 75 percent of their reserve in the state. He died on March 2, 1912.

John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). 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]). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • 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.

Seymour V. Connor, “Robertson, James Harvey,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 20, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.