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Scurry, Richardson A. (1811–1862)

L. W. Kemp Biography Entry

Richardson A. Scurry, lawyer, soldier, and politician, son of Thomas J. and Catherine (Bledsoe) Scurry, was born on November 11, 1811, in Gallatin, Tennessee. He was educated by private tutors and later studied law. About 1830 he was admitted to the bar and began practice in Covington, Tennessee. He moved to Texas early in 1836 and on March 10 joined the Texas army. He participated in the battle of San Jacinto as first sergeant in Isaac N. Moreland's company. When he resigned on October 4, 1836, he was a first lieutenant. He settled at Clarksville and resumed his law practice. Scurry was secretary of the Senate at the first session of the First Congress, which met from October 2 to December 22, 1836. President Sam Houston appointed him district attorney of the First Judicial District on December 19, 1836, and the Congress of the republic elected him judge of the Sixth Judicial District on January 20, 1840; this election automatically made him a member of the Texas Supreme Court. He resigned on February 5, 1841, to become district attorney of the Fifth Judicial District. At that time he was a law partner of his younger brother, William R. Scurry, at San Augustine. In 1843 R. A. Scurry married Evantha Foster of Waller County; they had nine children. Scurry was a member of the House of Representatives of the Seventh and Eighth congresses, 1842–44, and was speaker of the House of the Eighth, at which he represented San Augustine County. He was elected to the House of Representatives of the Thirty-second United States Congress on August 4, 1851. After March 3, 1853, he resumed his law practice in what was then Austin County, about one-half mile east of Hempstead. In August 1854 while hunting, Scurry accidentally shot himself. The wound never healed. In 1861 he was appointed adjutant general on the staff of Albert Sidney Johnston. Scurry eventually consented to an operation on his foot, and it was found necessary to amputate his leg. He never regained his health and died on April 9, 1862. He was buried at Hempstead.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress. 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).

Categories:

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Criminal Law and District Attorneys

Time Periods:

  • Civil War
  • Texas Revolution

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

L. W. Kemp, “Scurry, Richardson A.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 22, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/scurry-richardson-a.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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