Shaw, James (1808–1879)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 1, 1995

James Shaw, Texas veteran and legislator, was born in Clermontville, Clermont County, Ohio, on August 8, 1808. He settled in what is now Milam County, Texas, in the early 1830s and served as a private in Capt. Henry Wax Karnes's company of Mirabeau B. Lamar's Cavalry corps at the battle of San Jacinto; he also served as first lieutenant of a cavalry company commanded in turn by captains Thomas Robbins, William H. Smith, and John Dyers in 1836. Shaw represented Milam County in the House of the Third and Fifth congresses and was senator from Milam and Robertson counties in the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth congresses. After annexation he represented the Milam district in the House of the Second, Fifth, and Sixth legislatures. He was a member of the Texas Veterans Association. Shaw's first wife, Nancy A. (Riggs), died in Lexington, leaving him two sons and a daughter. On August 8, 1877, he married Mrs. Courtney Kray, with whom he had a son. Shaw died at his home near Lexington in Lee County, on February 14, 1879, and was buried in Early Chapel Cemetery.

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Second Legislature (1847-1848)
  • Third Legislature (1849-1850)
  • House

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

Claudia Hazlewood, “Shaw, James,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995