Ware, Henry (1813–1898)

By: Christopher Long

Type: Biography

Published: August 1, 1995

Updated: March 31, 2021

Henry Ware, planter, industrialist, Democratic politician, and prohibitionist, was born in Green County, Georgia, on July 29, 1813. He married Martha Ann Everitt on November 23, 1837, and the couple settled in Chambers County, Alabama, where the first four of their five children were born. In 1846 Ware and his family moved to Texas; they lived in Colorado County for a year before settling in Harrison County, where Ware established a plantation a few miles south of Marshall. By 1860 he had become one of the most prosperous planters in the region. In addition to his plantation he also became involved in several manufacturing ventures. During the 1850s he invested $10,000 in a steam-powered textile mill that in 1860 employed six men and seven women to produce 45,000 yards of cotton and woolen cloths, including linseys, kerseys, and tweeds. Ware also operated a tanyard and a small shoe factory. Much of the merchandise was sold to other planters in East Texas and western Louisiana. The Marshall Texas Republican ran Ware's advertisements for "Superior Negro Clothing, Blankets and Shoes." Ware initially supported the Southern cause during the Civil War, but in 1864 he publicly advocated that the Southern states should end the war through a "peace convocation." A public meeting was held in Harrison County in February 1865 to discuss the issue, but only two or three of those present agreed with Ware, and the matter was dropped. After the war Ware ran for election as a delegate to the convention to bring Texas back into the Union. He declared that secession had been wrong, argued that the freedmen deserved fair treatment and education, and advocated that Blacks eventually be given the right to vote. His opponent, John Burke, attacked Ware as a traitor to the White man, but the election was surprisingly close; Burke received 162 votes to Ware's 146. Shortly thereafter, Ware moved to New Orleans, where he engaged in various businesses. Around 1870 he moved to Iberville Parish, Louisiana, and established a sugar plantation. In 1879 he bought a house in Pass Christian, Mississippi, on the ocean. There he lived for the remainder of his life. He married for a second time in 1880. In his later years Ware became involved in the prohibition movement and in 1888 worked to place an antidrink plank on the platform of the national Democratic party. He also devoted some of his considerable wealth to support of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and other similar organizations. He died at Pass Christian on July 9, 1898.

Randolph B. Campbell, A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850–1880 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1983). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Agriculture
  • Plantation Owners
Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas

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

Christopher Long, “Ware, Henry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/ware-henry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995
March 31, 2021