Archibald Wynns, lawyer and statesman, was born in Henry County, Tennessee, on December 25, 1807. He was the son of Thomas and Winnifred (Outlaw) Wynns. He married Martha Elizabeth Edmunds in Tennessee in 1836 and moved to Texas, where he settled in Houston and opened a law office in partnership with William Lawrence in 1837. In 1841 and 1842 Wynns represented Harris County in the House of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas. He served as a private on the expedition to repulse the Rafael Vásquez invasion in the spring of 1842. Three years later Wynns was involved locally in Houston with the effort to gain annexation by the United States.
In 1850 Wynns lived with his wife and their five children in Harris County. He was still living there on July 9, 1855, when he filed a claim against the state for compensation for his service against the Vásquez expedition. Wynns then joined the gold rush to California and soon the filibustering expeditions of Gen. William Walker attracted his attention. He visited Walker in Nicaragua in the spring of 1856 and returned to Texas and urged people in the Lone Star State to support the filibuster. Evidence on the remaining years of Wynns’s life is conflicting, but it appears that he died on August 21, 1859, in Jackson, Louisiana, possibly from illnesses contracted while he supported Walker. Reportedly, he was buried at the place of his death in Louisiana, but part of his family’s property in Houston became Glenwood Cemetery. A Texas Historical Marker honoring Wynns was erected in Glenwood Cemetery in 2009.
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Historical Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission Library, Austin. Telegraph and Texas Register, July 8, 1837. Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Sixth Congress House (1841-1842)
Republic of Texas
Upper Gulf Coast
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 18, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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