BLEDSOE, ALBERT A.
BLEDSOE, ALBERT A. (?–1882). Albert A. Bledsoe, pioneer settler, state comptroller, and county judge, moved to Dallas County, Texas, from Kentucky in 1847. He purchased the headright of Roderick Rawlinsqv, who later became his son-in-law. Bledsoe subdivided the tract and surveyed a townsite that he called Lancaster. He was elected chief justice of Dallas County in 1865 but lost a reelection bid the following year. He also failed in an attempt to represent the county at the Constitutional Convention of 1866. During Reconstruction he was appointed county judge, a position he held until 1869. He was elected to represent Dallas County at the Constitutional Convention of 1868–69, where his political views aligned him with the Radical Republican faction. He was nicknamed "Iron-clad" after he publicly took the "Iron-clad" oath of loyalty to the United States. He served on the committee that recommended the establishment of the controversial and unpopular State Police to curb lawlessness and violence.
Bledsoe returned to Dallas after the convention and remained county judge until he was appointed comptroller of public accounts. He gained notoriety in this position for his refusal to allow the transfer of $500,000 worth of state bonds to the International Railroad Company and for filing fraud charges–of which the rail line was found innocent–against the company in state district court in Austin in February 1873. Bledsoe contended that the rail company had arranged to pay a number of state legislators in return for their votes in favor of 1870 legislation authorizing the transfer of $10,000 in bonds for each mile of track constructed by the railroad. Upon the completion of fifty miles of track, the company had demanded $500,000 in bonds, which Governor E. J. Davis signed but which Bledsoe, as state comptroller, refused to sign. The company filed a writ of mandamus in state district court to force Bledsoe to sign and deliver the bonds. The matter eventually reached the state Supreme Court, which, by a three-to-two vote, voided the writ, thereby siding with Bledsoe. The end of Reconstruction in Texas hastened the end of Bledsoe's public career. He died at his home in Dallas on October 8, 1882.
Ann Patton Baenziger, "The Texas State Police during Reconstruction: A Reexamination," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 72 (April 1969). James R. Norvell, "The Railroad Commission of Texas: Its Origin and History," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 68 (April 1965). Semi-Weekly Farm News (Dallas), June 1, 1934.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Brian Hart, "BLEDSOE, ALBERT A.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbl19), accessed February 06, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles