CURTIS, STEPHEN (ca. 1806–?). Stephen Curtis, a black politician in the Reconstruction era, was born into slavery around 1806 in Virginia. He was skilled in carpentry. He was living in Brazos County in 1867, when he served as a delegate to the Republican state convention in Houston, where he was a member of the Platform and Resolutions Committee. He reportedly armed himself after a threat on his life. Curtis was elected to the Constitutional Convention of 1868–69 and served on the Committee on Immigration. He voted for the division of Texas into more than one state and unsuccessfully introduced a resolution to investigate Ku Klux Klan activities. Curtis was one of five black delegates who signed the document produced by the convention. He also helped establish a special committee to investigate racial violence that occurred in 1868 at Millican in Brazos County. The 1870 national census reported that Curtis, who could neither read nor write, lived in a household in Brazos County with five other adults and four children, all named Curtis.
J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
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.Paul M. Lucko, "CURTIS, STEPHEN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcuze), 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