William Pitt Ballinger: Texas Lawyer, Southern Statesman, 1825–1888
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Few people have played a more important role in the history of Texas than William Pitt Ballinger. Though not as well known as legendary figures Stephen F. Austin or Sam Houston, Ballinger is one of those individuals whose behind-the-scenes life had a major impact on the events of his time. This thoroughly researched and engagingly written biography brings Ballinger to life as one of the most complete men of his time: lawyer, soldier, public servant, civic leader, author, editorialist, naturalist, education reformer, and bibliophile.In his long and illustrious career as a lawyer, Ballinger was usually the picture of calm and confidence, but on the morning of April 21, 1881, he found it difficult to maintain his composure as he awaited a conference with Jay Gould, the legendary “robber baron" of the Gilded Age, who had written Ballinger just six days earlier “to obtain the best legal advice I can."