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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesTexas

Richard COKE

(1829-1897)
Senate Years of Service:
1877-1895
Party:
Democrat

COKE, Richard, (nephew of Richard Coke, Jr.), a Senator from Texas; born in Williamsburg, James City County, Va., March 13, 1829; attended the common schools and graduated from William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va., in 1849; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1850 and commenced practice in Waco, McLennan County, Tex.; entered the Confederate Army as a private; promoted to the rank of captain and served throughout the Civil War; appointed district judge in June 1865; elected judge of the State supreme court in 1866 and served one year before being removed as ‘an impediment to reconstruction’; resumed the practice of law in Waco, Tex.; Governor of Texas 1874-1877, when he resigned; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1877; reelected in 1883 and again in 1889 and served from March 4, 1877, to March 3, 1895; was not a candidate for renomination; chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Forty-sixth Congress), Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Fiftieth through Fifty-second Congresses), Committee on Fisheries (Fifty-third Congress); died in Waco, Tex., May 14, 1897; interment in Oakwood Cemetery.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Fett, B.J. “Early Life of Richard Coke.” Texana 4 (1972): 310-20; Roberts, Oscar Walter, ed. “Richard Coke on Constitution-Making.”Southwestern Historical Quarterly 78 (July 1974): 69-75.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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