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David Gouverneur Burnet

Burnet, David Gouverneur (gŭvˌənŏrˈ bûrˈnĭt) [key], 1788–1870, provisional president of Texas (1836), b. Newark, N.J.; son of William Burnet (1730–91). He went to Texas c.1817, and his legal training enabled him to become a spokesman for the American settlers there as dissension with the Mexican government grew. Appointed (1834) a district judge, he opposed the measures of the Mexican government and was gradually led to favor the independence of Texas from Mexico. In 1836 he drew up the declaration of independence at the convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he was made president ad interim of Texas. His eight-month administration in the chaotic times during and after the revolution (see Texas) was not effective. He quarreled bitterly with Sam Houston and thereafter opposed him in politics. Burnet was vice president under Mirabeau B. Lamar, was defeated by Houston for the presidency in 1841, and was chosen in 1866 (because he had opposed secession) U.S. Senator from Texas in the Reconstruction era, but was denied his seat.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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