Edward Clark (governor)

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Edward Clark
8th Governor of Texas
In office
March 16, 1861 – November 7, 1861
Preceded bySam Houston
Succeeded byFrancis Lubbock
7th Lieutenant Governor of Texas
In office
December 21, 1859 – March 16, 1861[1]
GovernorSam Houston
Preceded byFrancis R. Lubbock
Succeeded byJohn McClannahan Crockett
Secretary of State of Texas
In office
December 22, 1853 – December 21, 1857
GovernorElisha M. Pease
Preceded byThomas H. Duval
Succeeded byT.S. Anderson
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
Preceded byWilliam Thomas Scott
Succeeded byHart Hardin
Personal details
Born(1815-04-01)April 1, 1815
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedMay 4, 1880(1880-05-04) (aged 65)
Marshall, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lucy Long
Martha Melissa Evans
Military service
Allegiance United States
 Confederate States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
 Confederate States Army
RankBrigadier General
Unit14th Texas Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsMexican–American War
American Civil War

Edward Clark (April 1, 1815 – May 4, 1880) was the eighth Governor of Texas. His term coincided with the beginning of the American Civil War.

Early life[edit]

Edward Clark was born on April 1, 1815, in New Orleans, Louisiana.[2][3] His father was named Elijah Clark Jr.[3] His paternal uncle, John Clark, served as the Governor of Georgia from 1819 to 1823.[3] His paternal grandfather was Elijah Clarke.

Clark grew up in Georgia.[3] After his father died in the 1830s, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, with his mother and studied the law.[3]


Clark moved to Texas in 1842 and set up a law practice.[2] He served in the Texas Annexation Convention and two terms as a state representative in the Texas Legislature. During the Mexican–American War he served on the staff of Major General J. Pinckney Henderson and fought in the Battle of Monterrey.[3] When the war ended, he served as secretary of state under Governor Elisha M. Pease and as lieutenant governor serving under Governor Sam Houston.[2] When Sam Houston refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, Clark became governor.[3]

Slave quarters of Edward Clark's home in Austin. He enslaved nine people.[3]

Among Clark's first actions was to order the surrender of all fire arms and ammunition from private merchants to the state. Furthermore, all privately owned firearms were to be canvassed. Few weapons were ever turned in and most Texans did not comply for fear of future confiscation. (Lone Star by T.R. Fehrenbach, pg 353)

After losing the governor's race by 124 votes to Francis Lubbock, Clark became a colonel in the Texas militia during the American Civil War. In 1863 he joined the Confederate States Army and was commissioned colonel of the 14th Texas Infantry Regiment. He commanded the unit, as part of the Greyhound Division, until being wounded in the Battle of Pleasant Hill.[2] A promotion to brigadier general was not confirmed by the Confederate Congress and he left the service; however, in 1865 he was made a brigadier in the militia. He fled briefly to Mexico at the end of the American Civil War, and returned home to Marshall, Texas.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Martha Melissa Evans Clark

Clark married Lucy Long in 1840,[2] but she died shortly after.[3] He married Martha Melissa Evans in 1849.[2][3] They had four children, including:[2][3]

  • William Evans Clark (Apr 1849 in Marshall, Harrison County, Texas – Jun 1852 in same);
  • John Evans Clark (30 Jan 1852 in Marshall, Harrison County, Texas – 9 Oct 1923 in same), who married twice and had at least three children;
  • William Evans Alfred Clark (12 Jul 1853 – 9 Apr 1879); and
  • Nannie M Clark (c. 1855 – 8 Jan 1913 Harrison County, Texas), m. 23 Nov 1881 in Harrison County to Daniel C Wallis (alias Wallace).


Clark died on May 4, 1880, in Marshall, Texas.[2][3] His grave in the Marshall City Cemetery is marked with a historical marker.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lieutenant Governors of Texas, 1846 - present".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Texas Governor Edward Clark". National Governors Association. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Wooster, Ralph A. (June 12, 2010). "CLARK, EDWARD". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 28, 2015.

External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by Texas State Senator
from District 3

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas H. Duval
Secretary of State of Texas
1853 – 1857
Succeeded by
T.S. Anderson
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Texas
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Texas
Succeeded by