Kenneth Lewis Anderson
Kenneth Lewis Anderson was a lawyer, the fourth and last Vice President of the Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...


He was born in Hillsborough
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Hillsborough is a town in Orange County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 5,653 at the 2008 census. It is the county seat of Orange County....

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, where he worked as a shoemaker at an early age. By 1824 he was living in Bedford County, Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, where he became deputy sheriff in 1826 and sheriff in 1830; he was a colonel in the militia by 1832.

In 1837 he and his family moved to San Augustine
San Augustine, Texas
San Augustine is a city in San Augustine County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,475 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of San Augustine County and is situated in East Texas.-Geography:San Augustine is located at ....

, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, where his wife's brother-in-law Joseph Rowe
Joseph Rowe
-Coaching career:Rowe was the head college football coach for the Kalamazoo Hornets located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He held that position for the 1903 season. His coaching record at Kalamazoo was 6 wins and 2 losses. As of the conclusion of the 2010 season, this ranks him #13 at Kalamazoo in...

 had lived for five years. In 1838 Anderson served successively as deputy sheriff and sheriff. It was probably after he arrived in Texas that he studied to become a lawyer. President of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau B. Lamar
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was a Texas politician, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas, after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston.-Early years:Lamar grew up at Fairfield, his father's...

, appointed him collector of customs for the district of San Augustine, and he was confirmed on November 21, 1839. He served as collector until he became a candidate from San Augustine County
San Augustine County, Texas
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,946 people, 3,575 households, and 2,520 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile . There were 5,356 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile...

 for the Texas House of Representatives of the Sixth Congress in 1841; he won with the largest majority in San Augustine County's history at that time.

As a partisan of Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

, Anderson was elected Speaker of the House
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the Texas House of Representatives. The Speaker's main duties are to conduct meetings of the House, appoint committees, and enforce the Rules of the House...

 on November 1, 1841. He immediately led an unsuccessful attempt to impeach Lamar and Vice President
Vice president
A vice president is an officer in government or business who is below a president in rank. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning 'in place of'. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president...

 David G. Burnet
David G. Burnet
David Gouverneur Burnet was an early politician within the Republic of Texas, serving as interim President of Texas , second Vice President of the Republic of Texas , and Secretary of State for the new state of Texas after it was annexed to the United States of America.Burnet was born in Newark,...

. Anderson had for a time been considered for secretary of the treasury of the republic, a post that went to William Henry Daingerfield. In 1842 he helped convince Houston to veto the popular but dangerous war bill, which sought to force an invasion of Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...


After one term, and despite President Houston's pleas, Anderson retired in 1842 to practice law in San Augustine with Royal T. Wheeler; he eventually formed a partnership with J. Pinckney Henderson
James Pinckney Henderson
James Pinckney Henderson was a United States and Republic of Texas lawyer, politician, soldier, and the first Governor of the State of Texas....

 and Thomas Jefferson Rusk
Thomas Jefferson Rusk
Thomas Jefferson Rusk was an early political and military leader of the Republic of Texas, serving as its first Secretary of War as well as a general at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was later a U.S. politician and served as a Senator from Texas from 1846 until his suicide...

. In December Anderson became district attorney of the Fifth Judicial District. In 1844 Anderson was frequently mentioned as a candidate for president of the republic, but eventually he became the candidate for vice president, on a ticket headed by Anson Jones
Anson Jones
Anson Jones was a doctor, businessman, congressman, the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas, sometimes called the "Architect of Annexation."- Early life :...

. Anderson's opponent, Patrick Jack, died before the election, and Anderson won nearly unanimously. He presided over the Senate at Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas
Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas
Washington-on-the-Brazos is an unincorporated area along the Brazos River in Washington County, Texas, United States. It was founded when Texas was still a part of Mexico, and the settlement became the site of the Convention of 1836 and the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence...

 in June 1845, when the Texas Congress approved the Texas Annexation
Texas Annexation
In 1845, United States of America annexed the Republic of Texas and admitted it to the Union as the 28th state. The U.S. thus inherited Texas's border dispute with Mexico; this quickly led to the Mexican-American War, during which the U.S. captured additional territory , extending the nation's...

 by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


After the annexation he immediately left for home despite being sick. After only twenty miles, at the Fanthorp Inn
Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site
Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site is a historic hotel in Anderson, Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired the site by purchase in 1977 from a Fanthorp descendant. Ten years were spent researching and restoring the Inn to its 1850 look...

 in modern-day Anderson, Texas
Anderson, Texas
Anderson is a city in Grimes County, Texas, United States. The population was 280 in 2009. It is the county seat. The city and its surroundings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Anderson Historic District.-Geography:...

, his fever flared and he died at age 39. The vice president had been considered the leading candidate to become the first governor of Texas. His law partner, Pinckney Henderson, was instead elected governor in December.

Both Anderson County
Anderson County, Texas
Anderson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of 2000, the population was 55,109. Its county seat is Palestine. Anderson county was organized in 1846, and is named in honor of Kenneth L. Anderson who had been Vice President of the Republic of Texas.-Geography:According to the...

 and the town of Anderson
Anderson, Texas
Anderson is a city in Grimes County, Texas, United States. The population was 280 in 2009. It is the county seat. The city and its surroundings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Anderson Historic District.-Geography:...

 in Texas are named for him.

External links

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