Charles A. Culberson
Culberson in 1904 publication
Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus
In office
December 1907 – December 1909
Preceded byJoseph Clay Stiles Blackburn
Succeeded byHernando Money
United States Senator
from Texas
In office
March 4, 1899 – March 3, 1923
Preceded byRoger Q. Mills
Succeeded byEarle B. Mayfield
21st Governor of Texas
In office
January 15, 1895 – January 17, 1899
LieutenantGeorge Taylor Jester
Preceded byJim Hogg
Succeeded byJoseph D. Sayers
Attorney General of Texas
In office
January 20, 1891 – January 15, 1895
GovernorJim Hogg
Preceded byJim Hogg
Succeeded byMartin McNulty Crane
Personal details
Charles Allen Culberson

(1855-06-10)June 10, 1855
Dadeville, Alabama, U.S.
DiedMarch 19, 1925(1925-03-19) (aged 69)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeEast Oakwood Cemetery
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Sally Harrison
(m. 1882)
EducationVirginia Military Institute (BS)
University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Charles Allen Culberson (June 10, 1855 – March 19, 1925) was an American political figure and Democrat who served as the 21st Governor of Texas from 1895 to 1899, and as a United States senator from Texas from 1899 to 1923.

Early life and education

Charles Allen Culberson was born on June 10, 1855, in Dadeville, Alabama, to Eugenia (née Kimbal) and David Browning Culberson. His father was a Democratic politician. Culberson's family moved to Texas in 1856, settling first in Gilmer and later in Jefferson.[1][2]

Culberson attended Virginia Military Institute, graduating in 1874, and subsequently studied law under his father and then at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1876 and 1877. In 1877 he was admitted to the bar in Daingerfield, Texas, and commenced practice in Jefferson, later moving to Dallas in 1887.[1][2] He was a member of the Jefferson Literacy Society and the Moot Court at the University of Virginia.[2]

Law career

Culberson started practicing law in Marion County in 1877. He was known for overturning a verdict for a man convicted of murder under the Ku Klux Law of Texas, and causing the law to be labeled as unconstitutional.[2][3]

Political career

Texas state politics

Culberson's political career began with his election as Attorney General of Texas in 1890, a position he held until 1895, after campaigning for and winning the governor's race in November 1894. After two terms as governor, he was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat on January 25, 1899.[1]

Senate tenure

Culberson's former residence (right) in Washington, D.C.

Early during his tenure, he served on the Lodge Committee investigating war crimes in the Philippine–American War. Later, he chaired several senate committees, including the judiciary committee, which he chaired from 1913 to 1919. Culberson was opposed to demands for racial equality, stating that efforts to do so would lead to the "consequent debasement, degradation or destruction of the white race".[4]

Culberson was reelected in 1905, 1911, and, again, by popular vote in 1916, when health problems and alcoholism prevented him from campaigning in Texas but did not prevent his reelection. However, his health and opposition to the Ku Klux Klan finally led to the loss of his seat in the Democratic primary in 1922.[1][5]

He was succeeded by fellow Democrat Earle Bradford Mayfield, the outgoing member of the Texas Railroad Commission.[6]

Sallie Harrison Culberson and daughter Mary

Personal life

Culberson married Sallie Harrison on December 7, 1882. They had one daughter, Mary Harrison.[2][3]

Culberson lived in retirement until his death from pneumonia in Washington, D.C., on March 19, 1925. He is buried in East Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas.[1]

Culberson was a distant cousin of John Culberson, who represented Texas' 7th congressional district between 2001 and 2019.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Culberson, Charles Allen". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  2. ^ a b c d e University of Virginia; its history, influence, equipment and characteristics, with biographical sketches and portraits of founders, benefactors, officers and alumni. Vol. 2. Lewis Publishing Company. 1904. pp. 242–243. Retrieved 2023-04-19 – via
  3. ^ a b "Charles Culberson Texas Solon, Dead". The Daily Missoulian. 1925-03-20. p. 4. Retrieved 2023-04-19 – via access icon
  4. ^ Glasrud, Bruce A. (1977). "Child or Beast?: White Texas' View of Blacks, 1900-1910". Stephen F. Austin State University. p. 38. Archived from the original on 2021-10-05.
  5. ^ TSHA Online – Texas State Historical Association – Home at
  6. ^ "The Election Case of George E. B. Peddy v. Earle B. Mayfield of Texas (1925)". Retrieved April 16, 2013.
Legal offices Preceded byJim Hogg Attorney General of Texas 1891–1895 Succeeded byMartin McNulty Crane Party political offices Preceded byJim Hogg Democratic nominee for Governor of Texas 1894, 1896 Succeeded byJoseph D. Sayers Preceded byJoseph Clay Stiles Blackburn Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus 1907–1909 Succeeded byHernando Money First Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Texas(Class 1) 1916 Succeeded byEarle Bradford Mayfield Political offices Preceded byJim Hogg Governor of Texas 1895–1899 Succeeded byJoseph D. Sayers U.S. Senate Preceded byRoger Q. Mills U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Texas 1899–1923 Served alongside: Horace Chilton, Joseph Bailey, Rienzi Johnston, Morris Sheppard Succeeded byEarle B. Mayfield Preceded byHernando Money Chair of the Senate Library Accommodations Committee 1909–1911 Succeeded byJoseph Weldon Bailey Preceded byThomas S. Martin Chair of the Senate Public Health Committee 1911–1913 Succeeded byJoseph E. Ransdell Preceded byClarence D. Clark Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee 1912–1919 Succeeded byKnute Nelson Preceded byKnute Nelson Chair of the Senate Private Land Claims Committee 1919–1921 Position abolished