Hon. Thomas J. Rusk

Thomas Rusk, raised in modest surroundings, studied law and gained admission to the bar in 1825.  After making his way to Texas, he held several important positions, making him a giant historical figure in the State. Among his many achievements in Texas were: serving as Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas; working as a delegate to Texas’ Constitutional Convention of 1836; signing the Texas Declaration of Independence; serving as a member of the First and Second Congresses of the Republic of Texas; presiding as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas; taking on the mantle of President of the Constitutional Convention of 1845; leading the final charge on Santa Anna at San Jacinto; and heading to Washington, D.C., as one of the first two United States Senators from Texas, along with Sam Houston. Even though he was Texas’ third Chief Justice, Thomas Rusk was the first to perform active service in that role, by presiding over a Supreme Court session and by authoring the Court’s first opinion.




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