He briefly chose to flee to Mexico after the war. After Reconstruction, he served in both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives, serving sixteen years in the state legislature. From 1893 until 1897, he was minister plenipotentiary to the Ottoman Empire during U.S. PresidentGrover Cleveland's second administration. From 1909 to 1911, he was a member of the University of Texas board of regents. He was president of the Texas State Historical Association when he died in Mineral Wells, Texas, in 1912. Terrell County, Texas is named in his honor.