William Pitt Ballinger
|William Pitt Ballinger|
September 25, 1825|
Barbourville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||January 20, 1888
Galveston, Texas, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Harriet "Hally" Patrick Ballinger|
William Pitt Ballinger (September 25, 1825 – January 20, 1888) was a respected and influential Texas lawyer and statesman. His behind-the-scenes life had a major impact on the development of Texas realty and railroad law, furthering the Confederacy during the Civil War, the Reconstruction in Texas, the emancipation of black slaves, and the industrialization of the South.
Throughout the many local, state, and national events and issues, Ballinger’s life as a lawyer and a politician became firmly committed and driven to uphold and argue the law to its fullest extent without his biased interpretation. Ballinger, although rooted in the U.S. Constitution, evolved as the law evolved. In the words of Ballinger after rational examination, “Times have changed, my dear friend—the practice of law is going forward at such a rate that those who do not accept these changes will be left behind.”
In summer of 1843, at the age of eighteen, he moved from his hometown of Barbourville, Kentucky to Galveston, Texas to read law and finish his legal training under his uncle, James Love. His uncle’s strenuous reading plan and insistence on attending courtroom proceedings helped Ballinger develop a lifelong love of books and renewed confidence in his self-education.
- Moretta, John Anthony. William Pitt Ballinger. Texas State Historical Association, 2000.