B.F. Williams

Benjamin Franklin Williams

Full Name: Benjamin Franklin Williams
Date of birth: 1819
Date of death: February 27, 1886

Terms of Service top

Chamber District Dates of Service Legislatures Party City/County Note Counties in District
H 53 Jan 13, 1885 - Feb 27, 1886 19th (1)   Republican Richmond / Fort Bend   Fort Bend, Waller
H 37 Jan 14, 1879 - Jan 11, 1881 16th (2) (3) (4) (5)   Republican East Bernard / Wharton   Fort Bend, Waller, Wharton
H 25 Feb 9, 1870 - Jan 14, 1873 12th (6) (7) (8)   Radical Republican Columbus / Colorado   Colorado, Lavaca

(1) Postoffice Richmond. Rules of Order of the House of Representatives of the Nineteenth Legislature, 1885.
(2) Republican, 1/14/1879, p. 1. Galveston Daily News.
(3) Democrat. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80, 1879.
(4) East Bernard, Wharton County. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80, 1879.
(5) Regular Republicans carried Fort Bend County and B.F. Williams was elected, p. 129. Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898, 2016.
(6) 12th Legislature, Provisional Session - Qualified and took the oath of office on 2/9/1870. House Journal.
(7) Party affiliation, Radical. Texas Almanac for . . . and Emigrant's Guide to Texas.
(8) Radical Republican Association, established 6/4/1870, p. 26. Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898, 2016.

Biographical Notes and Resources top

Resolutions and Journal entries

  • 79th Legislature, R.S., HR 589, paying tribute to African American legislators and constitutional convention delegates of 1868-1900. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary.
  • 81st Legislature, R.S., HCR 81, paying tribute to African American legislators and constitutional convention delegates. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary.
  • 85th Legislature, R.S., HR 452, celebrating Black History Month and honoring the leadership and vision of African American lawmakers. Resolutions - Congratulatory and Honorary.
  • 88th Legislature, R.S., SCR 13, Recognizing the Texas Black Reconstruction Legislators Recognition Act. SB 667, Texas Black Reconstruction Legislators Recognition Act. Resolutions - Legislative Policy. SB 667 SCR 13
  • 20th Legislature, R.S., House receives the "sad intelligence" of the deaths of Hon. A.M. Taylor of Red River county and Hon. B.F. Williams of Fort Bend county; House resolution adopted 1/20/1887, p. 97. Resolutions - Memorial.

Biographical Sketches

  • Biographical information in Alwyn Barr, "Black Legislators of Reconstruction Texas," Volume 32, Number 4, December 1986, pp. 340-352. Civil War History.
  • Narrative history, Founded By Freedmen, Continued by Faith: A History of St. Paul United Methodist Church of Columbus, Texas: Colorado County‚Äôs Oldest African American Church, By Vince Leibowitz, Research by Vince Leibowitz and Antrey Waddle, Based Upon a Historical Sketch by Lucille Chase and Additional Published Work by Dorothy Fitzgerald, further Utilizing Original Research and Narratives by Velva Whitley Burrell and Previously Published Historical Sketches by Bill Stein for Submission to the Texas Historical Commission In Consideration for a Texas Undertold Stories Historical Marker, June 2019. Donated Material.
  • Portrait and biographical sketch, Benjamin Franklin (B.F.) Williams. Born Brunswick County, Virginia, ca. 1819 or 1825; died Kendleton, Texas, date unknown. Forever Free: Nineteenth Century African-American Legislators and Constitutional Convention Delegates of Texas, 2002.
  • WILLIAMS, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1819-1886). Death date 2/27/1886. Handbook of Texas Online.
  • Biographical sketch, B.F. Williams, p. 57. Personnel of the Texas State Government for 1885, 19th Legislature, 1885.
  • Biographical sketch, p. 262. Texas Legislative Manual, 1879-80, 1879.
  • Portrait and biographical sketch, pp. xviii, 3. Williams was minister of Wesley Methodist Chapel in Austin, "which forbade blacks from attending if they were not Republicans." Included in list of eleven African-American delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1868-1869, Appendix A. Birth year 1825, death year 1886, Appendix D. Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898, 2016.

Other Resources

  • Biographical information, nominated for Speaker of the House in 12th Legislature, p. 56 and footnote 31, p. 77. Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times, 1981.
  • One of nine African-American delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1868-1869 (the Reconstruction Convention), Volume I, p. 731. D.W. Burley and Sheppard Mullens not included in list of African-American delegates. East Texas: Its History and Its Makers, 1940.
  • "In its statistics of the House of Representatives, the State Journal says . . . The tallest member is Hon. B.F. Williams, of Colorado, who measures six feet two inches. The shortest is Hon. Wm. Schlotman, of Washington, five feet, three inches. The heavy man is Hon. J.W. Lane, Democrat, of Dallas, who carries 240 pounds without seeming to mind it." 5/29/1870, p. 2. Galveston Daily News.
  • Mentioned in Minority Civil Rights and the Texas Legislature, 2018.
  • Benjamin F. Williams appointments in Methodist Episcopal Church: Texas Mission Conference, Texas Mission District, Columbus, January 3-5, 1867, pp. 8-9; Texas Mission Conference, Texas District, Austin, January 2-4, 1868, pp. 9-10; Texas Conference, Texas District, Austin, January 25-27, 1869, pp. 8-10; Texas Conference, Austin District, Austin, January 14-17, 1870, pp. 6-8; Texas Conference, Houston District, Columbus, January 8-13, 1873, pp. 8-9; West Texas Conference, Columbus District, Columbus, January 28-February 1, 1875, pp. 12-13. Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1840-1940.
  • Mentioned in Chapter VI, "Black Belt Politics." The Negro in Texas, 1874-1900, 1971.
  • Mentioned in Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants, 1970.
  • Constitutional Convention 1868-1869 and resignation, Radical conventions 1868, pp. 20, 26, 29. Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants: A History of the Negro in Texas Politics from Reconstruction to Disfranchisement, 1935.
  • Mentioned, pp. 147-156. Time of Hope, Time of Despair: Black Texans During Reconstruction, 1981.


Composite Photographs on Display in the Capitol

Committee Information top

19th R.S. - 1885
Indian Affairs  
Privileges and Elections  
16th R.S. - 1879
Counties and County Boundaries  
12th Adjourned - 1871
Comptroller Misconduct  
Comptroller's and Treasurer's Offices, Examine  
Internal Improvements  
Printing and Contingent Expenses  
12th R.S. - 1871
House Employees, Regulate Pay of  
Internal Improvements  
Printing and Contingent Expenses  
12th 1st C.S. - 1870
Alleged Illegal Sale of Newspapers by Officers of the House, Select  
Claims and Accounts  
Conduct of Comptroller A. Bledsoe, Select Committee  
House Officer and Employee Compensation, Select  
Internal Improvement  
12th Provisional - 1870
Fourteenth and Fifteenth U.S. Constitutional Amendments, Passage of  

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