Visit The University of Texas homepage
Visit the Tarlton Law Library homepage

Ezekiel Wimberly Cullen (1814-1882)

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, 1839

Born in Sandersville, Georgia, in 1814, Ezekiel Wimberly Cullen was the seventh of ten children born to early Georgia settlers. His father was a successful planter who had served as a judge and as a representative and senator in the Georgia legislature.

Cullen came to Texas in 1835, settled in San Augustine, and established a law practice there. He joined the Texas Revolution, fighting in the siege of Bexar. Cullen was a friend and supporter of Mirabeau B. Lamar, whom he had known in Georgia. He became active in politics and served in the House of Representatives during the Third Congress of the Republic from 1838 to 39, where he chaired the education committee and introduced the Cullen Act, which laid the foundation for public education in Texas by establishing land endowments for public schools and universities. He was married; he and his wife raised six children; a seventh died in early childhood.

Following the death of Shelby Corzine in 1839, President Mirabeau Lamar appointed Cullen judge of the First District, automatically making him an associate justice of the supreme court. He served in the position until the term ended. He returned to private law practice until 1850, when he was appointed a purser in the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy he lived in Pensacola, Florida and Washington, DC. He returned to Texas in 1871 and opened a law office in Dallas specializing in land matters. He died in Dallas in 1882.

His home in San Augustine, built in 1839, is now a museum operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and there is a building named for him on the University of Houston campus.

Sources

Ericson, Joe E. Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836-1846) 80 (Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1980).

Kilman, Edward W. The Cullens: The Epic Story of Two Great Texans (Houston, Texas: University of Houston, 1949).

Long, Christopher. Cullen, Ezekiel Wimberly, Handbook of Texas Online (last updated June 6, 2001). http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/CC/fcu5.html

Extended bibliography

Ericson, Joe E. Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836-1846) 80 (Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1980).

*Kilman, Edward W. The Cullens: The Epic Story of Two Great Texans (Houston, Texas: University of Houston, 1949). * F 385 K55 PCL stacks

Texas Heritage Foundation. Hall of Remembrance; the Heroes and Heroines of Texas Education 23 (Dallas, Texas: Texas Heritage Foundation, 1954).

Additional information available in Southwestern Historical Quarterly as follow:
Volume 72, page 367
Volume 80, page 428