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Henry Whiting Fontaine (1807-1839)

Missing portrait
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Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, 1838-1839

Little is known about Henry Whiting Fontaine. His father, Col. Aaron Fontaine, was descended from French Huguenots and moved from Virginia to Kentucky in 1798, bringing with him his wife and twelve children. His wife did not survive the journey. Following her death, Col. Fontaine married a widow with ten children, and went on to father four more children by this marriage. Henry Whiting Fontaine, born November 13, 1807 in Louisville, Kentucky, was one of the four children of his father's second marriage.

Information about Henry Fontaine's activity in Texas remains sparse. He was married in 1834. He fought in the Texas Revolution. By 1837 he was practicing law in Houston with Algernon Sidney Thruston, his half brother, one of the ten children of his mother's first marriage. Thruston served the Republic of Texas as commissary general in 1837 and as quartermaster general in 1838.

In 1838 Henry Whiting Fontaine was appointed district judge for the Second Judicial District, which automatically made him an associate justice of the supreme court of the Republic. He served in the position until his death on November 25, 1839 at the age of thirty-two. The first session of the supreme court was not held until January 1840; therefore he did not sit in a court session.

Sources

Byers, Mary Lytle. Century of Old Fontaine Estate, Courier Journal (Kentucky ) March 1914 (visited August 9, 2006).
http://www.stithvalley.com/ancestry/fontaine/aaronfon.htm

Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Ancestor Surnames (visited August 9, 2006).
http://www.drt-inc.org/ancestors/anc-f.htm

Ericson, Joe E. Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836-1846) 107 (Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1980).

Thruston, Algernon Sidney. Handbook of Texas online (last updated June 6, 2001). http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/TT/fthgq.html

Extended bibliography

Ericson, Joe E. Judges of the Republic of Texas (1836-1846) 107 (Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1980).