Philip Minor Cuney (1808 – 1866)

“CUNEY, PHILIP MINOR (1808-1866).  Philip Minor Cuney, soldier, plantation owner, and legislator, the son of Richard Edmond and Tabitha (Wells) Cuney, was born of Swiss descent in Rapids Parish, Louisiana, in 1808.  After the death of his first wife in 1834, he moved to Texas around 1840 and settled in Austin County, where he took up farming.

In 1842 he married Eliza Ware; they had three children.  Cuney, a Whig, was elected to the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas in 1843.  He became a prosperous cotton planter and, with Olive Jones, was Austin County delegate to the Convention in 1845, which voted for annexation to the United States.  On July 13, 1846, Cuney was elected brigadier general for the First Brigade of the Fourth Division of the Texas Militia.  Also in 1846 he was elected to the state Senate and represented Austin and Fort Bend counties in the First and Second legislatures until 1848.  On February 22, 1848, he was elected a state delegate to the national Democratic convention is Balitmore.  In 1851 he was a candidate for the state Senate.

On his plantation, Sunnyside, twelve miles southeast of Hempstead on Iron Creek, Cuney had 2,000 acres and 105 slaves by 1850.  Among then was Adeline Stuart, who bore him eight children and whom he eventually set free.  Among their sons was Norris Wright Cuney, who became a prominent politician in Galveston.

On September 26, 1851, Cuney married Adeline Spurlock, daughter of James L. and Eliza Spurlock, also of Austin County.  Cuney died at his Austin County home on January 8, 1866.  He was a member of the Texas Veteran  Association.”

Source:  The Handbook of Texas Online

Article written by Thomas W. Cutrer.

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